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Allied Forces Central Europe

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Title: Allied Forces Central Europe  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Army group, Belgian Land Component, Polish Land Forces, Jean-Étienne Valluy, Christopher Coville, John Gingell, John Stacey, Frederick Rosier, 1st Panzer Division (Bundeswehr), Peter Terry
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Allied Forces Central Europe

Joint Force Command Brunssum
Allied Force Central Europe badge
Active AFCENT: 1953-2000
RHQ AFNORTH: 2000-2004
JFC-Brunssum: 2004-present
Country NATO
Part of Allied Command Operations, Casteau, Belgium
Headquarters Brunssum, Netherlands
Motto Many Nations: One Mission
General Hans-Lothar Domröse, Bundeswehr/German Army
Deputy Commander Air Marshal David Walker, Royal Air Force (United Kingdom)
Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Richard G. Tieskens, Royal Netherlands Army (Netherlands)

Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFC-B) is the NATO military command based in Brunssum, Netherlands. JFC-B reports to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) based at Casteau, Belgium. It is one of three operational level commands in the NATO command structure, the others being Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy and Allied Joint Command Lisbon, Portugal.[1] JFC-B also serves as the NATO higher headquarters for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.[2]


The NATO command at Brunssum has been renamed twice due to reorganizations. Originally it was known as Headquarters, Allied Forces Central Europe (AFCENT) when it was activated in 1953 in Fontainebleau, France.

After General Dwight D. Eisenhower was appointed as Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) in 1950, he found that devising command arrangements in the Central Region, which contained the bulk of NATO’s forces, was to be complicated.[3] General Eisenhower considered naming an overall Commander-in-Chief (CINC) for the Central Region but soon realized it would be difficult to find an arrangement that would satisfy all three major powers with forces in the Centre - the United States, United Kingdom and France - because their views on the proper relationship of air and ground power differed significantly.

Drawing upon his Second World War experience, Eisenhower decided to retain overall control himself and did not appoint a CINC for the Central Region. Instead there would be three separate commanders-in-chief (for Allied Air Forces Central Europe, Allied Land Forces Central Europe and Flag Officer Central Europe (FLAGCENT), all reporting directly to SACEUR. Vice Admiral fr:Robert Jaujard of the French Navy was appointed as Flag Officer Central Europe, and served from 2 April 51 until 20 August 1953.[4] On 20 August 1953 General Ridgeway, Eisenhower's successor, established a single Commander-in-Chief (CINCENT) for the region with subordinate land, air and naval commanders (COMLANDCENT, COMAIRCENT, and COMNAVCENT respectively). Thus FLAGCENT became a Principle Subordinate Commander with the title of Commander, Allied Naval Forces Central Europe (COMNAVCENT).

One of the command's exercises in the 1950s was Operation Counter Punch. Counter Punch was a September 1957 AFCENT air-ground military exercise that also tested NATO's integrated air-defense system in its central European front. The exercise involved the national air-defense systems of Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, with Général d'Armée Jean-Étienne Valluy, French Army, NATO's Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces Central Europe (CINCENT), in overall command.[5] Operation Counter Punch revealed deficiencies in the Integrated NATO Air Defense System as well as air force responsiveness to theoretical Soviet and Warsaw Pact ground advances.[6]

After July 1962 and the establishment of Commander Allied Forces Baltic Approaches (COMBALTAP), German naval forces were shifted into that command.[3] Thereafter there was no longer any need for the small headquarters of Allied Naval Forces Central Europe and its two subordinate commands, and they were disestablished in 1962.

AFCENT remained in France under French command until 1967, when France removed itself from the military command structure. The headquarters was moved to Brunssum in 1967 and activated under German command. In 2001 a British General was appointed as commander, setting up the rotation between Germany and the UK that is currently in use.

In 2000, the deactivation of Headquarters, Allied Forces Northern Europe (AFNORTH) in Kolsås, Norway led to the redesignation of AFCENT as Regional Headquarters, Allied Forces Northern Europe (RHQ AFNORTH). The headquarters operated as RHQ AFNORTH until 2004, when it was renamed Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum (JFC-B) to add flexibility to the military command structure by removing regional restrictions.


Hendrik Camp

Hendrick Camp is the headquarters and main base area of JFC Brunssum.[7] Other organizations located on Hendrik Camp are the NATO Communication and Information Systems Services Agency, Sector Brunssum (NCSA-B)[8] and the NATO Airborne Early Warning & Control Programme Management Agency (NAPMA).[9]

Hendrik Camp also boasts an all ranks club called Club 13, a small tax-free department store called the B&S Store, a film theatre, and a gymnasium. Additional services are provided by the AAFES on US Army Garrison Schinnen.

Static War Headquarters Castlegate

Static War Headquarters Castlegate is a NATO command and communications bunker located approximately 2 km north-east of the town of Linnich, Germany.[10] SWHQ Castlegate is operated in caretaker status by a German military contingent.[11]

Subordinate Commands

During the Cold War, AFCENT was the higher headquarters for the Northern Army Group (NORTHAG), the Central Army Group (CENTAG) (with III Corps, V Corps, VII Corps and II Corps from north to south) and Allied Air Forces Central Europe (AAFCE). The commanders of these units, called Principal Subordinate Commanders (PSC), had only limited peacetime authority. For example, the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR) was assigned to NORTHAG, but the PSC has little or no say in areas such as training, doctrine, logistics, and rules of engagement (ROE).

The U.S. III Corps was allocated as the AFCENT reserve. On activation, it would have deployed to Europe from bases in the United States. A forward element, 3rd Brigade, US 2nd Armored Division, was located at Garlstedt, Germany.[12] US III Corps also maintained a forward headquarters at Tapijn Kazerne, Maastricht, Netherlands.[13]

Today the subordinate commands of JFC-B are:

A former subordiordinate command until March 2013 was:

Because of the NATO relationship with France, they install permanently a liaison-officer, who communicate on high level with the several commanders in charge. Different then by the commanders of AFCENT, always a General from the UK or Germany,the liaison-officer is always a high-ranking officer with the grade of Major or Colonel, and is mostly in a rotation of 4 years between the SAS-countries, The Netherlands and Belgium. By example, between 1978 and 1986, Air Force Major Paul De Wever, a Belgian high-ranking Officer, was in this function installed.


The commander of JFC-B is known as Commander, Joint Force Command Brunssum. The position was formerly known as Commander-in-Chief North (CINCNORTH) and Commander-in-Chief Central (CINCCENT). Based on a rotation, JFC-B is commanded alternately by a British or a German General. The current commander is German Lieutenant General Hans-Lothar Domröse.

Name From To Title of Command
Hans-Lothar Domröse (GER) 14 December 2012 --- Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum
Wolf-Dieter Langheld (GER) 29 September 2010 14 December 2012 Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum
Egon Ramms (GER) 26 January 2007 29 September 2010 Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum
Gerhard W. Back (GER) January 2004 26 January 2007 until July 1, 2004 Commander in Chief Allied Forces North Europe; aftermath Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum
Sir Jack Deverell (GB) March 2001 January 2004 Commander in Chief Allied Forces North Europe
Joachim Spiering (GER) 30 March 1998 March 2001 until March 3, 2000 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe; aftermath Commander in Chief Allied Forces North Europe
Dieter Stöckmann (GER) March1996 30 March 1998 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe
Helge Hansen (GER) 1 April 1994 March 1996 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe
Henning von Ondarza (GER) 27 September 1991 23 March 1994 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe
Hans-Henning von Sandrart (GER) 1 October 1987 27 September 1991 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe
Leopold Chalupa (GER) 28 September 1983 1 October 1987 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe
Ferdinand von Senger und Etterlin (GER) 1 October 1979 28 September 1983 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe
Franz-Joseph Schulze (GER) 7 January 1977 30 September 1979 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe
Karl Schnell (GER) 1 October 1975 7 January 1977 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe
Ernst Ferber (GER) 1 October 1973 30 September 1975 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe
Jürgen Bennecke (GER) 1 July 1968 30 September 1973 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe
Johann Adolf Graf von Kielmansegg (GER) 15 March 1967 1 April 1968 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe
Jean Albert Emile Crépin (FR) December 1963 June 1966 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe; from July 1, 1966 France was no longer part of NATO's military command structure
Pierre-Élie Jacquot (FR) March 1961 December 1963 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe
Maurice Challe (FR) May 1960 February 1961 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe
Jean-Etienne Valluy (FR) October 1956 May 1960 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe
Alphonse Juin (FR) 20 August 1953 September 1956 Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Central Europe


External links

  • Official JFC-B Website
  • Allied Land Forces Central Europe
  • - collection of maps covering AFCENT defence sectors during the Cold War

Coordinates: 50°56′18.41″N 5°58′43.46″E / 50.9384472°N 5.9787389°E / 50.9384472; 5.9787389

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