Home > About Us > History

History of SP COE

The need for NATO to be endowed with a military capability of civil police clearly emerged during the SFOR operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 1997, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Command Europe (SHAPE) identified the so called “security gap” in the field of public order and security.

security gap

The “security gap” was the grey area between the SFOR military capabilities, on the one hand, and the UN IPTF mission, with no executive powers, as well as the capabilities of the local police forces, often either incapable of or unwilling to enforce the law, on the other hand.

In this grey area nobody either could or wanted to take responsibility.

The gap was bridged by a military unit capable to perform the typical tasks of a civil police force: the NATO Multinational Specialized Unit (MSU) made up of gendarmerie forces, which are military forces with full civil police capabilities.

Since then, this model has been implemented several times and the deployed MSUs have received the contribution of the MP and of infantry forces trained for the specific mission.

The concept itself of military forces performing police duties to cover the “security gap” has evolved in the current notion of SP.

The experience gained by the Carabinieri in performing multinational operations induced the Carabinieri Corps Headquarters to propose to the Italian Defence Staff to establish a NATO Stability Policing Centre of Excellence in January 2010.

The venture was well appreciated and supported by Italian Defence Staff that presented the relevant Initial Concept to NATO ACT in December 2011.

Hereafter the establishment
on the NATO SP COE was reached
through the following steps:


Creation of the Establishment Team

Creation of the Establishment Team
June 2013

The Italian CHOD sent formal letter and Concept to SACT

24 July 2013

First ACT visit

First ACT visit
3 | 6 March 2014

1st Establishment Conference of the NATO SP COE

16 | 19 June 2014

2nd Establishment Conference of the NATO SP COE

18 December 2014

Signing Ceremony

Signing Ceremony
12 | 13 May 2015

Accreditation visit by ACT

Accreditation visit by ACT
14 | 15 May 2015

NATO SP COE 1st Steering Committee

NATO SP COE - 1st Steering Committee
September 2018

Joining of Greece

December 2018

Quality Assurance Accreditation granted by HQ SACT

Gen. Chinotto Barracks

Location and History

The NATO Centre of Excellence for Stability Policing is based in Vicenza, Italy in the Lt Gen. Chinotto compound, in the same barracks where the Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units (CoESPU) and the European Gendarmerie Force Headquarters (EGF) are located.

The compound is located in a short-walking-distance from the centre of the town and just a few meters out of the building you can find taxi and bus stops. The Barracks are provided with state-of-art equipment that enables our Staff to deliver the Centre’s training offer/portfolio.

Lt. Gen. Antonio Chinotto

1858 – 1916

The barracks is named after Lt.Gen. Antonio Chinotto, a hero of WWI.

Lt. Gen. Antonio Chinotto was awarded the Golden Medal for Military Valour for his actions during operations on the eastern front during WWI (1915/16).

He was promoted Lt. Gen. as a result of his wartime valour.
On 1 January 1917 he was awarded the Gold Medal for Military Valour.

Lt. Gen. Antonio Chinotto