New head at Luxembourg NATO branch
An employee from the United States Department of Defence is set to head a NATO arm based in Luxembourg, where the spending per GDP capita is one of the lowest in the alliance.
Stacy Cummings will lead a team of 1,500 people as general manager of the NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) based in Capellen, just outside Luxembourg City, taking over from Peter Dohmen on 1 September, NSPA said in a statement on Monday.
The NSPA takes care of IT, resource management and infrastructure services when the alliance engages in military action around the world and is NATO’s main procurement and logistics hub.
NSPA spending is currently accounted for in the Grand Duchy’s defence budget, which parliament in February voted to increase, in a push to meet NATO spending targets.
This follows a government decision in 2014 to increase military spending from 0.4% of GDP to 0.6% by 2020 and to 0.72% by 2024.
As well as recruiting 164 officers, non-commissioned officers and corporals, and civilian personnel over the next four years, part of the increased defence spending will be used for the NSPA.
The country will also build a cyber range - a virtual test environment for digital warfare - for use by Luxembourg's army as part of the project.
The cyber range will be hosted by the NSPA's data centres, which are funded by the government but run by a commercial operator, the European Business Reliance Centre.
Earlier this month Luxembourg and Belgium joined forces to deploy people with links to the Grand Duchy from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, including 17 NATO employees. The Luxembourg government later deleted the details on the NATO staff after NATO said it was classified information.