Several European Union and NATO countries took a further step towards better coordinating their strategic air and sea transport by establishing a Movement Coordination Centre Europe at Eindhoven Airbase, the Netherlands, on 1 July.
The new Centre (MCCE) will coordinate strategic transport assets and air-to-air refuelling activities between the participating countries, aiming at a more efficient and effective use of the various national assets.
In addition, the Centre will coordinate movement support to EU and NATO during deployment and re-deployment operations.
Strategic lift involves transporting troops, equipment and supplies across the globe by air or sea.
The MCCE is a merger of the European Airlift Centre (EAC) and the Sealift Coordination Centre (SCC).
The EAC and SCC were set up as a result of NATO’s Defence Capability Initiative agreed in 1999. The operations of these two centres have proven to be very successful and participating nations have saved millions of euros by coordinating their lift requirements and avoiding empty legs or space on their transport assets.
The founding MCCE countries are: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and United Kingdom.
Six more countries are in the process of joining the MCCE.
The Centre is staffed by 30 military and civilians personnel from the participating countries.
During the first year of operation, the Centre will be led by a Norwegian Navy Officer supported by an Italian Air force Deputy and a Belgian Army Chief Operations.