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Some details on the NATO command for Libya

F-16 Patrol (© NGV / Brussels2)

(BRUSSELS2) NATO should take command of all operations in Libya only from here Friday. " The full C2 (Command and Control) is planned before April 2 at the latest “, according to a document that I was able to consult. " In fact, it takes a little time to ensure the transmission of commands. explains a diplomat. " This is part of the terms that were negotiated explains a soldier. In fact, several Shape soldiers seemed to be leaving for Italy, on the tarmac at the Brussels military airport on Monday morning.

A somewhat improvised rise in power

Even if the military shy away from this term, the operation towards Libya was largely “improvised”, at least in the first days. " Where usually we spend several weeks, several months planning an operation. Here, for Libya, it happened very quickly. Indeed the diplomats were faster than the military. » tells an expert the military thing. During the first strikes, in the first hours, “ there was not even coordination. At best a sharing of information. In fact, each country, at the very beginning, somewhat what it wanted, warning the others explained to me a soldier from a country that initiated the first strikes. In the following days, the operations carried out in coalition were simply coordinated between the States. Then, very quickly, came the organization, with the American command in Ramstein; each country has liaison officers there. " Which is easier. We are used to working in coalition, with NATO standards that everyone knows and has integrated » explains a senior officer who joined the “Paris Coalition”. “ Ramstein Command designates and prioritizes targets for each of the coalition partners. "

NATO Commands: Poggio Renatico (Air), Naples (Sea)

With the takeover of command by NATO, the integration will be more complete. All the commands will, in fact, be placed in Italy. It is the CAOC (Combined Air Operations Center) of Poggio Renatico (near Ferrara and Bologna) which will serve as headquarters for the air force (No fly zone and strikes), formed from the Command of the Air Component of Izmir (Turkey) and elements of Ramstein. While the MCC in Naples will serve as the maritime headquarters (embargo).

All coordinated at the JFC in Naples, under the direction of Canadian General Bouchard, who should coordinate the three operations (arms embargo, no fly zone, strikes – protection of civilians). “ It was necessary to avoid – estimates a coalition officer – the double hatted as we know it in Afghanistan ". In other words, it could not be Admiral Lockwear who coordinated the operation, having a NATO title (that of commander of the JFC) but also being the commander of the naval forces of Africom and Eucom.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).