Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum

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Joint Force Command Brunssum
Coat of arms of Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum.svg
Coat of arms
Active AFCENT: 1953-2000
RHQ AFNORTH: 2000-2004
JFC-Brunssum: 2004-present
Allegiance NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Part of Allied Command Operations, Casteau, Belgium
Headquarters Brunssum, Netherlands
Motto(s) Many Nations: One Mission
Commander General Erhard Bühler, German Army
Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Stuart Skeates, British Army
Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Hubert de Reviers de Mauny, French Army
Command Sergeant Major Chief warrant officer Paul Francis, Canadian Army
Locations of NATO's two strategic commands—Allied Command Transformation (ACT; yellow marks) and Allied Command Operations (ACO; red marks)—the latter of which has Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) as its headquarters. The subordinate centres of ACT and subordinate commands and joint force commands of ACO are also shown, minus the new Joint Force Command - Norfolk.

The Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFCBS) is a NATO command at Brunssum, the Netherlands.


Originally the command was known as Headquarters, Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT) when it was activated in August 1953 in Fontainebleau, outside Paris, France.[1]

After General Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed as Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) in 1950, he found that devising command arrangements in the Central Region, which contained the bulk of NATO’s forces, was to be complicated.[2] General Eisenhower considered naming an overall Commander-in-Chief (CINC) for the Central Region but soon realized it would be difficult to find an arrangement that would satisfy all three major powers with forces in the Centre - the United States, United Kingdom and France - because their views on the proper relationship of air and ground power differed significantly.

Drawing upon his Second World War experience, Eisenhower decided to retain overall control himself and did not appoint a CINC for the Central Region. Instead there would be three separate commanders-in-chief (for Allied Air Forces Central Europe, Allied Land Forces Central Europe and Flag Officer Central Europe (FLAGCENT)), all reporting directly to SACEUR. Vice Admiral Robert Jaujard of the French Navy was appointed as Flag Officer Central Europe, and served from 2 April 51 until 20 August 1953.[3] On 20 August 1953 General Ridgeway, Eisenhower's successor, established a single Commander-in-Chief (CINCENT) for the region with subordinate land, air and naval commanders (COMLANDCENT, COMAIRCENT, and COMNAVCENT respectively).[1]

Arms of Allied Forces Central Europe, bearing the motto (supposedly that of Charlemange) "In Scelus Exsurgo Sceleris Discrimina Purgo", which translates roughly as "I fight against Aggression and punish the Aggressor".[4]

One of the command's exercises in the 1950s was Operation Counter Punch. Counter Punch was a September 1957 AFCENT air-ground military exercise that also tested NATO's integrated air-defense system in its central European front. The exercise involved the national air-defense systems of Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, with Général d'Armée Jean-Étienne Valluy, French Army, NATO's Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces Central Europe (CINCENT), in overall command.[5] Operation Counter Punch revealed deficiencies in the Integrated NATO Air Defense System as well as air force responsiveness to theoretical Soviet and Warsaw Pact ground advances.[6]

After July 1962 and the establishment of Commander Allied Forces Baltic Approaches (COMBALTAP), German naval forces were shifted into that command.[2] Thereafter there was no longer any need for the small headquarters of Allied Naval Forces Central Europe and its two subordinate commands, and they were disestablished in 1962, leaving naval liaison provided by a US naval officer.[1]

AFCENT remained in France under French command until 1967, when France removed itself from the military command structure. The headquarters was moved to Brunssum in 1967 and activated under German command.[1]

In 2000, the deactivation of Headquarters, Allied Forces Northern Europe (AFNORTH) in Kolsås, Norway led to the redesignation of AFCENT as Regional Headquarters, Allied Forces Northern Europe (RHQ AFNORTH). The headquarters operated as RHQ AFNORTH until 2004, when it was renamed Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFC-B) to add flexibility to the military command structure by removing regional restrictions.[7]

Circa 2010, JFC Brussum appears to be responsible for Contingency Plan Eagle Guardian, NATO's Article 5 plan to defend Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.[8]


The NATO Command Structure (NCS), consisting of two strategic commands directed by the North Atlantic Council (NAC):[9]

Liaison:          Provides advice and support to the NAC
Political strategic level:
Brussels, BE
Brussels, BE
Military strategic level:
Coat of arms of the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.svg
Golden star.svgGolden star.svgGolden star.svgGolden star.svg
International Military Staff DGIMS (IMS)
Brussels, BE
Greater coat of arms of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe.svg
Golden star.svgGolden star.svgGolden star.svgGolden star.svg
Mons, BE
Emblem of Allied Command Transformation.svg
Golden star.svgGolden star.svgGolden star.svgGolden star.svg
Norfolk, US
Operational level:
Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum JFCBS Brunssum, NL
Joint Warfare Centre JWC Stavanger, NO
Allied Air Command AIRCOM Ramstein, DE
Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre JALLC Lisbon, PT
Allied Maritime Command MARCOM Northwood, GB
Joint Force Training Centre JFTC Bydgoszcz, PL
Allied Land Command LANDCOM İzmir, TR
NATO Communication and Information Systems Group CIS GP
Allied Joint Force Command Naples JFCNP Naples, IT


Hendrik van Nassau-Ouwerkerk Camp

Hendrik van Nassau-Ouwerkerk Camp is the headquarters and main base area of JFC Brunssum.[10] Other organizations located on Hendrik van Nassau-Ouwerkerk Camp are the NATO Communication and Information Systems Services Agency, Sector Brunssum (NCSA-B)[11] and the NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Programme Management Agency (NAPMA).[12]

Hendrik van Nassau-Ouwerkerk Camp also boasts an all ranks club called Club 13, a small tax-free department store called the B&S Store, a film theatre, a swimming pool, tennis courts and a gymnasium. Additional services are provided by the AAFES on US Army Garrison Schinnen.

Static War Headquarters Castlegate

Static War Headquarters Castlegate is a NATO command and communications bunker located approximately 2 km north-east of the town of Linnich, Germany.[13] SWHQ Castlegate is operated in caretaker status by a German military contingent.[14]

Subordinate Commands in 1989

Command Structure of AFCENT in 1989 (click to enlarge)
NATO corps sectors in the Central Region in the 1980s

During the Cold War, AFCENT commanded the following units:

The III Corps (US) was allocated as NORTHAG reserve. On activation, it would have deployed to Europe from bases in the United States. A forward element, 3rd Brigade, US 2nd Armored Division, was located at Garlstedt, Germany.[15] US III Corps also maintained a forward headquarters at Tapijn Kazerne, Maastricht, Netherlands.[16]


The commander of JFC-B is known as Commander, Joint Force Command Brunssum. The position was formerly known as Commander-in-Chief North (CINCNORTH) and Commander-in-Chief Central (CINCCENT). JFC-B is normally commanded by a German General but now is commanded by an Italian four-star general for the great contribution of the Italian armed forces to NATO. The current commander is General Erhard Bühler of the German Army.

No. Name Title Took office Left office Time in office Country
Alphonse Juin
Juin, AlphonseAlphonse Juin
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe 20 August 1953 September 1956 3 years  France
Jean Étienne Valluy
Valluy, Jean-EtienneJean Étienne Valluy
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe October 1956 May 1960 3 years, 7 months  France
Maurice Challe
Challe, MauriceMaurice Challe
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe May 1960 February 1961 9 months  France
Pierre-Elie Jacquot [fr]
Jacquot, PierrePierre-Elie Jacquot [fr]
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe March 1961 December 1963 2 years, 10 months  France
Jean Albert Emile Crépin
Crépin, JeanJean Albert Emile Crépin
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe December 1963 June 1966 2 years, 6 months  France
Johann Adolf Graf von Kielmansegg
Kielmansegg, JohannJohann Adolf Graf von Kielmansegg
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe 15 March 1967 1 April 1968 1 year  Germany
Jürgen Bennecke [de]
Bennecke, JürgenJürgen Bennecke [de]
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe 1 July 1968 30 September 1973 5 years, 2 months  Germany
Ernst Ferber [de]
Ferber, ErnstErnst Ferber [de]
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe 1 October 1973 30 September 1975 1 year, 11 months  Germany
Karl Schnell [de]
Schnell, KarlKarl Schnell [de]
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe 1 October 1975 7 January 1977 1 year, 3 months  Germany
Franz-Joseph Schulze
Schulze, FranzFranz-Joseph Schulze
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe 7 January 1977 30 September 1979 2 years, 8 months  Germany
Ferdinand von Senger und Etterlin
Senger, FerdinandFerdinand von Senger und Etterlin
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe 1 October 1979 28 September 1983 3 years, 11 months  Germany
Leopold Chalupa [de]
Chalupa, LeopoldLeopold Chalupa [de]
(born 1927)
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe 28 September 1983 1 October 1987 4 years  Germany
Hans-Henning von Sandrart [de]
Sandrart, HansHans-Henning von Sandrart [de]
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe 1 October 1987 27 September 1991 3 years, 11 months  Germany
Henning von Ondarza [de]
Ondarza, HenningHenning von Ondarza [de]
(born 1933)
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe 27 September 1991 23 March 1994 2 years, 5 months  Germany
Helge Hansen
Hansen, HelgeHelge Hansen
(born 1936)
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe 1 April 1994 March 1996 1 year, 11 months  Germany
Dieter Stöckmann
Stöckmann, DieterDieter Stöckmann
(born 1941)
Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe March 1996 30 March 1998 2 years  Germany
Joachim Spiering [de]
Spiering, JoachimJoachim Spiering [de]
(born 1940)
Commander in Chief Allied Forces North Europe 30 March 1998 March 2001 2 years, 11 months  Germany
Sir Jack Deverell
Deverell, JackSir Jack Deverell
(born 1945)
Commander in Chief Allied Forces North Europe March 2001 January 2004 2 years, 10 months  United Kingdom
Gerhard W. Back [de]
Back, GerhardGerhard W. Back [de]
(born 1944)
Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum January 2004 26 January 2007 3 years  Germany
Egon Ramms
Ramms, EgonEgon Ramms
(born 1948)
Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum 26 January 2007 29 September 2010 3 years, 8 months  Germany
Wolf-Dieter Langheld [de]
Langheld, WolfWolf-Dieter Langheld [de]
(born 1950)
Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum 29 September 2010 14 December 2012 2 years, 2 months  Germany
Hans-Lothar Domröse
Domröse, HansHans-Lothar Domröse
(born 1952)
Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum 14 December 2012 3 March 2016 3 years, 2 months  Germany
Salvatore Farina
Farina, SalvatoreSalvatore Farina
(born 1957)
Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum 4 March 2016 16 February 2018 1 year, 11 months  Italy
Riccardo Marchiò
Riccardo MarchiòRiccardo Marchiò
(born 1955)
Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum 16 February 2018 31 March 2019 1 year, 9 months  Italy
Erhard Bühler
Buhler, ErhardErhard Bühler
(born 1956)
Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum 31 March 2019 Incumbent 8 months  Germany


  1. ^ from July 1, 1966 France was no longer part of NATO's military command structure
  2. ^ Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe until March 3, 2000
  3. ^ Commander in Chief Allied Forces North Europe until July 1, 2004


  1. ^ a b c d "Allied Forces Central Europe". Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b Dr Gregory Pedlow, Evolution of NATO's Command Structure
  3. ^ North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Senior officials in the NATO military structure, from 1949 to 2001 (PDF)
  4. ^ "Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT), NATO - Coat of arms (crest) of the Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT), NATO". Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  5. ^ "Emergency Call". Time. 30 September 1957. Retrieved 3 October 2008.
  6. ^ Trauschweizer, Igor (2006). Creating Deterrence for Limited War: The U.S. Army and the Defense of West Germany, 1953–1982 (PDF). College Park, Maryland: University of Maryland. p. 179. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  7. ^ "What is JFC Brunssum?". NATO. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  8. ^ Wikileaks/The Guardian, search Eagle Guardian
  9. ^ "Command Structure" (PDF). NATO. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  10. ^ AFNORTH: About us Archived October 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ NATO Communication and Information Systems Services Agency Archived July 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "NAPMA | NATO AEW&C Programme Management Agency | Homepage". Retrieved 2013-04-07.
  13. ^ "Militärstandorte um und in Aachen". Retrieved 2013-04-07.
  14. ^ Joint Force Command Brunssum Team[dead link]
  15. ^ Isby/Kamps, Armies of NATO's Central Front, Jane's Publishing Company, 1985, p.373, 455, ISBN 0-7106-0341-X
  16. ^ U.S. Military Forces and Installations in Europe, publishing date 1980s, p. 20 - 30 ish
  17. ^ "Commander JFC-Brunssum". Retrieved 23 June 2019.

External links

  • Official JFC-B Website

Coordinates: 50°56′18.41″N 5°58′43.46″E / 50.9384472°N 5.9787389°E / 50.9384472; 5.9787389

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