Items selected for printing

II. NATO organization and other military actorsselected for printing

2.2. CIMIC Organizationselected for printing

This sub chapter is mainly based on Allied Command Operations Manual AM 86-1-1, Tactics, Techniques and Procedures, Chapter 2 (TTP2).

CIMIC assets


CIMIC assets - as a pillar of the CIMIC capabilities - are organized to facilitate the contributions to CMI, in order to increase both effectiveness and efficiency, dialogue and, to the extent possible, practical cooperation at all levels with relevant non-military actors. CIMIC contribution to NATO operations, will be achieved through:

  • CIMIC staff elements;
  • CIMIC units;
  • CIMIC functional specialists;
  • CIMIC reach back;
  1. CIMIC staff elements:
    Operate at all levels of command integrating CIMIC into the headquarters battle rhythm and coordinating with upper and subordinate CIMIC staff elements and CIMIC units. Their role is to continually assess the civil environment and advise the commander on any impact it may have on the mission and vice-versa. These CIMIC staff elements facilitate CMI for the entire headquarters and command. CIMIC staff elements can temporarily augment the headquarters CIMIC branch at every level of command.

  2. CIMIC units:
    CIMIC units are assigned to the different levels of command, as determined within the operations plan. A CIMIC unit executes tasks assigned by the commander, to achieve CIMIC objectives in close coordination with the CIMIC staff elements of the level of command the CIMIC unit is assigned to. CIMIC units at higher tactical level have the ability to execute command and control over subordinate CIMIC units within the appropriate span of control.
    CIMIC unit size and organisation may vary in accordance with operational needs depending on the mission and environment. Command and control relationships, hierarchical structures and integration of enablers must be considered when developing the plan for the employment of CIMIC assets.
    The size, organization, composition, and function of CIMIC units will differ, depending on the contributing nation policy, doctrine and structure. Regardless of national organization, all CIMIC units offered to NATO for planning will be required to meet the principal and enabling requirements of the approved NATO Capability Codes.

  3. CIMIC functional specialists:
    Military or civilian experts in well-determined civil areas of expertise who can perform tasks within their speciality.
  4. CIMIC reach back:
    Currently a national capability to provide background information, subject matter expertise and supporting assessments from a remote location.

National CIMIC assets10

A CIMIC unit is identified as a generic CIMIC asset which supports a specific military formation. It could be at platoon, company or battalion level, depending on the nation’s capabilities.

CIMIC Battalion / CIMIC Group

A CIMIC battalion is usually deployed at corps level and component command level with following principal and enabling capabilities:

  • to exercise command and control of the assigned CIMIC companies;
  • to integrate all products generated by the CIMIC companies, providing a continuous analysis of the civil environment at corps level or above, highlighting vulnerabilities which might affect the success of the mission and recommending mitigating measures;
  • to deploy and execute CIMIC tasks regardless physical and environmental conditions (weather, time, terrain, location);
  • be organized and trained with regard to force protection in all its aspects.

CIMIC Company

A CIMIC company is usually deployed at divisional level with following principal and enabling capabilities:

  • to exercise command and control of the support platoon and assigned CIMIC platoons;
  • to integrate all products generated by the CIMIC platoons and will provide a continuous analysis of the civil environment at divisional level, highlighting vulnerabilities which might affect the success of the mission and recommending mitigating measures;
  • to deploy and execute CIMIC tasks regardless physical and environmental conditions (weather, time, terrain, location);
  • be organized and trained with regard to force protection in all its aspects.

CIMIC Platoon / CIMIC Detachment

A CIMIC platoon is usually employed in support of a manoeuvre brigade/battle group, to cover the core functions:

  • Civil-military liaison,
  • Support to the force, and
  • Support to non-military actors and the civil environment.

CIMIC Functional Specialists

CIMIC functional specialists are military or civilian experts in civil administration, humanitarian assistance, civil infrastructure, economy, commerce and cultural affairs. This list is not exhaustive. CIMIC functional specialists can be assigned to a CIMIC staff element, a CIMIC unit or supporting with their expertise from outside the area of operation.

Functional specialists should be:

  • capable of performing tasks in their areas of expertise;
  • capable of assisting in the planning process or conducting CIMIC projects and activities;
  • capable of deploying and executing their tasks regardless physical and environmental conditions (weather, time, terrain, location);
  • organized and trained with regard to force protection in all its aspects.

Multinational CIMIC Group

The Multinational CIMIC Group is the NATO CIMIC specialized unit, projected for the civil-military cooperation at tactical and operational level, to enhance the effectiveness of military operations and serve as an essential forum for CIMIC consultations and as a centre of expertise for CIMIC related matters.

In accordance with its Operational Concept, the Multinational CIMIC Group can meet NATO CIMIC requirements by:

  • augmenting the CIMIC staff element at different levels;
  • form one or more CIMIC units at the tactical level;
  • form the defined CIMIC elements at operational level;
  • augment, if required, the CIMIC units on the tactical and operational level with functional specialists or supporting them from the Multinational CIMIC Group peace time location headquarters.

The entire Multinational CIMIC Group headquarters can be deployed to support the operational level for one single rotation of no more than six months. To sustain long lasting operations, a flexible and tailored structure has been foreseen in the Multinational CIMIC Group concept. This structure, which can be considered a CIMIC group minus (CIMIC GRP (-)), can support parent headquarters as a CIMIC element at theatre level but also as a CIMIC unit. The Multinational CIMIC Group (-), formed by a tailored Multinational CIMIC Group headquarters (-) and Multinational CIMIC Group participating nations CIMIC units, is designed to support up to one major joint operation and it is sustainable by Multinational CIMIC Group and its participating nations for more rotations of six months. The Multinational CIMIC Group headquarters (-) is smaller in size but can perform the same tasks as the entire Multinational CIMIC Group headquarters, having the same capabilities to respond to the CIMIC core functions and relying on logistic and communication and information service support from the assigned parent headquarters.

Generic staff functions

CIMIC relations to other staff functions must be established and, at all levels, the integration must be supported by a constant dialogue between J/X 9 branch and other branches. It is also extremely important that the CIMIC staff is involved in the operations planning process. Even if other branches are having relations with the civil environment, it must be clear that the J/X 9 branch remains the focal point in dealing with the civil environment. One of the main tools to support the planning is the CIMIC assessment. Formats can vary from mission to mission, adapted to the situation. For that reason CIMIC staff must be included on ground reconnaissance missions and should maintain close contact with relevant civil organizations and government officials in the run-up to an operation.

The Allied Command Operations Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive (ACO COPD) is the basic reference document for planning staffs within the NATO Command Structure. It shapes the operations planning process. It addresses all aspects of an operations plan and provides guidance on the conduct and methods of planning as well as the factors to be taken into consideration during the development of a plan. It also specifies the standard structure and content of operation plans. As such, it can be a reference for the planning at tactical levels, especially for headquarters operating at the high end of the tactical level.

Functional planning guides provide planning guidance in specific functional areas. In general, the functional planning guides mirror the areas covered in the list of typical annexes to the main body of a Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive or operations plan. In the specific field of CIMIC the reference tool is the CIMIC Functional Planning Guide.

CIMIC within naval forces

Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) is to provide command and control for the full spectrum of Alliance joint maritime operations and tasks and is the principal maritime advisor to the Alliance. MARCOM has overall responsibility to SACEUR for all Alliance Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) tasking and activities, which includes planning, preparation, execution, evaluation and organizational matters.

Maritime security operations are operations conducted in cooperation with national authorities and international organizations (IOs) to counter the threats, and mitigate the risks, of illegal activities. They aim to safeguard the Alliance's strategic interests, security and stability by contributing to mitigate gaps in current national law enforcement capacity. Maritime forces may conduct operations to counter maritime crime, if this is regarded as a de-stabilizing factor for the nation/region or funding terrorist organizations. This necessitates close coordination among governments, law enforcement, the private sector, IOs and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Conducting maritime security operations requires authority to exchange information and the ability to communicate, plan and coordinate with a variety of relevant non-military actors. Cooperation with the countries’ navies/coast guard forces, maritime authorities; flag state, port state, national shipping authorities, jurisdiction and other departments responsible for the coastal areas and adjacent sea areas is fundamental for the commander. In the maritime environment11, some of the most significant factors are merchant navies, which are likely to be present in the area of operations and wish to continue their passage with minimal interference. Merchant shipping aims, methods and perspectives may have to be reconciled with those of NATO so that the operational commander’s mission can be fulfilled. The joint task force will interface effectively with merchant shipping through NCAGS (NCAGS12) and the Allied Worldwide Navigational Information System (AWNIS13). NCAGS and AWNIS have certain unique characteristics and are global concepts being implemented by NATO nations, partner nations, non-NATO nations and other regional shipping organizations. NCAGS is the provision of NATO military cooperation, guidance, advice, assistance and supervision to merchant shipping in support of the commander’s mission to enhance the safety of participating merchant ships and to support military operations. The aim of AWNIS is to contribute to freedom of navigation by the provision of safety and security of navigation information for military and merchant ships in support of maritime operations.

NCAGS and AWNIS are contributing to a comprehensive approach in close cooperation with CIMIC on all levels of command. NCAGS and AWNIS inherent relationships with the merchant shipping industry facilitate the de-confliction of military and commercial shipping operations. Within the CMI context, NCAGS and AWNIS coordinate with military and non-military actors; including military maritime security agencies, government departments / agencies, law enforcement agencies, international and non-governmental organizations in support of the commander’s mission.

Maritime CIMIC assets

The NATO Shipping Centre (NSC14) is an integral and permanent element of MARCOM and provides the single point of contact between the NATO and merchant shipping industries for the voluntary exchange of pertinent information, provision of the merchant shipping element of the recognized maritime picture to the military and the provision of appropriate risk information to the merchant industry.

There will be one safety of navigation information coordinator at the MCC level or above for the entire area, even if there is more than one NATO or non-NATO operation going on.

Deployable NCAGS elements are capable of sustained worldwide deployment, conducting NCAGS operations independently or as an integrated part of a naval task force/group.

For the template "port assessment" see annex.

  • 10
  • 11

    See AJP-3.1, Allied Joint Doctrine for Maritime Operations for details

  • 12

    See Military Committee (MC) 0376/3, Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) and Allied tactical publication (ATP)-02, Naval Cooperation and Guidance for shipping manual for details

  • 13

    See Allied hydrograph publication (AHP)-01, Allied Worldwide Navigational Information System for details.

  • 14

    See NSC website for details