STEADFAST COBALT, an annual exercise that kick starts NATO Response Force (NRF) preparation activities, allows components and units contributing to NRF missions to verify and validate their Communications and Information System (CIS) capabilities.
Due to COVID-19, NATO is taking precautionary measures and for the first time in 15 years, this exercise will take place in a virtual environment.
"With the new approach for STEADFAST COBALT 2020, NATO proves its ability to adapt to any developments even during a pandemic like COVID-19", said Commander NCISG Major General Wolfgang E. Renner.
STEADFAST COBALT is the largest CIS exercise by NATO Allies in 2020. Over 1100 service members, made up of personnel from throughout the NATO Command Structure as well as personnel from eight NATO Force Structure nations (Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Turkey), are participating.
The overall aim is to improve readiness and to increase speed by ensuring that all contributing units are ready and prepared to deploy.
NCISG provides deployable communications and information systems support for Allied Command Operations. The group is responsible for provision of all deployable CIS capabilities, as well as CIS operations and exercises planning and control.
Mobile Satellite Communications Dishes, 1st NATO Signal Battalion
It acts as the coordinating authority for command and control services support to operations. Provision of the static and central CIS capabilities is the responsibility of the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA), which is not part of the NATO Command Structure.
NCISG Cyber Defence engineers performing an incident investigation
NCISG is supported by three NATO Signals Battalions located at Wesel, Germany, Grazzanise, Italy, and Bydgoszcz, Poland. These three are complemented by various smaller elements (Deployable CIS modules) elsewhere.