Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

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Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE)


coat of arms
Lineup 1951
Type Flag of NATO.svg NATO headquarters
Subordinate troops

NetherlandsNetherlands JFC Brunssum JFC Naples LANDCOM AIRCOM MARCOM
United StatesUnited States

Seat Casteau, BelgiumBelgiumBelgium 
motto Vigilia pretium libertatis ( Latin "vigilance is the price of freedom")
Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)
SACEUR United StatesUnited States General Tod D. Wolters
Deputy SACEUR United KingdomUnited KingdomGeneral Sir James Everard
Chief of Staff GermanyGermany General Markus Kneip

The Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe ( SHAPE for short ; German Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Forces in Europe ) is the headquarters of the Allied Command Operations ( ACO ), which is subordinate to the NATO headquarters in addition to the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) . The Shape headquarters is led by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe ( SACEUR ; German Supreme Allied Commander Europe). This post is always occupied by a US general or US admiral who is also in command of US troops in Europe .


SHAPE entrance building (outside the security area)

Originally, SHAPE was in July 1951 in Rocquencourt in Paris ( 48 ° 50 '39.9 "  N , 2 ° 6' 26.3"  O ), after France's withdrawal from NATO structures was SHAPE on 31 March 1967 to Casteau at Relocated to Mons in Belgium . The SHAPE Operation Center (SHOC) and a large part of the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency are also located in Casteau .


Previous Cold War structures

The earlier NATO command structure in the 1980s was as follows: The Allied Command Europe (ACE) was led by the SHAPE headquarters under the leadership of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) (German Allied Commander-in-Chief Europe) in Casteau, Belgium. SHAPE were directly subordinate to three regional commands and three other command posts.

The regional command for Northern Europe (AFNORTH) was also the command authority Allied Command Baltic Approaches (BALTAP; German: Allied Naval Forces Baltic Sea Access) with headquarters in Karup , Denmark. BALTAP, in turn, was subordinate to the land forces in Jutland and Schleswig-Holstein - the Allied Land Forces Schleswig-Holstein and Jutland (LANDJUT) in Rendsburg - and the Baltic Sea Armed Forces (NAVBALT) in Kiel- Holtenau. In addition, AFNORTH was subordinate to two other command authorities in Norway.

Two army groups were subordinate to the Regional Command for Central Europe (AFCENT) : the Northern Army Group (NORTHAG; Heeresgruppe Nord) in Rheindahlen and the Central Army Group (CENTAG; Heeresgruppe Mitte) in Heidelberg . In addition, AFCENT was subordinate to the Allied Air Forces Central Europe (AAFCE; Allied Air Forces Central Europe ) at Ramstein Air Base . Two air fleets were subordinate to this command: 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force (2ATAF; 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force) in Rheindahlen and the 4th Allied Tactical Air Force (4ATAF; 4th Allied Tactical Air Force) in Ramstein and Heidelberg.

The following command authorities belonged to the regional command for southern Europe (AFSOUTH):

Structure 2010-2013

Since the transformation of NATO in 2004, the Allied Command Operations (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium had three main operational commands:

The commandos differed in their composition. The three JFCs were each subordinate to three Allied Commands (AC) for warfare on land, air and water.

JFC Brunssum

The following Command Components were operationally subordinate to the Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFC-Brunssum) in the Netherlands.

JFC Naples

The following Command Components were operationally subordinate to the Joint Force Command Naples (JFC-Naples) in Italy.

  • Coats of arms of None.svg Allied Air Command Headquarters Izmir (AC Izmir) - Allied Air Forces in Izmir, Turkey (previously: Command Component Air Izmir (CC-AIR Izmir))
  • Coats of arms of None.svg Allied Maritime Command Headquarters Naples (MC Naples) - Allied naval forces in Naples , Italy (previously: Command Component Maritime Naples (CC-MAR Naples))
  • Coat of Arms of the NATO Headquarters Allied Force Command Madrid.svg Allied Force Command Headquarters Madrid (FC Madrid) - Allied land forces in Madrid , Spain (previously: Command Component Land Madrid (CC-LAND Madrid))

JFC Lisbon

The following Command Components were operationally subordinate to the Joint Force Command Lisbon (JFC-Lisbon) in Portugal.

  • Coats of arms of None.svg Allied Force Command Headquarters Lisbon (FC Lisbon) - Allied land forces in Oeiras near Lisbon , Portugal

Structure since 2013

Operational level

The Allied Command Operations (ACO) in Mons, Belgium are subordinate to two main operational commands:

Tactical level

In addition, there are three Allied Commands (AC) for operations on land, air and sea on the tactical level :

In addition, SHAPE still responsible for the following permanent commands:

and the four permanent maritime task forces, they are under the command of MARCOM and belong to the NATO Response Force (NRF)

Rapidly Deployable Corps Headquarters

In addition, if required , SHAPE can still access nine Rapidly Deployable Corps Headquarters (German: " Rapidly deployable corps headquarters "), which, for example, command the deployment contingents in international missions such as the ISAF mission:

Allied Command Transformation

The other strategic headquarters of NATO, the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) (formerly Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic , SACLANT ) is responsible for the further development and transformation of the military capabilities of NATO. It is located in Norfolk , Virginia and reports to the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) .


The headquarters of the Federal Armed Forces Administration for Belgium is also located at SHAPE .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Bundeswehr administrative offices abroad at

Coordinates: 50 ° 30 ′ 1.6 ″  N , 3 ° 58 ′ 59.7 ″  E