What is Allied Joint Force Command Norfolk?

Introduction

Across the Atlantic, nestled within the largest naval city in the world is Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Norfolk, NATO’s newest operational command.

Background

JFC Norfolk was created in response to NATO’s 2018 review and adaptation of its command structure that identified the Alliance’s need for a stronger linkage between Europe and North America, in response to increasing threats within the North Atlantic region.

Having achieved initial operational capability (IOC) in September 2020 and programmed to reach full operational capability (FOC) at the end of 2021, JFC Norfolk is taking on a core-coordinating role in assuring the security of the Strategic Lines of Communication across the Euro-Atlantic area, through the Greenland-Iceland-UK gap and into the Arctic.

JFC Norfolk has sister JFC’s in Brunssum in the Netherlands and Naples in Italy.

What is the Goal of JFC Norfolk?

The goal of JFC Norfolk is to develop a:

  • Seamless HQ, which can cohere national level activity whilst planning and executing multinational Alliance activity in peacetime, crisis, or conflict.
  • Strong relationship between staffs (that share the same building) and combine battle rhythm events where appropriate, in order to to drive efficiency and effectiveness.

Organisation

At full complement, there will be 135 peacetime posts, including 30 dual-hatted US staff members, plus space for an additional 15 liaison officers from various NATO commands.

Staff are currently drawn from 16 of the 30 Allied nations stretching from Canada to Turkey.

The UK is the second largest contributor with 15 positions, seven of which are filled by personnel from across the spectrum of the Naval Service, from Leading Hand to Rear Admiral (OF-7).

The Commander of JFC Norfolk is a US Navy Admiral, dual-hatted as Commander US Second Fleet, with a UK Rear Admiral as Deputy Commander.

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