A new NATO command in the German city of Ulm achieved initial operational capability on Tuesday (17 September). The establishment of the Joint Support and Enabling Command (JSEC) serves to foster the credibility of NATO's deterrence and defense capabilities in response to a different security environment. The new command will help accelerate, coordinate, and safeguard the movement of allied follow-on forces across European borders. In peacetime, JSEC will function as a networking capability among the respective European Nations, which will retain sovereignty and responsibility for their own countries in any case.
The new command in Ulm will help our forces become more mobile and permit rapid reinforcement within the Alliance, ensuring we have the right forces in the right place at the right time
During a flag ceremony, Vice Admiral Joachim Rühle, Deputy Chief of Defence Germany handed over symbolically the leadership for the JSEC to Lieutenant General Jürgen Knappe. Commander of the new NATO entity JSEC. Lieutenant General Martin Schelleis, Commander of JSES Germany attended the ceremony.
In June 2018, NATO Defense Ministers decided to adapt the Alliance's command structure with a new North Atlantic command in Norfolk, Virginia, and a new command for support and logistics in Ulm, Germany. The JSEC will ensure that NATO can move troops more quickly across Europe in a crisis situation. The North Atlantic command will help ensure sea lines of communication between North America and Europe remain safe.
Ulm is already home to Germany's Multinational Joint Headquarters, which plans and exercises command and control of crisis management operations for NATO, the European Union, and the United Nations. In peacetime, the new Joint Support and Enabling Command will be 160 personnel strong in total, and is expected to be fully staffed by 2021. During a crisis, the command will be able to draw on as many as 600 personnel. Its main task will be to provide security, freedom of movement and support for NATO forces moving across Europe. It will also ensure rapid forward deployment of allied reinforcements. The command will fall under the responsibility of NATO's top officer - General Tod Wolters – the Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
Lieutenant General Vasileios Garmpis from NATO International Military Staff, Lieutenant General Jürgen Knappe, Commander JSEC and Vice Chief of Defence Germany Vice Admiral Joachim Rühle explained the new NATO Command to the attending journalists at the RAC Press Conference.
Around 100 Flag officers and representatives from 25 Nations joined the Rear Area Conference (RAC) 2019, 17th to 18th September in Ulm.