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Home  /   News  /  2023  /  NATO EXERCISE STEADFAST COBALT 2023

Apr 28 2023


MONS, Belgium – STEADFAST COBALT 2023 (STCO23) is NATO’s largest Communications and Information Systems exercise, conducted by the NATO CIS Group from 20 March to 5 May 2023 with NATO Command Structure (NCS), NATO Force Structure (NFS), Multinational, and Partner headquarters and units.  

STCO23 is a SHAPE-sponsored, 3-level, Command, Control, Communication, Computer, Intelligence Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) Interoperability exercise and mission preparation event. 

The main aim of the exercise is to prepare, test, evaluate, and validate the interoperability of the Alliance’s NATO Response Force (NRF).

The exercise affirms NATO’s ability to assemble, mobilize, and respond to fluid events and threats with a credible force for both deterrence and defense. This year, STCO23 continued the use of a hybrid virtual-physical exercise planning environment with the distributed involvement of all headquarters and units participating from Peacetime Locations across all phases of the exercise. Participants postured and fielded their Deployable Communications and Information Systems (DCIS) capabilities in the same manner as they would deploy into a real mission. STCO23 effectively built upon the lessons learned during Alliance operations and introduced greater levels of interoperability.

JFCBS, Brunssum, the Netherlands, NATO Exercise STCO23 area.

This year, the NRF consisted of 15 NCS units, 14 NFS, and multiple other NATO elements, as well as Sweden as a partner. Other partners, such as Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Jordan, Switzerland, Tunisia and Ukraine have been approved by the North Atlantic Council (NAC) to be involved as observers. More than 1000 participants including military and civilian staff have been involved in the exercise. 

Story by Public Affairs Team at NATO Communications and Information Systems Group (NCISG).

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