The GITF has been established through close cooperation between the NCI Agency's Academy and Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) Centre over the past 18 months. This new facility will serve as a mechanism to facilitate collaborative innovation on behalf of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), by entities such as the Maritime GeoMetOc Centre of Excellence (CoE), the Multinational MetOc Support Group (MNMSG), the NCI Agency and academia.
The direct connection between the operational requirement holder, the subject matter expert community and the training domain, results in unique opportunities to optimize synergies in the fast-growing GeoMetOc domain.
"The establishment of the new GeoMetOc innovation and training facility at the NCI Academy is an important milestone for SHAPE to support the Recognized Environmental Picture. I have already tasked my support organizations to start using the facility to address an urgent operational task on behalf of Allied Command Operations immediately," expressed LTC Achim Becker, Chief MetOc Officer at SHAPE, during the inauguration ceremony.
GeoMetOc training provided through the GITF will not be limited to the GeoMetOc communities of interest but will also help influence training at the Academy as new and operationally relevant services will be made available on the training network.
The facility will crucially support the Academy's approach of "training by design" as a key component of capability development. This initiative responds to a wide range of emerging Command, Control, Computer, Communications and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) requirements captured in the Atlantic Council C4ISR assessment and recommendation report from the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid.
The opening ceremony was led by the Director of the Academy, Dr Garry Hargreaves and the JISR Centre Chief, Matt Roper. The event was also attended by senior staff from NATO Headquarters, SHAPE, the Maritime GeoMetOc CoE, the MNMSG and Portuguese host nation representatives. The day included multiple presentations underlining the need for this facility, the official inauguration and a technical demonstration of the available GeoMetOc systems and data.