Rapid Strategic Assessment for NATO Special Operations Headquarters

Last updated January 31, 2012

The NATO SOF Coordination Centre (NSCC) was established at NATO's 2006 Riga Summit as the central feature of the NATO Special Operations Force (SOF) Transformation Initiative (NSTI). Its purpose is to provide an Alliance framework for enhancing the capacity of special operations forces from twenty contributing nations to work together on the battlefield by establishing common training and education programs and by fostering interoperability among the special operations forces of Alliance members. The NSCC has grown rapidly as a result of the heightened importance of special operations forces in the twenty-first-century security setting, in particular in Afghanistan. As a result, on the advice of NATO's Military Committee (MC), the North Atlantic Council (NAC) in late 2009 approved the transition of the NSCC into the NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ), with official re-designation occurring on March 1, 2010.

To support NSCC/NSHQ taskings and institutional development, the Senior Advisory Group (SAG), renamed the Senior Steering Group (SSG) in March 2010, was established. IFPA played an important role in the SSG's development, and continues to support its efforts through the identification and selection of members, development of meetings, and working with NSHQ leadership to meet new and emerging challenges to NATO and SOF planning. Dr. Jacquelyn K. Davis, executive vice-president at IFPA, chairs the SSG, which includes distinguished membership from the United States and other NATO member countries.

To date, IFPA has organized three SAG and four SSG meetings in cooperation with the NSHQ leadership.