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Jul 15 2021

NATO's Joint Force Command Norfolk Declares Full Operational Capability

NATO's newest operational headquarters, Joint Force Command Norfolk, has reached Full Operational Capability (FOC) and held a ceremony July 15, 2021 to mark the occasion, with special remarks from the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley and Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander, Joint Force Command Norfolk.

This new command is part of the allied command operations structure and headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia. It will provide a U.S.-led, joint multi-national operational command, supported by component, Allied and partner commands, responsible for the North Atlantic and the High North. Its mission is to protect the Strategic Lines of Communication across all domains, and enable the reinforcement of Europe. 

The survival of NATO and the success or failure in combat in a future war in Europe, will largely depend on the success or failure of this command

said Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in his remarks during the ceremony.


JFC Norfolk is one of three regionally focused joint, operational-level commands reporting directly to Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), and the only operational NATO command based in North America.

NATO is the bedrock of our enduring trans-Atlantic security and serves as the bulwark of our shared values of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law. U.S. leadership, as the Framework Nation (FN) and strategic location in Norfolk, Virginia, the world's largest Navy base, underlines the recognition of the role of naval power in a contested Atlantic.

In May 2021, JFC Norfolk led phase one of Exercise STEADFAST DEFENDER (STDE21), NATO's flagship exercise for 2021, focused on the protection of the transatlantic link.

"The security environment continues to grow more challenging and complex – particularly in the Atlantic," said Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, JFC Norfolk's commander. "JFC Norfolk demonstrates NATO's dedication to security and stability in the region and sends a strong message of reassurance to both North Americans and Europeans, while serving as a powerful signal to deter any potential adversary."

JFC Norfolk is comprised of roughly 150 peacetime posts with 19 allied nations and two partner nations represented.

Story by JFC Norfolk Public Affairs Office

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7857 Blandy Road, Suite 100
Norfolk, VA 23551-2490

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7857 Blandy Road, Suite 100
Norfolk, VA 23551-2490