NATO sets up new undersea infrastructure coordination center

By John Liang / February 15, 2023 at 3:24 PM

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced today the creation of a "Critical Undersea Infrastructure Coordination Cell" that would be based at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels.

"The sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines has reminded us all of the vulnerabilities we face," Stoltenberg said. "Ministers tasked the NATO military authorities to provide advice on what more we should do, including through better coordination and cooperation with the private sector."

In response to the sabotage, NATO allies have significantly increased their military presence around key infrastructure, including ships and patrol aircraft, according to an alliance press release. In January, NATO and the EU also set up a joint task force to protect critical infrastructure.

The new cell "will facilitate engagement with industry and bring key military and civilian stakeholders together to share best practices, leverage innovative technologies and boost the security of our undersea infrastructure," Stoltenberg said.

The center will be led by retired German Lt. Gen. Hans-Werner Wiermann, who previously held the post of director general of the NATO International Military Staff at NATO headquarters in Brussels, according to the press release.