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Working In a NATO Unit

December 30, 2010 | Master Sergeant William Howell

Happy Holidays to everyone, I hope that you had a great Christmas and that you have a better New Year! Today I want to tell you how it is to work in a NATO unit. If you did not know the Army has personnel stationed in Brunssum, The Netherlands and the post is called the Joint Forces Center. There is only a couple of Army units here, such as mine which is the Allied Forces North Battalion (AFNORTH) and it is part of the US ARMY NATO Brigade (stationed in Heidleberg, Germany). I have a company of about 85 personnel and it is spread over four different countries (Norway, Poland, Germany, Netherlands). Most of my Soldiers work on what is called the International side, meaning they work for NATO and interact with all 28 NATO countries as they all have personnel stationed here as well. My company HQs is called the National Delegation as we do not work for NATO, we are here to support the personnel who work for NATO. It is very difficult to run a company like that as I have no control of most of my personnel. We have to ask NATO for permission to allow them to attend training, schools, and just about everything else. It is challenging to say the least, with my personnel in Norway, Poland and Germany we hardly ever get to see or interact with them. This is done mostly by phone and emails. Working here is challenging, but it is fun as well, the area here is beautiful and most of the Netherland speak English which makes it nice. My personnel on the International side get to work with other countries and learn about thier cultures as well, so it is good for them as well. So, if you ever get a chance to be stationed here, take the assignment, it will be a good one. I hope that you have gained a little better insight on how working in a NATO unit is. Happy New Year!




  • Hope from Oklahoma
    12/30/2010 2:02 AM
    I wanted to wish you a very Happy New Years and to let you know. Those who back up their soldiers, don't forget about the ones in The Netherlands. I wish you the Best and have a great year.
  • 1SG William Howell
    12/30/2010 9:39 AM
    Hope, thanks and Happy New Year!!!
  • CJ Heck
    12/30/2010 1:33 PM
    I see/read your posts on Twitter and just wanted to thank you for what you do.
    Hope you have a safe and blessed New Year.
    My warmest regards and respect,
    CJ Heck
  • 1SG William Howell
    12/30/2010 3:46 PM
    CJ, thanks for your support, Happy New Year!
  • SSG Chappell
    1/4/2011 9:03 PM
    Good afternoon 1SG,
    My name is SSG Chappell, and I was wondering how I could get some info on possibly getting an assignment to NATO. I am duel military, my wife is also a SSG, she is a 79s and I am an 11b. What qualifications will we need other then MACP enrollment? Thank You for your help, and assistance.
  • Comment removed by admin.
  • 1SG William Howell
    2/16/2011 9:36 PM
    SSG Chappell, I know for us here in the Netherlands there are no 11B slots in NATO. So, you would not be able to come here, I am guessing there are probably not any 11B slots in any of the areas where NATO is. There are mostly support MOSs. You can check out the USANATO Brigade Website to get more information.

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