Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) near Mons, Belgium is the Headquarters of Allied Command Operations (ACO), one of NATO's two strategic military commands. It performs the operational duties previously undertaken by Allied Command Europe and Allied Command Atlantic. The latter has now become Allied Command Transformation (ACT) headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia. Commanded by Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), it is responsible for promoting and overseeing the continuing transformation of Alliance forces and capabilities, especially through training and development of concepts and doctrine

ACO is commanded by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and responsible for all Alliance operations, ranging from the Straits of Gibraltar to Afghanistan.

SHAPE is more than a NATO military headquarters, it is also an international community made up of representatives from 15 of the member nations of the Alliance. Located about 5 kilometers from the town of Mons and near the communities of Casteau, Maisières and Masnuy St.Jean , SHAPE contains, in addition to the headquarters, a number of supporting units, residential areas, shops, sports grounds and gymnasiums, schools, clubs, chapels, a health facility, a library, a cinema, a bowling alley and a Youth centre. 

The International SHAPE Staff is composed of approximately 2.129 personnel: 688 officers, 1.110 other ranks and 331 civilians. In addition, there are 215 officers, 982 other ranks and 690 civilians who are part of the NMR echelon and support elements at SHAPE. With the addition of locally employed civilians and some 6,215 dependants, the SHAPE community consists of over 10,000 people. The approximate breakdown by nations of the international staff is: US-27%,GE -19%, UK -17%, BE- 7%,IT - 7%, NL - 6%, and other nations combined - 17 %. The average length of tour at SHAPE for military personnel is 3-4 years.

Data originated from the Public Information Office, SHAPE. For more information on SHAPE, consult the site.