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Jul 1 2022

Celebrating NSPA's 10th Anniversary and over sixty years of history

Luxembourg - On 1 July 2022, the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) marked its 10th anniversary, celebrating a decade of support to NATO, its Nations and Partners.

On 1 July 2012, the North Atlantic Council (NAC) consolidated the 14 individual NATO Agencies operating at the time, to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of capabilities and services. The reform process resulted in the establishment of the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) through the merger of three former agencies: the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), the Central Europe Pipeline Management Agency (CEPMA) and the NATO Airlift Management Agency (NAMA).

In 2015, the NAC decided to include acquisition capabilities in the NSPA's Charter, denominating NSPA the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, making it the Agency's mission to manage multinational acquisition programs from initial concept to capability delivery and then throughout its life cycle for NATO and its Allies.

NSPA's 10th anniversary thus marks a new milestone in the long story of the Agency dating back over sixty years, when in 1958 the NATO Maintenance Supply Services System was established in Paris. In 1968, the Agency Headquarters moved to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and this was the beginning of a true partnership with our Host Nation that has strengthens throughout the years.

Celebrating NSPA's 10th Anniversary and over sixty years of history
NSPA's NATO Airlift management (NAM) Programme (integrated from the NAMA in 2012) manages the life cycle management of the C-17 airlift assets on behalf of the Strategic Airlift Capability Nations
Celebrating NSPA's 10th Anniversary and over sixty years of history
NSPA's central Europe Pipeline System (CEPS) Programme, integrated from the CEPMA in 2012, manages a 5,279 Km pipeline network across five NATO nations: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg and The Netherlands.

From three to 31: The evolution of our Weapon Support Partnerships

In the early 1960s, the Agency introduced the Weapon Support Partnership framework, a multinational cooperation mechanism that continues to serve today as the backbone of our mission, enabling nations to collaborate and achieve commonality of equipment, interoperability and economies of scale.

At that time, the Agency focused on the support of three main weapon systems. Today, NSPA manages 31 Support Partnerships and supports more than 170 weapon systems. These range from the multinational acquisition of complex platforms, such as aircraft, helicopters and uncrewed systems, to the provision of supplies such as fuel, spare parts and ammunition, or services such as maintenance of radars for air defence, or deployable infrastructure, transportation, medical and catering services.

The Agency currently manages a number of key NATO and multinational projects through their lifecycle. The Multinational MRTT Fleet is a case in point. The multinational platform provides strategic transport, air-to-air refuelling and MEDEVAC capabilities to six Allies. NSPA also manages the acquisition of other multinational complex systems, from initial concept to capability delivery, product support, lifecycle logistics, and disposal. One of them, the Alliance Future Surveillance and Control (AFSC), represents NATO's largest and most complex capability development initiative to date. The Next Generation Rotorcraft Capability (NGRC), the programme that will define the future of medium multi-role helicopter fleets across collaborating Nations, is another key initiative for which NSPA manages the Concept Stage.

Celebrating NSPA's 10th Anniversary and over sixty years of history
Celebrating NSPA's 10th Anniversary and over sixty years of history
Celebrating NSPA's 10th Anniversary and over sixty years of history
NSPA currently manages a number of key NATO and multinational projects through their lifecycle. In the picture, AWACS fleet, PATRIOT missiles and AGS aircraft.

From outsourcing services in the Balkans to global operational support

In the early decades, the Agency was mainly focused on traditional logistics and maintenance. In the 1990s, it shifted its scope of work to support operations and exercises.

With NATO's involvement in the Balkans, the Agency started to outsource services to support military capabilities in theatre. This continued in Kosovo, with the procurement and storage of deployable infrastructure for the NATO Command Structure. The Agency support gradually increased, and today it covers the full spectrum of capabilities, from transport to medical, infrastructure, food, fuel and base services.

In 2020, the Agency played a key role supporting Nations and Partners since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, showing its ability to rapidly react to crisis and emergency situations. NSPA provided transport capabilities, managed key relief acquisition to help Allies transferring urgent medical supplies and equipment, and provided rapidly accessible infrastructure to augment national medical capabilities.

NSPA provided critical support in Afghanistan for over twenty years, supporting NATO-led missions from the incipit until its key contribution to the evacuation of civilians when the Mission ended in 2021. Today, NSPA supports NATO and national operations in Kosovo, Libya and Mali.

NSPA General Manager, Ms Stacy Cummings, during her visit to NATO-led Kosovo Force mission, where NSPA has been providing services in support to KFOR operations since 2006.

NSPA Workforce, our main capability

In 1958, when the NATO Maintenance Supply Services System was established, NSPA's workforce was composed of 25 staff members. Today, the Agency counts a multinational workforce of more than 1400, working from eight different locations.

The Agency's international staff members who relocated with the Agency from France in 1968 were essential to the successful initiation of operations in Capellen. The locally hired work force was trained and the result was a seamless transfer of corporate knowledge and experience.

With the years, the Agency has seen a considerable growth in its workforce, but also on its diversity, as new nations joined the Alliance. The Agency has evolved and adapted to new and emerging requirements of its customers and of the Alliance. It is the hard work of all those who are and were part of NSPA that enable the Agency to evolve and flourish.

In 2012, following the agencies' reform, the Agency's staff went extra mile to successfully take on the challenge of NATO's transformation.

NSPA Staff Members during NSPA's first anniversary. 2013.
Our people are at the backbone of our business, it is the outstanding contribution that the staff make every day that is key to NSPA's success and that has not changed in more than 60 years

Ms Stacy Cummings, NSPA General Manager.

An unbiased link with industry

The success of the Agency throughout the years relies in a strong cooperation with industry from its inception. To deliver past, current and future capabilities, and gain access to the latest developments, NSPA has become a hub and an unbiased link across industry, the Alliance and its Nations.

The Agency has leveraged its expertise of more than 60 years in the defence sector to support NATO, its Nations and Partners. Today, The Agency consolidates and centralises requirements, facilitating customers' requirements and enabling economies of scale.

NSPA General Manager, Ms Stacy Cummings, participating in NATO-Industry Forum. Rome, November 2021 
NSPA's strong and resilient relationship with industry is key to the success of its mission. Today, with more than 60,000 companies registered in our source file and 10,000 actively doing business with us, we act in the market to link industry capabilities and nations requirements to find the most cost-effective and efficient solutions.

Ongoing adaptation

NSPA will continue to adapt, evolving to new security threats and challenges in support of the Alliance, its Nations and Partners. In 2021, the Agency boosted its ability to support the Nations, contributing to strengthening the Alliance's defences, acquiring, maintaining and deploying capabilities, and supporting operations while offering interoperability and economies of scale.

This week, Madrid hosted the NATO's Summit and the Spanish capital became, once again after 25 years, the scene of a new chapter in European security.

The willingness of nations to strengthen the European defence sector represents a historic opportunity to finance new projects. In this context, NSPA is growing its multinational acquisition capabilities to the benefit of the Alliance, its Nations and Partners.

Today, we celebrate a successful decade of support to the Alliance, our Nations and Partners. I look forward to see the Agency grow further in the next few years. I also congratulate our sister agency, the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) as they also celebrate their 10th anniversary today
Ms Stacy Cummings, NSPA General Manager.

Story by NATO Support and Procurement Agency

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