What is JFC Brunssum?
Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Brunssum, in The Netherlands, is one of two NATO Joint Force Headquarters (the other being JFC Naples) in Allied Command Operations; each is able to deploy in command of a Major Joint Operation supported by Headquarters Land Command (HQ LANDCOM), Headquarters Maritime Command (HQ MARCOM) and Headquarters Air Command (HQ AIRCOM).
Over 1500 people work in the Brunssum Headquarters and NATO agencies in the area (NCIA, NAPMA and AFNORTH International School) consisting of both military and civilian personnel, drawn from NATO, PfP nations and the local community.
HQ JFC Brunssum, is located in Brunssum, Limburg, the Netherlands, in the heart of Northwest Europe - an area which is often referred to as "the balcony of Europe”, or "land without frontiers” because of its easy access to several countries. HQ JFC Brunssum was built upon the former HQ Allied Forces Central Europe's (HQ AFCENT) infrastructure, which has been in use since 1967 and former RHQ AFNORTH.
Two factors led to the establishment of HQ AFCENT here: When France withdrew from NATO's integrated military structure in 1966 it became necessary for AFCENT to vacate its headquarters in the French town of Fontainebleau where it had been established since its inception in 1953.
At the same time, the closure of Limburg's coalmines, following the discovery of large quantities of natural gas in Groningen, led to the offer by the Netherlands government to NATO the use of the former Hendrik Mine infrastructure in Brunssum. Consequently AFCENT moved into its new home on March 15, 1967. On June 1, 1967, the official inauguration ceremony took place at Brunssum.
March 3, 2000, Headquarters AFCENT stood down and the new Regional Headquarters Allied Forces North Europe (RHQ AFNORTH) assumed command. The AFNORTH Area of Responsibility kept its regional focus in Northern Europe.
July 1, 2004, Allied Forces North Europe (AFNORTH) ceased to exist, and became Allied Joint Force Command (JFC) Headquarters Brunssum and July 1, 2012 Headquarters Allied Joint Force Command (HQ JFC) Brunssum.