General Philippe Lavigne, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, signed the NATO-accredited Maritime Geospatial, Meteorological and Oceanographic Centre of Excellence Functional Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday, 23 June 2022, ratifying the relationships between the Centre and NATO’s Warfare Development Command. The Centre formally becomes the twenty-eighth Centre of Excellence to be accredited by NATO under the supervision of Allied Command Transformation.
“Reaching this important milestone has been rendered possible thanks to the cooperation and the very close relationship maintained between the Defence Staff of Portuguese Republic and my Headquarters during the preparation of this project, over the last three years. I would also like to acknowledge the support of three other Allies – Romania, Spain and Türkyie – who have supported Portugal in the establishment of this COE and have enriched its comprehensive national capacities,” said General Lavigne during the ceremony.
In 2014, at the NATO Wales summit, Allies recognized the need to adapt to an increasingly complex and unpredictable maritime security environment. A larger toolbox was required to safeguard the Alliance's interests. Since then, NATO’s doctrine has brought together geospatial, weather-related and ocean-related information, to be able to generate an enhanced Common Operational Picture, and provide situational awareness that can ultimately improve the decision making process.
With the creation of the NATO-accredited Maritime Geospatial, Meteorological and Oceanographic Centre of Excellence the Alliance aims to enhance the transformation efforts in those three maritime fields through the Centre’s participation to exercises like the upcoming Dynamic Messenger 2022; through orientation courses and support to Lessons Learned in its subject matter expertise; through the Development of Concept and Evaluation such as future Rapid Environmental Assessment unmanned system, operational ocean forecast catalogue or underwater acoustic model; and through Doctrine Development and Standards like Ocean Climatology database Evaluation.