On 18 th January 2023, the signing of the “operational” memorandum of understanding in Paris
marked the creation of the NATO Space Centre Of Excellence (COE).
The French Air & Space Force Chief of Staff as well as representatives of the 14 other
contributing nations were present at the event. This is the culmination of the first step in the
process of establishing the unit that began on 29 January 2021, when the NATO Military
Committee selected France as the framework nation for the project, this marks the
recognition of French expertise in the field of space and France’s commitment to NATO.
NATO Space COE is an international and joint military organization under a steering
committee. Its mission is to provide NATO and the nations of the Alliance with expertise and
work force in the field of space military operations, through 4 pillars: conceptual development
and experimentation, doctrine and standardization, training and training, analysis and
The creation of a COE involves two “establishment” conferences. The first was held in
November 2021 and, after three days of work and intense debates, resulted in a common
concept that served as a framework for the development of the centre. The second, which
took place in Toulouse last March, had a twofold objective: to finalize the founding
documents, namely the memorandum of understanding and the concept, but also to allocate
the positions to be filled among the participating nations.
The next step will be the accreditation of the COE by NATO and the implementation of the
Protocol of Paris by the North Atlantic Council, granting the COE certain privileges and
The Space COE will be the 29th NATO accredited COE. It will include about fifty people, both
military and civilian, and will be located in Toulouse, at the heart of the largest Space
ecosystem in Europe, co-located with Air and Space Army Space Command and CNES.
Currently in the ramp-up phase, the COE will reach full operational capability in 2025.