NATO Standardization Office

Coordinates: 50°52′34.16″N 4°25′19.24″E / 50.8761556°N 4.4220111°E / 50.8761556; 4.4220111
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50°52′34.16″N 4°25′19.24″E / 50.8761556°N 4.4220111°E / 50.8761556; 4.4220111

NATO Standardization Office
  • Military Standardization Agency (MSA)
  • Military Agency for Standardization (MAS)
  • Office for NATO Standardization (ONS)
  • NATO Standardization Agency (NSA)
Formation1951 (MSA)
TypeMilitary alliance
PurposeMilitary standardization
HeadquartersBrussels, Belgium
Coordinates50°52′34.16″N 4°25′19.24″E / 50.8761556°N 4.4220111°E / 50.8761556; 4.4220111
Official language
English, French
Director (DNSO)
Zoltan Gulyas[1]
Parent organization

The NATO Standardization Office (NSO) (former NATO Standardization Agency, NSA; French: Bureau OTAN de normalisation) is a NATO agency created in 1951 to handle standardization activities for NATO.[2] The NSA was formed through the merger of the Military Agency for Standardization and the Office for NATO Standardization.[3] During the Agency Reforms, the NSA was transformed to the NATO Standardization Office (NSO) on 1 July 2014, headed by the Director of the NATO Standardization Office (DNSO).[4]

The NSO is composed of military and civilian staff that was created to be responsible for standardization for both the Military Committee and the North Atlantic Council[5] It also provides standardization to NATO members military forces, with the goal of interoperability between member nations.[6] It is also the responsibility of the NSO to initiate, administrate over and promulgate a Standardization Agreement (STANAG).[7]

NSO headquarters is located at the main NATO headquarters at Boulevard Léopold III, B-1110 Brussels, which is in Haren, part of the City of Brussels municipality.[8]


On October 24, 1950, during the fourth meeting of the Military Committee, was the first instance of there being a need for a standardization agency.[5] The first NATO standardization agency, the Military Standardization Agency (MSA), was established on January 15, 1951 in London (it was later chartered on January 30).[2] The MSA was created for military-only standardization. A year later, the agency was renamed to the Military Agency for Standardization (MAS). In November 1970, the agency was moved to its current location in Brussels, Belgium, which is also the location of NATO headquarters.[3][5]

A proposal was submitted in 1991 to create the NATO Standardization Agency[5] however it was not created. Instead, a standardization agency for civilian staff was created, the Office for NATO Standardization (ONS). The ONS was established in 1994 and later implemented in 1995 by the North Atlantic Council.[3][9] From 1998 to 2000, NATO formally merged the two agencies, the MAS and the ONS, together and renamed it to the NATO Standardization Agency, which served both the military and civilian staff.[2][9]

On 1 July 2014 the NATO Standardization Agency (NSA) became the NATO Standardization Office (NSO).


Former NSA logo

The NSA is an independent agency that receives general oversight and direction from a board of directors called the NATO Committee for Standardization (NCS) which are under the authority of the North Atlantic Council.[5][6] The NSA, NCS and the NATO Standardization Staff Group (NSSG) are the components that comprise the NATO Standardization Organization (NSO). The NSA serves as the executive branch of the NSO.[4] The NSSG is a small group of staff which aids the Director in coordinating activities within the agency.[4] Furthermore, the NSA is divided into an administrative unit and five branches: Air, Army, Joint, Naval and Policy and Coordination.[6]

The Director of the NATO Standardization Agency (DNSA) is the head authority figure of the NSA. The DNSA serves as the primary advisor to the Military Committee and to the Secretary General of NATO.[4] The Director is selected by the NCS after an endorsement from the Military Committee. The Secretary General then formally appoints the DNSA for (normally) a three-year term.[4] The Secretary General of NATO appointed former MAS director rear admiral Jan H. Eriksen as the first DNSA on October 1, 2001.[5][10] The current Director of the NATO Standardization Office is Brigadier General Zoltan Gulyas.[1]

List of DNSAs and DNSOs[edit]

DNSA Term Nationality Ref
Rear Adm. Jan H. Eriksen October 1, 2001 August 30, 2003 Norway Norwegian [5][10]
Maj. Gen. Julian Maj September 1, 2003 June 30, 2007 Poland Polish [10]
Vice Adm. Juan A. Moreno July 1, 2007 June 30, 2010 Spain Spanish [11]
Dr. Cihangir Akşit July 1, 2010 June 30, 2014 Turkey Turkish [12]
Maj. Gen. Edvardas Mažeikis July 1, 2014 February 28, 2018 Lithuania Lithuanian

Standardization Agreements[edit]

A Standardization Agreement (STANAG) is a document that defines varies processes, procedures, terms, and conditions for common military and technical procedures or equipment between NATO nations. Once they are adopted by a nation, a STANAG allows members of the alliance to cooperate with that nation.[13] The DNSA is who has the authority to promulgate a STANAG or an Allied Publication (AP).[4] The NSA publishes STANAGs in a database in English and French on their website.[14] This is a partial list of STANAGs with related articles:

STANAG Details
STANAG 1059 Edition 8, 19 February 2004: National Distinguishing Letters for Use by NATO Armed Forces.
STANAG 2961 Classes of Supply of NATO Land Forces.
STANAG 2970 Aerial Recovery Equipment and Techniques for Helicopters
STANAG 3150 Uniform System of Supply Classification.
STANAG 3151 Uniform System of Item of Supply Identification.
STANAG 3350 Analogue Video Standard for Aircraft System Applications.
STANAG 3910 1Mbit/sec MIL-STD-1553B data bus augmented by a 20 Mbit/s, Optical or Electrical, High Speed (HS) channel. Optical version implemented (as EFAbus) on the Eurofighter Typhoon (EF2000)) and electrical (as EN 3910) on Dassault Rafale. Replaced by EN 3910.
STANAG 4082 Edition 2, 28 May 1969: Adoption of a Standard Artillery Computer Meteorological Message (METCM).
STANAG 4140 Edition 2, 28 May 2001: Adoption of a Standard Target Acquisition Meteorological Message (METTA).
STANAG 4119 Edition 2, 5 February 2007: Adoption of a Standard Cannon Artillery Firing Table Format.
STANAG 4179 Draft STANAG proposed in 1980 about a type of detachable firearm magazine.
STANAG 4355 Edition 3, 17 April 2009: Modified Point Mass Trajectory Model.
STANAG 4569 Protection levels for Occupants of Logistic and Light Armoured Vehicles.
STANAG 4586 Standard Interface of the Unmanned Control System (UCS) for NATO UAV interoperability.
STANAG 4626 Modular and Open Avionics Architectures - Part I - Architecture.
STANAG 4694 NATO Accessory Rail.
STANAG 5066 The adoption of a Profile for HF Data Communications, supporting Selective Repeat ARQ error control, HF E-Mail and IP-over-HF operation.
STANAG 5602 Standard Interface for Military Platform Link Evaluation (SIMPLE), a Tactical Data Link (TDL) protocol.
STANAG 6022 Edition 2, 22 March 2010: Adoption of a Standard Gridded Data Meteorological Message (METGM).
STANAG 7074 Digital Geographic Exchange Standard (DIGEST).

Further reading[edit]

  • Akşit, Cihangir (October–December 2011). The NATO Standardization Agency—A Continuing Success Story (PDF). Defense Standardization Program Journal. pp. 3–8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
  • Akşit, Cihangir (2012). The Importance of NATO Standardisation (PDF). Defence Procurement International. pp. 1–3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
  • NATO Standardization Agency booklet (PDF). NATO Standardization Agency.[permanent dead link]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Director's Corner". NATO Standardization Agency. NATO. Archived from the original on 2013-06-26. Retrieved 2013-05-11.
  2. ^ a b c Akşit, Cihangir (2011). NATO Standardization - 60 Years of Normative Success (PDF). NATO Standardization Agency Brussels. OCLC 832134355. Archived from the original on June 28, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Committee for Standardization (CS)". NATO. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Standardization". NATO. Retrieved 2013-06-05.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Introduction to NATO". Archived from the original on 2014-08-11. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
  6. ^ a b c NATO Standardization Agency. 2004-03-27. Archived from the original on 2014-08-08. Retrieved 2013-06-04. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  7. ^ "Technical Cooperation Agreement between the NATO Standardization Agency (NSA) and GS1" (PDF). 2006-01-31. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-02. Retrieved 2013-06-05.
  8. ^ "NATO - homepage". NATO. Retrieved 12 March 2006.
  9. ^ a b "NATO Standardization Agency". 2009-02-04. Archived from the original on 2013-02-15. Retrieved 2013-06-05.
  10. ^ a b c Urbanovsky, C. (2003). European Handbook for the Use of Standards in Defense Procurement (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2013-06-04. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  11. ^ "Power of Procurement: Keynote speakers". Retrieved 2013-05-30.
  12. ^ "Mr. Cihangir Aksit". Future Soldier Exhibition & Conference International. Archived from the original on 2012-12-29. Retrieved 2013-05-26.
  13. ^ North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Retrieved 2013-06-04. {{cite book}}: |website= ignored (help)
  14. ^ "List of Current NATO Standards". NATO. Archived from the original on 2013-07-22. Retrieved 2013-06-03.

External links[edit]