On 14 March, an agreement on working arrangements and multi-year programme of work was signed between the 1 German Netherlands Corps (1GNC) and the Agency. It is the first example of re-use of NATO Afghanistan investments to boost Nations readiness for the elite NATO Response Force.
The agreement builds on cooperation which began on 9 September 2013 by the Chiefs of Defence of Germany and the Netherlands and culminated in the 14 March signature ceremony that is "Connecting the 1GNC and the NCI Agency in a Strategic Partnership", as declared by LGEN Volker R. Halbauer, Commander of the 1GNC.
"As we strive to NATO Forces 2020 and keep the ISAF gains alive, this Strategic Partnership between the 1GNC and the NCI Agency is an example of using NATO solutions for the NATO Force Structure to facilitate Land and Joint interoperability", stated by NATO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alexander Vershbow.
In his introduction Mr Koen Gijsbers, NCI Agency General Manager stated "The 1GNC leads the way for Future NATO Forces… and … it is our contribution to the NATO for Nations effort in the post ISAF period." After one year of close cooperation with the 1GNC and the implementation of Information Management tools in the Garrison network, the partnership is now fully oriented towards the certification of the Corps in its role as Land Component Command during their rotation for the NATO Response Force (NRF) 2015 to be followed by cooperation in preparing 1GNC as Joint Task Force Command for 2017.
BGEN Toine Beukering, from The Netherlands Ministry of Defence stressed that "it is all about trust and people to make it a success." The multiyear project will provide the Corps with a Mission Network, fully loaded with Core and Functional services, including the implementation of Land Command & Control Information Systems (LC2IS).
This cooperation is the initial step in a wider effort of Agency support to LANDCOM Commander LGEN Hodges' initiative for implementing the NATO solutions, developed for the NATO Command Structure, also for Afghanistan, in the NATO Rapid Deployment Corps to facilitate their certification and readiness for the NATO Response Force.
LGEN "Ben" Hodges, Commander LANDCOM stated "Today´s signing of a multi-year program of work agreement between 1st German-Netherlands Corps and The NATO Communications and Information Agency in The Hague, Netherlands is another step forward for our partnership. The NCI Agency has consistently provided us outstanding support to the highest expectations throughout LANDCOM. Specifically, providing vital interoperability throughout our NATO Force Structure. Of course, this is just the beginning. I know that this Strategic Partnership will continue to flourish and generate similar interest in training and simulation activities throughout other land forces we are partnered with."
Working very closely with the operational community, the awareness and requirement capture campaign will extend towards the Maritime and Air Commands and outreach to the Training centres in the coming year in order to support capability development, connectivity of forces, including for the willing and capable partners.
Success of this project could provide a good example of how existing NATO solutions can be re-used by NATO Nations, beginning with the Framework Nations of the various rapid reaction Corps, and could contribute to implementation of the Connected Forces Initiative in an effective and efficient way.
For more information download 1GNC Cooperation Leaflet