In May-June 2017, the NATO Command and Control Centre of Excellence (C2COE) provided expertise to the United States as exercise evaluator and C2 subject matter expert for EXERCISE STEADFAST COBALT 2017 (SFCT 17). SFCT is the Communication Exercise used by NATO Nations to build, test, and confirm communications and networks that will be used in future TRIDENT series exercises, as well as in the case of an activated enhanced NATO Response Force.

The below report contains the findings and recommendations of the NATO C2COE. This report, requested by United States European Command, is based on observations on the U.S. contribution to SFCT 17, but the observations contained within will be useful for all NATO nations that are building national systems and desire to achieve interoperability in accordance with the Federated Mission Networking framework.

The focus areas of the evaluation were aligned with the operational level focus areas of the NATO C2COE, which are:

  • C2 Structures and Processes
  • Information and Knowledge Management
  • Human Factors

The NATO C2COE embedded with the USEUCOM forward HQ element to observe, provide analysis and feedback, as well as provide best practices for future reference. Specific feedback was desired on how to make it more effective and operationally relevant exercise in the future.

Included in the report include a detailed discussions of observations and conclusions on:

  • C2 processes and systems
  • Configuration management
  • Operational requirements
  • Organizational responsibilities
  • Process improvement
  • Capability refinement
  • Risk management
  • Situational awareness
  • Operational planning
  • Future concepts

The OPR at the NATO C2COE for STEADFAST COBALT 2017 is Lieutenant Commander (USA N) S. (Steve) Gray. He can be reached at

Report: Analysis of Command and Control Aspects During Exercise STEADFAST COBALT 2017