U.S. Embassy, Lisbon – Admiral Michelle Howard, commander Allied Joint Force Command Naples, discussed key aspects of the recently-opened NATO Strategic Direction South Hub with Ambassador George Glass, Chief of the Portuguese Navy, Admiral António Manuel Fernandes da Silva Ribeiro, and various other political and military guests here today.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced the Hub on February 15, 2017. Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Curtis Scaparrotti then directed JFC Naples to "establish a Hub, within the NATO Command Structure, that collects, collates, analyses and disseminates information in order to contribute to NATO comprehensive understanding, situational awareness, decision making and information sharing for the South during peacetime, crisis and conflict.”
JFC Naples marked the Hub's initial capability September 5, 2017. Since then, the Hub’s staff members continue to build up a network to reach their full capability in early 2018. Once fully capable, the Hub will be "NATO’s central point to collect and share information, better understand the environment and be as predictive as we can to best inform decisions,” as Admiral Howard said earlier this year.
What makes the Hub unique inside NATO is its mission to connect civilian, non-governmental and academic entities. Furthermore, the Hub will work to synchronize NATO member nations’ efforts with focus on regions specifically including North Africa, the Sahel and the Middle East.
"The Hub will reach out to other organizations and countries to initiate information sharing,” Howard said. "Our goal is to create and share an enhanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities across North Africa and the Middle East.”
More information about the NATO Strategic Direction South Hub and all its activities are available on its webpage: www.TheSouthernHub.org. For more on Allied JFC Naples, see www.jfcnaples.nato.int.