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Support to Forces

The NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency) plays a crucial role enabling forces to communicate effectively and operate together during joint exercises, missions and operations.

Our experts provide robust static and deployable communications infrastructure, satellite communications and information technology services in different operational theatres, contributing to the readiness of the Alliance's forces and the strengthening of NATO's defence and deterrence posture.

The Agency contributes to NATO operations in Kosovo, the NATO mission in Iraq, the NATO Air Policing mission, and NATO and national exercises across the world. We enable end-to-end CIS services through several CIS Support Units (CSUs) in 22 locations across the Alliance.

  • We support defence planning and operational analysis to help planners and decision-makers within NATO and the Nations make informed decisions.
  • We enable secure and resilient data, voice and video communication services to forces operating in missions and operations, worldwide.
  • We contribute to the collection, processing, exploitation and dissemination of intelligence data and information to provide decision-makers with a better situational awareness.
  • We provide space-related services, including geospatial services, navigation warfare and satellite communications ensuring effective command, control and communications among Allied forces.


Operations and Missions


NATO plans and executes exercises to prepare commands and forces for operations in times of peace, crisis and concepts. Exercises allow the Alliance to test and validate concepts, procedures, systems and tactics.

The NCI Agency contributes to a wide range of exercises throughout the year, ensuring that Allies and Partners can seamlessly operate together and improve interoperability among forces.

C-UAS Technical Interoperability Exercise

Organised by the NCI Agency, NATO's Counter Unmanned Aircraft System Technical Interoperability Exercise (C-UAS TIE) brings together military, scientific and industry specialists to test high-tech commercial solutions used to detect, identify, and neutralize drones. Dozens of systems and technologies are tested live to ensure that these solutions can connect instantly and operate together seamlessly.

Steadfast Jupiter

Exercise Steadfast Jupiter, NATO's largest, most ambitious and complex computer-based exercise, tests the Alliance's proficiency and readiness to respond to threats on land, at sea, in the air, in space or in cyberspace.

On average, NCI Agency-managed networks successfully connect 1200 participants from over 20 organizations, including the NATO Response Force, across several locations in Europe and North America.


NATO's annual Coalition Warrior Interoperability eXploration, eXperimentation, eXamination, eXercise (CWIX) tests the interoperability of Allied and Partner command and control systems to ensure their integration and readiness.

Several NCI Agency experts are deployed every year to participate in the exercise and deliver various communication and information system services and technology, assist with conducting thousands of capability tests and support the Combined Federated Battle Laboratories Network, CWIX's partner-centric testing network.

Formidable Shield

Exercise Formidable Shield is the biennial Integrated Air and Missile Defence (IAMD) exercise organized by the United States 6th Fleet and STRIKFORNATO. The exercise ensures that NATO Allies and Partners can work together in a live-fire joint and combined integrated air and missile defence environment using NATO command and control structures.

NCI Agency experts deliver command and control technology and support the planning, preparation and execution of the exercise mission configuration so that Nations can coordinate and exchange data services with participating countries.

Locked Shields

Every year, NCI Agency experts join the annual exercise Locked Shields, the largest and most complex international live-fire cyber defence exercise in the world, to train and exchange expertise on protecting applications and critical infrastructure systems.

The exercise uses realistic scenarios to sharpen the cyber defence skills of cyber security experts, as well as legal and media specialists from NATO Allies and Partners.

NCI Agency's contribution to NATO operations and missions

  • Kosovo Force
  • Air Policing Mission
  • NATO Mission in Iraq