Secure and interoperable portal system enables efficient command and control collaboration between agencies
for 1 GNC (German/Netherlands) Corps

As part of their NATO Response Force (NRF) 2015 commitment, 1 (German/Netherlands) Corps (1GNC) implemented a transformation platform for the Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) structure of their headquarters in Münster, Germany. The main aim was to fully implement NATO’s network solutions, hardware and services to make 1GNC fully interoperable with NATO Command Structure and within NATO Force Structure. CGI, in partnership with the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA), successfully implemented a communication and collaboration platform.

The challenge

Since 2002, the headquarters of 1GNC in Münster, Germany, has been one of NATO’s High Readiness Forces (Land) Headquarters. This means it must be ready to direct a military mission abroad after a preparation time of 20 to 30 days. It also must be able to conduct high-intensity operations, crisis management and peace support operations, within or outside of NATO’s territory.

In preparation for the NRF stand-by period in 2015, 1GNC is following the “fight as you work” approach. To support their mission, they needed a Command and Control Collaboration Platform that would be fully interoperable with other NATO Commands and Structures. In 2013, NCIA, NATO’s principal Communications and Information Systems organization, together with industry partners CGI, iOra and AvePoint, were commissioned to implement this mission-critical communication and collaboration platform.

The solution

The new Command and Control Collaboration Portal (C2CP) system supports NATO’s “Smart Defence” approach, and is owned and operated by NATO and therefore interoperable in all NATO structures.

The system reuses proven NATO services based on Microsoft SharePoint Information Management (IM) tools with a smart, robust and modular design to provide high system reliability and availability. A single operator is responsible for maintenance, which was a key requirement for all system design decisions.

The results

After the successful implementation of Microsoft SharePoint IM tools in Münster, the tools were tested with the first batch of NATO Functional Area Sub Services (FASs) during 1GNC’s certification exercise Noble Ledger in Wildflecken, Germany in September 2014. The exercise Noble Ledger 2014 is an NRF 2015 Land Component Command Exercise designed to integrate with and confirm a formation’s interoperability, and also validate the readiness and capabilities of the NRF 2015 nominated forces by exercising NRF missions and tasks. Further aims are to enhance NRF CC HQ joint collaboration and support the NRF 2015 certification plan.