It is unique for a NATO Centre of Excellence to have a full staff member abroad in the United States. The Allied Command Transformation (ACT) located in Norfolk/ Virginia promotes and leads many initiatives designed to transform NATO’s military structure, its forces, capabilities and doctrine. ACT is one of two Strategic Commands in NATO, the other being Allied Command Operations.
The Supreme Allied Commander Transformation is a four-star level flag or general officer. He is responsible to the Military Committee for the transformation and development of the Alliance to ensure that it is capable of meeting the challenges of today and of tomorrow. One of his staff members is Liaison Officer Lieutenant Colonel (OF-4/NLD F) Jos Hekking from the CIMIC – Centre of Excellence in The Hague. He functions as a First Responder to CMI and CIMIC related topics.
Meetings and Conferences
Round 600 soldiers and civilian staff members are working at ACT. The CCOE is the only Centre of Excellence which provides a Liaison Officer to Norfolk. Jos Hekking is the representative from CCOE and attends there at all CMI and CIMIC related meetings within the United States since summer 2017. In his first three months he participated in four specific meetings in the USA outside and six meetings within ACT. Out of these meetings and conferences he reports to CCOE facts & figures, new topics and questions, which occurred there. As the NATO think tank onto CMI and CIMIC related topics, CCOE then creates tailor made solutions and answers to these facts and responds back to him. He is then the man to give the feedback into the different channels and to the addressees.
Jos Hekking is living with his whole family close to the ACT compound. His wife and three children joined him to this interesting and challenging unique position. “I enjoy living here. The international environment and colleagues, the innovative issues discussed within ACT and not to forget the beautiful weather. My children reported me, that there is currently absolutely no snow at the beach” states Hekking with a smile in his face. On the other hand he and his family are missing their friends and wider family in the Netherlands. Luckily with modern communication tools it’s very easy to keep in contact – following the CCOE´s motto:
Cover picture: Jos at the ACT / Source: ACT, Sarah Schulte
For more information about the ACT click on the picture.