Microsoft at the heart of NATO’s Connected Forces Initiative

At Microsoft, we’re committed to providing technology services that will support peacekeeping operations throughout the world. Testament to this commitment is the long history of collaboration we have with NATO, stretching back more than 15 years. We are therefore proud to provide technology services that support the NATO’s Connected Forces Initiative (CFI) following a historic agreement between the 1 German Netherlands Corps (1GNC) and the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCI Agency).

The CFI is designed to help maintain NATO’s readiness and combat effectiveness including through better use of technology. The NCI Agency will provide the 1GNC with solutions – such as DHS, Air C2 Information System – that all run on Microsoft solutions and services, including Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), SQL Server, SharePoint Server and Windows Server, among others.

Not only will Microsoft technology provide personnel with the access to some of the critical tools they require for peacekeeping missions, but it will also help support interoperability with NATO’s global technology network. Interoperability is a critical consideration for 1GNC, especially as it prepares for its rotation to support the NATO Response Force (NRF) in 2015, which is a high readiness, fully trained and certified force.

The agreement is doubly noteworthy as 1GNC now becomes one of the first NATO entities to purchase technology solutions through the NCI Agency. In addition to supporting interoperability, the 1GNC will also recognise cost savings through joint procurement with the NCI Agency, and also benefit from the Agency’s existing IT knowledge and experience. As an extra benefit, Microsoft products will also provide the same infrastructure and applications during training and exercises as those used in operational theatres.

In my view, CFI exemplifies NATO’s efforts to promote ‘smart defence’ among Allies by sharing common funded solutions. This approach bolsters capabilities while at the same time enabling greater efficiencies and cost-savings.

To quote Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) Commander Lt. Gen. Frederick “Ben” Hodges, this agreement “is just the beginning.” As this multi-year partnership continues to flourish, technology will play an ever increasing role in ensuring NATO entities are as connected, efficient and effective as possible.

For more details on the partnership between 1GNC and the NCI Agency, see:


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