JOINT COMMAND SOUTHEAST is one of four Joint Sub Regional Commands (JSRCs) under the Commander in Chief, Allied Forces Southern Europe (CINCSOUTH) in the military organization of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The commander of JHQ SOUTHEAST is responsible for the planning, conduct and coordination of NATO military exercises and operations as directed by CINCSOUTH. The COMJCSOUTHEAST is a four star Turkish Army General.
Turkey joined NATO on 18 February 1952. On 11 June 1952, NATO authorities decided to establish Allied Land Forces Southeastern Europe (LANDSOUTHEAST) in Izmir to be commanded by a United States (US)Army general officer who would have Turkish and Greek general officers as his deputies. The actual establishment of LANDSOUTHEAST occurred on 8 September 1952, when US General Willard G. Wyman assumed command and established his headquarters at Sirinyer. Headquarters LANDSOUTHEAST was initially staffed by Turkish, Greek and US military personnel and NATO international civilians. In 1954, representation was extended to French, Italian and United Kingdom military personnel. It was at this time that LANDSOUTHEAST moved to its newly constructed headquarters building in the Alsancak area of Izmir.
In 1966 the first major change occurred when French military personnel were withdrawn from LANDSOUTHEAST followed by the Greek withdrawal in 1974. On 30 December 1977, SHAPE and Turkish military authorities announced another change in the command structure of LANDSOUTHEAST to be effective July 1, 1978. The command billet was to be filled by a Turkish four star Army general with a US Major General as his deputy. On 30 June 1978, General Sam Walker handed over the command to General Vecihi Akin as the first Turkish commander of LANDSOUTHEAST.
Construction of a new headquarters facility in Sirinyer, Izmir was completed in March 1994 and LANDSOUTHEAST moved into the facility in April 1994, and in July 1994, two German Army officers were assigned to LSE for the first time. The headquarters garrison at Sirinyer was named General Vecihi Akin Garrison in March 1996, after the first Turkish LANDSOUTHEAST Commander. An agreement with Canada was reached in 1997, and two Canadian officers were assigned to LSE in August of 1998. In 1998 NATO announced the implementation of the new military command structure with an activation date of 1 September 1999. Implicit in this structure is the assumption of a joint capability in the southern region, and major changes in the international staffs. The Joint Headquarters SOUTHEAST establishment now includes personnel from Greece, Hungary, Netherlands and Spain as well.
COMJCSOUTHEASTs command lies at the centre of a volatile area. As a result, as directed by CINCSOUTH, he must be prepared to undertake the full spectrum of operations Article 5, peace support, cooperation and dialogue and counter-proliferation to include safeguarding lines of communication through the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, as well as the geostrategically important Turkish Straits.
COMJCSOUTHEAST is to contribute to the security and territorial integrity of the Allied Forces Southern Europe (AFSOUTH) Area of Responsibility (AOR). He is to be prepared to conduct operations and to support or reinforce inter/intra-regionally. He is to contribute to the preservation of peace and the promotion of stability through cooperation and dialogue, participate in crisis management and be prepared to plan and execute, or provide support for, expanded roles and missions as assigned by CINCSOUTH
JOINT HEADQUARTERS SOUTHEAST is commanded by a four star Turkish Army General, assisted by a U.S. Lieutenant General as Deputy and a Greek Major General as Chief of Staff. Keeping the tradition of NATO as an international organization, JOINT HEADQUARTERS SOUTHEAST is staffed by personnel from Canada, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Neatherlands, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States. Communications support for JHQ-SOUTHEAST is provided by the Allied Signal Group ; Garrison support and security are provided by Headquarters Support Group.
To fulfill his mission, COMJCSOUTHEAST can count on Turkey to commit three field armies. In the event of crises or threat to NATO territory, COMJCSOUTHEAST would also command NATO reinforcements which include immediate reaction, rapid reaction and augmentation forces that may include Naval and Air Force packages that would deploy to the JHQ-SOUTHEAST mission specific joint operations area.
PREPARED BY THE JHQ SOUTHEAST PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
1 September 1999