The NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) managed the construction work, commissioned and funded by NATO, on behalf of the Territorial Host Nation Italy. The infrastructure works cover a total area of 26,700 square metres and encompassed the design and construction of new buildings for command and control activities, the new AGS Headquarters, three modern hangars, a new apron, and related workshops, warehouses, and offices. The works also included the renovation of existing warehouses for logistics and maintenance of the AGS aircraft.
Advanced management of rainwater and wastewater, recycled materials, and 600 newly-installed photovoltaic panels are some of the measures adopted to ensure the long-term environmental and economical sustainability of the new infrastructure.
Representatives from the NATO Investment Committee, the Italian Ministry of Defence, the Italian Directorate General of Works and State Property, NSPA, and NAGSF, gathered at the AGS Main Operating Base in Sigonella to celebrate the milestone. After a ribbon-cutting ceremony, the attendees had the opportunity to visit the new facilities including one of the NATO AGS aircraft in the main hangar.
“Today marks an important milestone for NATO and the Force. The completion of our permanent infrastructure is critical to achieving Full Operational Capability and realizing our vision as NATO’s elite Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance organization” said Brigadier General Andy Clark, NAGSF Commander.
The construction works started in July 2018 and finished in November 2022. The project has generated a positive economic impact in the area, with many companies across Europe and the United States, including several Italian companies, contributing with their technology and technical expertise to the new infrastructure, and enabling the creation of more than 600 jobs.
The NATO AGS system comprises five Northrop Grumman RQ-4D “Phoenix” remotely piloted aircraft, supporting fixed and deployable command and control elements, ground segments, and supporting communication architecture. The system provides the Alliance with a state-of-the-art capability that enables comprehensive Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance collection for NATO and Allied decision-makers. In addition to being responsible for the infrastructure upgrade, NSPA is also responsible for the full life cycle management of the system on behalf of the 30 NATO Allies.