U.S. European Command is a unified combatant command, a command structure distinct from the military services--Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands exercise command authority over the military forces provided by the services and assigned to them by the Secretary of Defense.
The operational chain of command runs from the President to the Secretary of Defense to the Commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff functions within the chain of command by transmitting to the Commanders of the Unified Combatant Commands the orders of the President or the Secretary of Defense.
There are nine unified combatant commands. Five have regional responsibilities, and four have functional responsibilities. EUCOM is considered a regional combatant command, with responsibility for all of Europe, most of Africa, and parts of the Middle East. European Command plans for regional contingencies, and when ordered, employs military forces within the region, either as a Standing Joint Force Headquarters, or through specialized Joint Task Forces.
EUCOM is the only regional combatant command with a headquarters forward deployed outside the United States. Other Unified Combatant Commands include Pacific Command (PACOM), Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), Central Command (CENTCOM), Northern Command (NORTHCOM), Special Operations Command (SOCOM), Strategic Command (STRATCOM), Joint Forces Command (JFCOM), Transportation Command, (TRANSCOM).
Welcome to the multinational organization Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), home to more than 16 allied nations in support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). SHAPE is the highest military headquarters within Allied Command Europe (ACE).
LOCATION: SHAPE is located in Casteau Belgium about 45 miles southwest of Brussels (capital of Belgium). The nearest city is Mons, population 2100, which is the main city in the Hainaut Province.
MISSION: SHAPE is led by the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR), a four-star general. The international staff at SHAPE and the subordinate military headquarters plan and coordinate the deployment of the NATO's military forces in ACE.
TELEPHONE ACCESS: The country code is 032. When calling from the United States dial 011 32 65 44- XXXX. When calling DSN, 314 423-XXXX. When faxing to SHAPE use the same commercial or DSN access. The SHAPE operator can be reached at DSN 423-7111
HISTORY OF SHAPE: SHAPE was originally located in Rocquencourt, France, 20 miles outside of Paris. In 1967 it moved from France to its present location. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, NATO heads of states and government officials met in London July 6, 1990, to transform the North Atlantic Alliance by extending the hand of friendship to countries of the former Warsaw Pact including Russia. At the Brussels Summit in January, 1994, the Partnership for Pease (PfP) program was launched. PfP countries were invited to send partnership Liaison Officers to the Partnership Coordination Cell (PCC) which is co-located at SHAPE. Many have done so. Their families now live, work, go to school and socialize with and alongside their NATO counterparts.
CHIEVRES AIR BASE
The first airfield at Chievres was established during World War I and was rebuilt by the Germans in 1940. It was bombed over 30 times during the second world war before allied forces occupied the base in October, 1944. Since 1968, Chievres Air Base has been under the NATO/SHAPE Support Group now known as the Chievres Garrison
The US Army Garrison (USAG) BENELUX footprint spans across Belgium, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Luxembourg, France and the northern German states. In addition to supporting the joint communities of NATO, the US Army Garrison BENELUX also provides support to other US Army Garrisons to include Chievres Garrison, USAG Schinnen and USAG Brussels. The primary mission is to operate US garrisons and support joint communities in order to execute national defense strategy, support theater lines of communication throughout the entire footprint. For those lucky enough to be stationed here in the BENELUX, you will immediately recognize that this tour is different from any other in the Army. Why? Because of the operational support provided to the NATO communities. All of our communities are filled with diverse, multinational members with about 40 percent of the entire work force coming from our host nations. In fact, you will receive two identification cards: one for the Department of Defense and one for NATO. You are also required to register with your host nation and are provided with a permit of residence. This permit of residence must be carried by the holder at all times. Additionally, many of the facilities and services available to you are geographically separated with some facilities located on the US Army installation and some on the NATO/Joint Services installation.
Chievres Garrison is located in Belgium. There are three installations where facilities and services may be found: Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe or SHAPE, Chievres Air Base, and Daumerie Caserne. SHAPE is run by NATO Headquarters Support Group and the currency used for all services with fees is the Euro. Chievres Air Base and Daumerie Caserne are US Army installations and are located around 25 minutes from SHAPE. The currency used on Chievres Air Base and Daumerie Caserne is dollars. One of the functions of Chievres Garrison is to provide base operational support to about 4,000 Americans.