Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe is the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Allied Command Operations – NATO ACO. Since 1967 it has been located in Casteau, north of the Belgian city of Mons, but it had previously been located, from 1953, at Rocquencourt, next to Versailles, France. From 1951 to 2003, SHAPE was the headquarters of Allied Command Europe. Since 2003 it has been the headquarters of Allied Command Operations, controlling all NATO operations worldwide.
SHAPE retained its traditional name with reference to Europe for legal reasons although the geographical scope of its activities was extended in 2003. At that time, NATO’s command in Lisbon, historically part of Allied Command Atlantic, was reassigned to ACO. The commander of Allied Command Operations has also retained the title “Supreme Allied Commander Europe” (SACEUR), and continues to be a U.S. four-star general officer or flag officer who also serves as Commander, U.S. European Command.
Belgium became the host nation for both NATO’s political headquarters and SHAPE. General Lyman Lemnitzer, SACEUR at the time, had hoped that SHAPE could be located near to NATO Headquarters, as had been the case in Paris, but the Belgian authorities decided that SHAPE should be located at least 50 kilometres from Brussels, NATO’s new location, because SHAPE was a major wartime military target.
A new €750 million headquarters building began construction in 2010, was completed in summer 2016, and was dedicated on 25 May 2017. The 2,700,000 square feet complex was designed by an international design team. Both Design and Construction were completed under the auspices of the Belgian Ministry of Defense’s Project Management Team.
This coin is dedicated to the US military and our allies around the world to support the efforts and honors their commitment to their sworn duty in perilous conditions where ever it is on the globe.
This handsome challenge coin is minted in a brass alloy, given a shiny gold finish, and is embolden with durable and attractive enamel.
Each keychain measures a 1 1/2″ (39mm) in diameter.
This is a surplus NWTM item. Packaging may vary.