Fact Sheet

The NATO Counter Intelligence Centre Of Excellence (NATO CI COE) was established in 2015. The signing ceremony of the NATO Operational and Functional Memoranda of Understanding on this matter took place on 29 September 2015. NATO CI COE is located in Kraków, the capital of the scenic and historical region of Poland - Małopolska. The Centre also utilizes for training purposes a modern Slovak military training area in Lest. On 22 February 2017, The North Atlantic Council endorsed the accreditation and activation of the CI COE as NATO Military Body, thus granting the status of a NATO organization under the Paris Protocol (1952).

Poland and Slovakia are the Framework Nations, while Croatia, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovenia are the original Sponsoring Nations. Additionally, the nations of France and the United States were granted observer status. However, on 1 July 2019, the United States of America joined the NATO CI COE as the 11th Sponsoring Nation.

NATO CI COE will unify doctrine, integrate best practices, and serve as a hub for expertise enabling NATO forces to achieve the highest levels of interoperability and integration of counter-intelligence forces in support of strategic objectives.

Mission // The NATO Counter-Intelligence Centre of Excellence will enhance counter-intelligence capabilities, foster interoperability, and provide comprehensive subject matter expertise to the Alliance, its nations, and Partners in order to increase overall global stability and reduce the impact and scope of hostile intelligence efforts.

Vision // The NATO CI COE will act as a catalyst for counter-intelligence aspects of NATO Operation, exercises, policies, concepts, and strategies and will actively engage in all aspects of the Alliance’s counter-intelligence activities. It will conduct counter-intelligence focused courses, seminars, conferences, and workshops in an effort to establish a Counter-Intelligence Community of Interest with the NATO Command Structure, NATO Force Structure, and Sponsoring Nations. The NATO CI COE will support the development, promotion, and implementation of new policies, concepts, strategies, and doctrine that transform and enhance NATO counter-intelligence capabilities and interoperability.

The Centre’s headquarters is located in the Land Component Command of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland in Kraków, where are carried out the educational, training, and administrative activities.
The Centre has full access to the training facility in Lest, Slovakia.

The NATO CI COE is accredited by NATO but funded nationally or multi-nationally outside the organization's command structure. Their relationship with the organization is formalized through memoranda of understanding (MOUs). The Centre performs tasks assigned by the Allied Command Transformation (ACT) and framework/sponsoring states.

NATO CI COE lines of effort:

  1. Provide counter-intelligence focused education and training to individuals from senior military and civilian leadership to staff level, as well as units and teams;
  2. Facilitate the collaboration between relevant NATO COEs, committees, and working groups on CI issues related to NATO’s effort to defeat or counter human and cyber threat networks;
  3. Enhance standardization and interoperability within the alliance in support of NATO operations by providing CI related courses.
  4. Contribute to doctrine and concept development or related documents in the counter-intelligence area for NATO and Nations;
  5. Provide subject matter expertise and advice on requests pertaining to counter-intelligence;
  6. Provide a repository for International, National and NATO shared information, analysis, and lessons learned in counter-intelligence in close cooperation with Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC) – NATO LL CI COI.

The NATO CICOE is headed by a director. The supervisory body for the Centre is a Steering Committee consisting of representatives of all the countries involved in the project. The Steering Committee approves the Program of Work, budget, and other essential centre’s activities.


Enhancement of the Alliance’s counterintelligence capabilities, its nations, and partners to foster interoperability and provide comprehensive subject matter expertise on CI activities.
Support of development, promotion, and implementation of new policies, concepts, strategies, and doctrine that transform and enhance NATO counter-intelligence capabilities and interoperability.
Col. Martin Achimovič
Cracow (Poland), Lest (Slovakia)

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