Home Europe New NATO composite special operations command declared fully operational

New NATO composite special operations command declared fully operational

Photo: Danish defense ministry

Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands declared their Composite Special Operations Component Command (C-SOCC) headquarters as fully operational after less than three years of work.

The Composite Special Operations Component Command combines national capabilities from the three participating nations into a deployable multinational headquarters, specifically designed for commanding several special operations forces task groups.

This innovative approach provides the participating nations with a capability that exceeds the sum of their individual national contributions.

The full operational capability was declared on December 7 in the framework of the virtual distinguished visitors’ day of the exercise Steadfast Jupiter-Jackal 2020, which tested and verified all the relevant functions of the Composite Special Operations Component Command.

C-SOCC is one of NATO’s multinational high visibility projects and was launched by the defense ministers of the three nations through a letter of intent in February 2017. This was followed by a memorandum of understanding signed in June 2018, and the achievement of initial operational capability in the second half of last year.

The Assistant Secretary General for Defence Investment Camille Grand emphasized the swiftness of implementation of the project: “Moving from political intent in 2017 to the actual delivery of a complete capability in 2020 is a remarkable achievement. It demonstrates that multinational cooperation can achieve rapid results when implemented effectively.”

As a next step the three Allies will make the Composite Special Operations Component Command available for the NATO Response Force 2021 rotation.

“The trilateral C-SOCC is gaining a great deal of attention in NATO because it has the potential to set a precedent for how smaller countries can work together to build complex capabilities. The establishment of a headquarters such as the C-SOCC requires more manpower and more resources than smaller countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark can normally supply as individual nations,” Danish Major General Peter H. Boysen, who will be in charge of C-SOCC in 2021, said.