Come hell or high water
2017 picked up where 2016 left off, but with renewed intensity as CSU Northwood juggled simultaneous handovers for two of the Standing Naval Force (SNF) flagships. The efficient unit was also tasked to install a full suite of NATO CIS tools on Spain's frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón for her continued assignment to SNMG2.
Conducting three simultaneous missions had a major impact on resources in Northwood and could have affected the CSU's support to Allied Maritime Command.
After careful consideration, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Communications and Information Systems and the MARCOM Command Group accepted the risk to local services delivery during this intense period. Fortunately, the Agency was able to maintain its services, and this busy period passed without any incident.
The year also kicked off with new partnerships for the CSU as it worked for the first time with the Estonian Navy during a transfer of CIS tools.
The transfer was the culmination of an earlier site survey and many months of dialogue to ensure pre-installation work was carried out. Support from the Agency's Network Services and IT Infrastructure Service Line is critical at the installation phase and once again close co-operation with the team ensured connectivity requirements were met.
Closer to home was the installation of a SNF CIS suite on the Polish ship ORP Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki during a port visit to Portsmouth, United Kingdom. This CIS system was de-installed and recovered from Greece in December and delivered to Northwood with days to spare. This illustrates the close cooperation between CSU Northwood and other stakeholders to meet tight deadlines.
The Kontradmiral Xawery Czernicki is the new flagship commanding a multinational integrated force that projects a constant and visible reminder of NATO's solidarity and cohesion in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
The surge of SNF work in the first quarter of 2017 was completed successfully but further taskings are expected to be assigned as months go by. Another four missions relating to surveys and discrete support activities are being planned for execution for the first half of the year and as always, it's all hands on deck at CSU Northwood.