The COE CSW was established in 2007 and accredited by NATO as an International Military Organization in 2009.

In 2012 and 2018 the COE CSW was successfully reassessed by the Headquarters Allied Command Transformation.

Our Participating Nations

The Federal Republic of Germany acts as Framework Nation for the COE CSW providing the infrastructure, basic services, financial support, and core staff personnel in addition to a number of Subject Matter Experts.

Upon the establishment of the COE CSW, the Hellenic Republic, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Republic of Türkiye acceded as Sponsoring Nations with a vote in the Steering Committee and provided Subject Matter Experts. In 2009 the Republic of Poland and in 2014 the Republic of Italy also joined as Sponsoring Nations.

NATO COEs partner nations are also invited to join. From 2011 to 2019, the Republic of Finland supported the COE CSW, being the first Contributing Partner to a NATO COE ever.

Lastly, the United States of America, the Kingdom of Denmark, and the Republic of Lithuania also contribute to the COE CSW. The United States Navy is involved through the Personnel Exchange Programme with the German Navy. The Kingdom of Denmark and the Republic of Lithuania contribute on a voluntary basis in preparation of the formal joining the COE CSW. 

Our Mission

The mission of the COE CSW is to provide joint and combined Subject Matter Expertise in the range of Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters (CSW) for NATO and the nations participating in the COE CSW in order to advance future developments, and in particular, to support NATO Transformation.

Our Responsibilities

In accordance with the concept for the COE CSW, we concentrate and further develop NATO's expertise and capabilities to conduct maritime operations in the complex and challenging environment of CSW. Our specific responsibilities are:

  • Facilitating the development, validation and implementation of Concepts and Doctrines;
  • Contributing to NATO’s efforts in the field of Exercises, Education and Training;
  • Providing inputs to the Lessons Learned process as well as to Experiments and Modeling and Simulation efforts;
  • Assessing the Requirements, the present Status and the future Development of Warfare in confined and shallow waters in a joint and combined operational environment.

Our guiding Principles

The COE CSW’s...
... Purpose is to generate benefit for the customers - primarily for NATO and our participating nations;
... Reputation arises out of expertise and professionalism
... Recognition depends on decisive activities and determined Promotion
... Relevance is interrelated to the level and scope of the work and results as well as to the range and number of users or beneficiaries
... Significance is primarily determined by the quality of the achievements and contributions, far less by the quantity of activities and publications
... Achievements are influenced by the ambition and motivation of our team as well as the level and quality of Manning.

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