19 - The Revised Military Structure
While Balkan operations were the focus of the attention of AFSOUTH
planners and operators, the Headquarters could not lose sight of other
important events which marked the year of NATO's 50th Anniversary. 1999
was indeed a year of great changes within the Alliance. New members were
admitted and a new military command structure took shape.
held an official Accession Ceremony of the new NATO members – the Czech
Republic, Hungary and Poland -- on 17 March 1999. With formal
accession, Hungarian military personnel were integrated in the AFSOUTH
staff, while Hungary became member of the Southern Region and part of
AFSOUTH's area of responsibility. A few weeks later, another milestone
was marked on the road towards adapting the NATO military arm to its new
20 - 1999: A Year of Major Changes
The year 1999 was certainly the busiest and most exciting time in
AFSOUTH's history. As we have seen, the Naples NATO Headquarters was
responsible for the military verification mission with which the
international community cleared the way for a peaceful solution of the
Kosovo crisis. AFSOUTH led the first ever major NATO air campaign, a
success which will have an impact on the future use of air power.
Meanwhile, it conducted the first ever NATO humanitarian operation, in
Albania, while supporting similar efforts with its troops in the Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
(2). Immediately after the end of Operation "Allied Force," it was again
AFSOUTH, as Joint Force Command, that supervised the deployment of the
NATO-led Kosovo Force and a mine-sweeping operation in the Adriatic Sea,
cleaning up ordnance jettisoned during the air operation.
21 - The End of The Century
For AFSOUTH the year 2000 was mainly marked by completing the transition
into the new command structure and by a progressively increased
engagement in Balkan operations. As the staffing headquarters for KFOR,
AFSOUTH conducted a series of major programs to bring new teams rotating
into key staff positions at KFOR up to the required standards of
interoperability. This mission had particular relevance when a non-NATO
headquarters, Eurocorps, was nominated to provide the core staff for
KFOR headquarters (KFOR staff rotated every six months, with a single
headquarters identified a constituting the core). Even though it was
made up of personnel from NATO nations, Eurocorps is not part of the
NATO structure and required familiarisation with NATO procedures as well
as with the Kosovo operational environment. Not less demanding was the
task to 'mount' the KFOR rotating headquarters, which was formed from
within Southern Region headquarters, mainly from JCS of Verona and JCSE
of Izmir. In this case the additional challenge was to integrate a staff
coming from different headquarters even though they were already
familiar with basic NATO procedures. This mission facilitated the
selection as the next COMKFOR the AFSOUTH Chief of Staff, Lt.Gen. Carlo
Cabigiosu, the first Italian officer assigned to this key position.
22 - New Missions For The New Millennium
Early in the New Year, on 18 January 2001, AFSOUTH assumed operational
responsibilities for the forces of Operation "Joint Guardian," which
included the Kosovo Force. KFOR at the time was comprised of forces from
39 nations, 20 of which were not part of NATO (Argentina, Austria,
Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Jordan,
Latvia, Lithuania, Morocco, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden,
Switzerland, UAE, and Ukraine).
KFOR soldiers overlooking control point north of Donji Livoc.
total of 42,000 troops were deployed in Kosovo, the former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia (2) and Albania. The transition was indeed
seamless; even though the situation in Kosovo and in Southern Serbia was
far from being stable. There was a constant risk of escalation of
hostilities at various potential flash points, like the town of
Mitrovica. During the same period, tension was also very high in areas
just across the Kosovo southern and south-eastern borders because of
activities by Albanian armed extremists.
Just one month later, on 19 February, the land forces of Operation
"Joint Forge," the Stabilisation Force (SFOR) for Bosnia-Herzegovina,
were transferred to the operational control of AFSOUTH. Thirty-four
nations contributed to SFOR, including 15 non-NATO nations (Albania,
Austria, Argentina, Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Latvia,
Lithuania, Morocco, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden), for a
total of about 20,000 troops.
23 - From The Successes of 50 Years To Prospects For The Future
It was impossible to predict how long AFSOUTH would have to cope with
the Balkan problems. It will be "as long as needed". Meanwhile, the
headquarters remained projected towards its normal long-term basic
commitments: to be able to defend peace while projecting stability.
Exercise programs therefore could not lose their momentum and continued
along a pattern of effectiveness and with the increased involvement of
non-NATO partners. To be able to cope with the new complex array of
commitments, AFSOUTH was also planning for construction of a new
facility, where a state-of-the-art headquarters will guarantee all the
needed working command, control and communication resources while
providing much better quality of life. AFSOUTH celebrated its 50th
Anniversary on 21 June 2001. After 50 years of a happy marriage with the
city of Naples, the headquarters was preparing to move a few miles
west, in a compound called AFSOUTH 2000.
24 - The Growing Operational Role
On 9 October 2001, following the North Atlantic Council's decision on
implementation of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty as a consequence of
the 11 September 2001 attacks against the United States, NATO's
STANAVFORMED was ordered to deploy to the Eastern Mediterranean to
provide NATO presence in the area while demonstrating NATO's resolve and
solidarity (Operation Active Endeavour).
Two weeks later Admiral
Gregory G. Johnson, U.S. Navy, succeeded Admiral James O. Ellis, U.S.
Navy, as Commander-in-Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe. In his
inaugural speech he challenged the AFSOUTH personnel to set aside all
thinking and to concentrate on innovative approaches. He said "we must
not be a reactionary force frozen in old and comfortable ways of doing
things; rather, we must bean engine of innovative leadership that leads
AFSOUTH and NAVEUR to effective solutions."
25 - Deactivation of AFSOUTH
2004 began with the initial transition of AFSOUTH towards the new
organization and the new mission which the Headquarters was to pass to
its successor headquarters, Joint Force Command Naples. Selected staff
members began to assume new responsibilities to parallel their duties in
the anticipated new structure and – as a very symbolic introduction of a
transition into the future – a ground breaking ceremony was conducted
on 28 January 2004 at Lago Patria, some 20 kilometers west of Naples, at
the site where a completely new facility will be built to host Joint
Force Command Naples.
The impact of the new NATO Command
Structure on AFSOUTH – which, together with AFNORTH, comprised NATO's
second level of command – was the conversion to a Joint Force Command
(JFC), responsible to establish a Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) HQ
for its expeditionary missions. These NATO-dedicated force headquarters
would mount a smaller Deployed Joint Task Force (DJTF) as the "seed” for
larger command and control formations which various missions may
require. As part of the conversion, NAVSOUTH was to become the Maritime
Component Command (MCC) as CC-Mar Naples and remain in Naples; a Land
Component Command (LCC) was to be established in Madrid, Spain as
CC-Land Madrid; and AIRSOUTH was to convert to the Air Component Command
(ACC) and relocate to Izmir, Turkey as CC-Air Izmir.
26 - JFC Naples Transforms
At the Lisbon Summit, November 2010, NATO leaders endorsed a new
Strategic Concept, which states that the Alliance will "engage in a
process of continual reform, to streamline structures, improve working
methods and maximise efficiency." In parallel, NATO also enaged in the
reform of its Command Structure – the NATO Command Structure Review -
and that of its Agencies – the NATO Agencies Review. The Agencies'
Review aims to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of
capabilities and services, to achieve greater synergy between similar
functions and increase transparency and accountability.