Allied Command Transformation

Allied Command Transformation (ACT) is a military command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), formed in 2003 after restructuring.

It was intended to lead military transformation of alliance forces and capabilities, using new concepts such as the NATO Response Force and new doctrines in order to improve the alliance's military effectiveness. Since France rejoined the NATO Military Command Structure in mid-2009, a significant change took place where the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) became a French officer. The first French Officer to serve as SACT was French Air Force General, Stephane Abrial (2009–2012).

Allied Command Transformation
Joint Command Lisbon
ActiveSince 19 June 2003
Part ofNorth Atlantic Treaty Organisation
HeadquartersNaval Support Activity Hampton Roads
Norfolk, Virginia
Général André Lanata, French Air Force


Allied Command Atlantic 1952 to 2003

Allied Command Transformation was preceded by Allied Command Atlantic (ACLANT) established in 1952 under the overall command of Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT), with its headquarters at Norfolk, Virginia. ACLANT's purpose was to guard the Sea lines of communication between North America and Europe in order to reinforce the European countries of NATO with U.S. troops and supplies in the event of a Soviet/Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe. Following the end of the Cold War, the Command was reduced, with many of its subordinate headquarters spread across the Atlantic area losing their NATO status and funding. However, the basic structure remained in place until the Prague Summit in the Czech Republic in 2002. This led to ACLANT being decommissioned effective 19 June 2003, and a new Allied Command Transformation being established as its successor.[1]

Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr. US Navy became the last SACLANT on 2 October 2002. He served as ACLANT commander until 19 Jun 2003. He then served as Supreme Allied Commander, Transformation, until 1 Aug 2005. Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope RN, the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, then served as Acting Supreme Allied Commander until the arrival of General Lance L. Smith USAF in November 2005.

After the Cold War

At the 2002 Prague Summit, it was decided that NATO should change its military structures and concepts, and acquire new types of equipment to face the operational challenges of coalition warfare against the threats of the new millennium. Thus NATO's military command structure was reorganized. One strategic command, Allied Command Transformation (ACT), was focused on transforming NATO, while the other strategic command focused on NATO's operations, Allied Command Operations (ACO/SHAPE). Initial reports about a NATO transformation command began to appear in July 2002.[2] ACT was formally established on June 19, 2003.

A suite of "Baseline for Rapid Iterative Transformational Experimentation" (BRITE) software was designed in response to the Maritime Situational Awareness request. This request, a product of a U.S. international and inter-agency initiatives termed "Maritime Domain Awareness," serves to counter threats to the maritime commons including terrorism, human/drug smuggling, piracy, and espionage.

Since Allied Command Atlantic became Allied Command Transformation, commanders have included non-naval officers. Gen. Lance L. Smith USAF commanded ACT from 10 Nov 2005 until 9 Nov 2007. He was succeeded by Gen. James N. Mattis USMC, who served from 9 Nov 2007 - 08 Sep 2009. A significant change was the assumption of command by a French officer, after France rejoined the NATO Command Structure in mid-2009. General Stéphane Abrial, former chief of the French Air Force assumed command in 2009. French Air Force General Jean-Paul Paloméros replaced Abrial at the end of September 2012. On 30 September 2015 French Air Force General Denis Mercier succeeded General Paloméros.

The Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation position is currently filled by General Mirco Zuliani of the Italian Air Force. He succeeded General Mieczysław Bieniek of the Polish Land Forces, who had himself succeeded Admiral Luciano Zappata (Italian Navy)[3] and Admiral Stanhope. For several years, in a carryover from SACLANT, the Deputy's position was filled by a Royal Navy admiral. Stanhope's succession by Zappata meant an end to this practice.


Allied Command Transformation's currentwhen? mission is to:

  • provide the conceptual framework for the conduct of future combined joint operations;
  • define how future operations will be conducted and what capabilities they will need;
  • take new operational concepts, from others or self-generated, assess their viability and value, and bring them to maturity through doctrine development, scientific research, experimentation and technological development;
  • implement both by persuading nations, individually and collectively, to acquire the capability, and provide the education and training, enabling concepts to be implemented by NATO forces.

A large number of conferences and seminars have been organised by the command in fulfilment of its conceptual development mission. These have included CD&E, a national Chiefs of Transformation conference, an examination of the Global Commons, Law of Armed Conflict, and a Multiple Futures project.[4]


Locations of NATO's two strategic commands—Allied Command Transformation (ACT; yellow marks) and Allied Command Operations (ACO; red marks)—the latter of which has Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) as its headquarters. The subordinate centres of ACT and subordinate commands and joint force commands of ACO are also shown, minus the new Joint Force Command - Norfolk.

The command's headquarters is in Norfolk, Virginia, in the United States. HQ SACT itself is organised into a command group, the Transformation Directorate, the Transformation Support Directorate, National Liaison Representatives, the Partnership for Peace Staff Element and Reservists responsible to HQ SACT.

The Transformation Directorate is headed by the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) Transformation who acts as the Supreme Allied Commander, Transformation's (SACT) Director for guidance and coordination of the activities of his or hers Directorate Transformation, divided in two divisions: Implementation and Capabilities. Within the full scale of SACT's transformational responsibilities the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) Transformation assists the Chief of Staff (COS) in the execution of his or her duties with emphasis on deliverables to the Alliance Military Transformation Process in order to enhance NATO's operational capabilities and to meet NATO's future requirements.

The Implementation Division, led by Assistant Chief of Staff (ACOS) Implementation, is responsible for guidance and coordination of the activities of two Sub-Divisions, Joint Education and Training (JET) and Joint Experimentation, Exercises and Assessment (JEEA), as well as providing guidance for the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) and Joint Analysis Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC), in their efforts to enhance training programs, to path on what does this mean? breaking concept development and experimentation, to develop effective programs to capture and implement lessons learned and to press on common standards. This division probablyis there some doubt? serves as NATO's linkpoint to the annual U.S.-led Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration.

The Capabilities Division, led by Assistant Chief of Staff (ACOS) Capabilities, is responsible for guidance and coordination of the activities of three Sub-Divisions: of Strategic Concepts, Policy and Interoperability (SCPI); Future Capabilities, Research and Technology (FCRT) and Defence Planning (Def Plan) in their efforts to staff Capabilities, Concepts and Development products.

Subordinate commands

Reflecting NATO as a whole, ACT has a presence on both sides of the Atlantic.[5] Before the deactivation of United States Joint Forces Command, the two organisations were co-located, and indeed shared a commander for some time. There is an ACT command element located at SHAPE in Mons, Belgium. ACT's major subordinate commands are the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) in Stavanger, Norway; the Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) in Bydgoszcz, Poland; and the Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC) in Monsanto, Portugal.[6][7] Under a customer-funded arrangement, ACT invests about 30 million Euros into research with the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) each year to support scientific and experimental programs.

NATO Centres of Excellence

A Centre of Excellence (COE) offers recognised expertise and experience to the benefit of the Alliance, especially in support of transformation. Most are single-nation sponsored, but some are sponsored by multiple members. NATO has a total of 25 accredited COEs.[8] It provides opportunities to enhance education and training, to improve interoperability and capabilities, to assist in doctrine development and/or to test and validate concepts through experimentation. A COE is not a part of the NATO Military Command Structure, but their activities with NATO are coordinated through HQ ACT. Since COEs are predominantly multinational entities, most COEs are overseen by a steering committee (SC), that sets the programme of work and approves the budget for the COE.[9][10] The SC consists of one voting representative of each Sponsoring Nation (SN) and a various number of observers. All decisions are made by consensus.


  • No duplication or competition with existing NATO capabilities
  • Nationally funded
  • Conforms to NATO procedures, doctrines, standards and security policies
  • Coordinated Programmes of Work provide guidance with inputs from both ACT and ACO organisations

NATO has the following fully accredited COEs:


Supreme Allied Commander Transformation

No. Name Picture Began office End office
7 Général d'armée Aérienne André Lanata
(French Air Force)
André Lanata - Cérémonie présentation et de passation du drapeau à la promotion 2016 X 2016 11. September 2018
6 Général d'armée Aérienne Denis Mercier
(French Air Force)
Denis Mercier 04299 général 30. September 2015 11. September 2018
5 Général d'armée Aérienne Jean-Paul Paloméros
(French Air Force)
Jean-Paul Paloméros cropped 28. September 2012 30. September 2015
4 Général d'armée Aérienne Stéphane Abrial
(French Air Force)
General Stéphane Abrial 080524-f-1014w-154 9. September 2009 28. September 2012
3 General James N. Mattis (United States Marine Corps) Gen James N. Mattis 9. November 2007 9. September 2009
2 General Lance L. Smith (United States Air Force) Lance L Smith 10. November 2005 9. November 2007
1 Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani (United States Navy) Admiral Edmund Giambastiani, photo portrait upper body 19. June 2003 19. June 2005

Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation

No. Name Picture Began office End office
6 Admiral Manfred Nielson
(German Navy)
Admiral Manfred Nielson DSACT 24. March 2016
5 General Mirco Zuliani
(Italian Air Force)
141203-F-EX201-066 2014 Honor roll induction 3. September 2013 24. March 2016
4 General Mieczysław Bieniek
(Polish Land Forces)
Mieczysław Bieniek 29. September 2010 3. September 2013
3 Admiral Luciano Zappata (Italian Navy) Luciano Zappata and Alojz Šteiner 3. July 2007 29. September 2010
2 Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope (Royal Navy) General Walter L. Sharp walks with Sea Lord Admiral, Sir Mark Stanhope 10. July 2004 3. July 2007
1 Admiral Sir Ian Forbes (Royal Navy) 1. July 2003 10. July 2004


  1. ^ "New NATO Transformation Command Established in Norfolk". American Forces Press Service. United States Department of Defense. 19 June 2003. Archived from the original on 17 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  2. ^ Colin Robinson, 'NATO's Command Structure Prepares for Shakeup', Center for Defense Information, 2 July 2002.
  3. ^ Outgoing NATO deputy commander has seen growing pains, Virginian-Pilot, July 3, 2007
  4. ^ "NATO ACT".
  5. ^ Allied Command Transformation, ACT History Archived 2012-06-25 at the Wayback Machine, accessed November 2012
  6. ^ "Who We Are". Allied Command Transformation. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Nato Centres of Excellence".
  8. ^ "Centres of Excellence".
  9. ^ Archived from the original on November 18, 2013. Retrieved November 18, 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ "7th Steering Committee Meeting". 2012-05-15. Retrieved 2014-06-14.
  11. ^ verified September 2008
  12. ^ Charlotte McDonald-Gibson (14 January 2015). "Battle in cyberspace: Nato plans to help the West win the information war with Russia". The Independent. Retrieved 8 February 2017.

External links

Coordinates: 50°29′58″N 3°59′02″E / 50.49944°N 3.98389°E

Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement

Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) are negotiated on a bilateral basis with United States allies or coalition partners that allow US forces to exchange most common types of support, including food, fuel, transportation, ammunition, and equipment. The agreement does not, in any way commit a country to any military action. ACSAs also exist between third-party countries. Both Japan and South Korea have formed ACSAs with countries other than the US.As of mid-2004, the US had ACSAs with 76 countries, including most NATO nations, as well as the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA), NATO Allied Command Transformation, and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). ACSAs diminish logistics burdens and are considered vital logistics enablers by providing on site commanders increased interoperability, enhanced operational readiness and cost effective joint support. The ACSA accomplishes this by establishing a mechanism to provide llogistical supplies between two parties in exchange for reimbursement either in cash, replacement in kind, or equal value exchange.

Allied Command Operations

Allied Command Operations (ACO) is one of the two strategic commands of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the other being Allied Command Transformation (ACT). The headquarters and commander of ACO is Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), respectively.

Under ACO, there are three joint force operational headquarters and several single service commands:

Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS), Netherlands

Allied Joint Force Command Naples (JFCNP), Italy

Joint Force Command Norfolk (JFC-NF), United StatesSingle-service commands:

Allied Air Command (AIRCOM) at Ramstein, Germany

Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) at Izmir, Turkey

Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) at Northwood, United KingdomOther commands:

Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (aka. Strike Force NATO, STRIKFORNATO) at Oeiras, Portugal

NATO Communication and Information Systems Command (NCISG) at Mons, Belgium

Bruce E. Grooms

Bruce Estes Grooms, was a vice admiral in the United States Navy. His last duty station before retirement was as Deputy Chief of Staff for Capability Development at Allied Command Transformation. He retired in June 2015.He has served as Commander of Submarine Group TWO and Vice Director of the Joint Staff. He has also served as the 81st Commandant of Midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy, responsible for the military and professional development of the Brigade of Midshipmen.

On March 1, 2013, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced that Grooms is nominated for appointment to the rank of vice admiral and for assignment as Deputy Chief of Staff for Capability Development at Allied Command Transformation by President Barack Obama. He relieved Vice Admiral Carol M. Pottenger from this position.


The Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Centre of Excellence (EOD CоE) is one of NATO Centres of Excellence, located in Trenčín, Slovakia. It is assist NATO member countries, partners, other countries and international organizations, in order to enhance EOD capabilities.

EOD CoE was fully accredited in 2011.EOD CoE activities with NATO are coordinated through HQ Allied Command Transformation.

Graham Stacey

Air Marshal Sir Graham Edward Stacey, (born 1 September 1959) is a senior Royal Air Force officer who served as Chief of Staff, Allied Command Transformation.

Island Command Greenland

Island Command Greenland (Danish: Grønlands Kommando), or simply "GLK", was a Level.II authority responsible directly to the Defence Command.

It was, among other things, responsible for the military defense of Greenland, maritime and sovereignty maintenance and enforcement, as well as search and rescue.

Personnel assigned to the Danish liaison office at Thule Air Base (FOTAB) as well as the Sirius Patrol (Danish: Slædepatruljen SIRIUS) were also a part of the Greenland Command. Island Command Greenland was amalgamated with Island Command Faroes to a Joint Arctic Command on 31 October 2012.It also functioned as NATO's Island Commander Greenland, formerly part of Allied Command Atlantic. ACLANT became Allied Command Transformation in 2003, and since then it was not clear exactly how the command now fits into the NATO Military Command Structure.

Jan Arp

Lieutenant-General Jan Arp is a senior officer in the Canadian Forces. Appointed in January 2007, he is Chief of Staff at NATO's Headquarters Supreme Allied Command Transformation.

Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre

The Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC) is a NATO body located in Monsanto (Lisbon), Portugal.

The Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre was commissioned on 2 September 2002. Its mission is to serve as NATO’s centre for performing joint analysis of operations, training, exercises and experimentation, including establishing and maintaining an interactive managed NATO Lessons Learned Database. The JALLC is also responsible for producing the NATO Joint Analysis Handbook and the NATO Lessons Learned Handbook, for hosting the NATO Lessons Learned Conference and for organizing the NATO Lessons Learned Staff Officers Course at SWEDINT.In 2010, the JALLC established the JALLC Advisory and Training Team to assist NATO, NATO/partner nations/organizations to develop or improve their lesson learning and information sharing capability for the mutual benefit of the Alliance. Also, the NATO Lessons Learned Portal was launched to complement the NATO Lessons Learned Database with an area further enabling sharing of lessons learned information.

The JALLC, as a member of Supreme Allied Command Transformation (ACT), feeds the results of joint analysis work and lessons learned back into the transformation network. JALLC is one of three joint organisations in the ACT structure, the others being the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) (Stavanger) and Joint Force Training Centre.

The Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre shares a site with the Portuguese Air Force Operational Command (Comando Operacional da Força Aérea).

Joint Force Training Centre

The Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC) is a NATO headquarters located in Bydgoszcz, Poland, responsible to Allied Command Transformation at Norfolk, Virginia, in the United States. The Joint Force Training Centre, started on March 31, 2004, focuses on joint and combined training at the tactical level. In particular, it focuses on the conduct of joint tactical training to achieve joint tactical interoperability at the key tactical interfaces.

It cooperates with other national training centres, including Partnership for Peace training centres and the Centre of Excellence. As a priority, the JFTC provides support to the NATO Response Force (NRF) joint and component commanders in the training and exercising of the NRF, focusing on joint and combined competences. JFTC supports the force in ensuring that each NRF rotation achieves a high level of interoperability, flexibility, and extensive training as a combined and joint force, in order to be fully ready at the beginning of the duty cycle. It serves to raise the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe standards of the NRF in each cycle.

In November 2008, JFTC relocated from its home on ul. gen. Józefa Dwernickiego (gen. Józefa Dwernickiego Street) to a new simulations centre on ul. Szubińska (Szubińska Street).

Joint Warfare Centre

The Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) is a NATO establishment headquartered in Stavanger, Norway.

It was established at Jåttå on 23 October 2003 as a subordinate command of Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT). The purpose of this was to have a command with responsibility for training and exercise of the NATO headquarters. The old Joint Headquarters North (JHQ NORTH) was abolished and command transferred to the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) in Norfolk, Virginia, USA

Marc Wicks

Regimental Sergeant Major Marc Wicks is a former Corps Regimental Sergeant Major of the Royal Marines who went on to serve as Senior Enlisted Advisor to NATO's Allied Command Transformation.

Mustafa Zeki Ugurlu

Mustafa Zeki Ugurlu was a two-star admiral in the Turkish Navy who recently served as a flag officer at NATO Supreme Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk-USA.


The NATO Communications and Information Systems School, (NCISS), is the School that provides formal technical training for NATO on certain Communication and information Systems (CIS) deployed on operations or exercises by the Alliance. NCISS operates as a training establishment for both NATO Strategic Commands and since 2004 it is responsible to the NATO CIS Services Agency (NCSA), in consultation with Allied Command Transformation (ACT).

The NCISS is due to be transferred from its present location in Latina, Italy to Oeiras, Portugal.

NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency

The NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) was formed in 1996 by merging the SHAPE Technical Centre (STC) in The Hague, Netherlands; and the NATO Communications and Information Systems Agency (NACISA) in Brussels, Belgium. NC3A was part of the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Organization (NC3O) and reported to the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Board (NC3B). In July 2012, NC3A was merged into the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA).

The agency had around 800 staff, of which around 500 were located in The Hague and 300 in Brussels. Broadly speaking, the Netherlands staff were responsible for scientific research, development and experimentation, while the Belgian staff provided technical project management and acquisition support for NATO procurement programmes.

The Agency was organised using a balanced matrix model, with four main areas: the Production area, Sponsor Accounts, Core Segment and Resources Division. The Production area consisted of nine capability area teams (CATs) with various areas of expertise. The Sponsor Accounts area had Directors for each of the Agency's major sponsors, providing a single point of contact with the Agency. The Core Segment comprised a Chief Operating Officer, Chief Technology Officer and Director of Acquisition, who ensured coherency of the Agency's business, technical and acquisition processes respectively. The Resources Division handled Agency operations such as Human Resources, Finance, Graphics, Building Maintenance, etc. Since 2004, the Agency used the PRINCE2 and PMI project management methodologies.

General Manager Georges D'hollander and Deputy General Manager Kevin Scheid split their time between their offices in The Hague and Brussels. Staff were recruited directly from the 28 NATO nations, the majority holding degrees at the Masters level or above. The working language of the Agency was English.

NC3A's prime customers were Allied Command Transformation and Allied Command Operations, as well as the NATO Air Command and Control System (ACCS) Management Agency (NACMA), NATO Airborne Early Warning (NAEW) Force Command and individual NATO nations. Its annual budget was roughly 100 million euros. Major growth areas were the NATO Network Enabled Capability (NNEC), Theatre Missile Defence (TMD) and the Alliance Ground Surveillance and Reconnaissance (AGSR) projects. The Agency traditionally had a strong emphasis on prototyping and aimed to follow a spiral development model.

The agency aimed to complement, not compete with, national research and development, and was primarily concerned with improving C4ISR interoperability between the nations and supporting major acquisition C4ISR programmes.

NATO Mountain Warfare Centre of Excellence

NATO Mountain Warfare Centre of Excellence (NATO MW CoE) is one of NATO Centres of Excellence, located in Poljče, 27, 4275, Begunje na Gorenjskem, Slovenia. It is assist NATO member countries, partners, other countries and international organizations, in order to enhance mountain warfare capabilities.

MW CoE was fully accredited in 2015. MW CoE activities with NATO are coordinated through HQ Allied Command Transformation.

Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads

Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads (NSA HR) is a United States Navy Echelon 4 regional support commander that is responsible to Navy Region Mid-Atlantic for the operation and maintenance of the installation of the same name that it is headquartered on. Adjacent to, but separate from Naval Station Norfolk, NSA Hampton Roads has the largest concentration of fleet headquarters administrative and communication facilities outside of Washington, D.C., including the headquarters for United States Fleet Forces Command , Naval Reserve Forces Command and United States Marine Corps Forces Command, along with components of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Joint Forces Staff College. NSA Hampton Roads is also home to NATO's Allied Command Transformation.

In addition, NSAHR manages Naval Support Activity Northwest Annex in the Deep Creek section of Chesapeake and provides installation support services to Naval Medical Center Portsmouth (NMCP).

Paul Bennett (Royal Navy officer)

Vice Admiral Paul Martin Bennett, is a senior Royal Navy officer and currently serves as Chief of Staff of NATO Allied Command Transformation.

Stéphane Abrial

Stéphane Abrial (French pronunciation: ​[abʁiɑl]), (born 7 September 1954 in Condom, Gers), is a French General who is the previous Commander of Allied Command Transformation based in Norfolk, VA, one of the two NATO strategic commands. His previous posting was as the Chief of Staff of the French Air Force.

Supreme Allied Commander

Supreme Allied Commander is the title held by the most senior commander within certain multinational military alliances. It originated as a term used by the Allies of World War I during World War I, and is currently used only within NATO. The current NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe is U.S. General Curtis M. Scaparrotti.

Multilateral relations

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.