Today, the headquarters of 1 (German/Netherlands) Corps is one of NATO’s High Readiness Force (Land) Headquarters. It is based in the German city of Münster. Back in 1995, on the 30th of August, the Corps was inaugurated as an amalgamation of 1 German Corps and 1 Netherlands Corps.
In 1997, both Germany and the Netherlands laid down the German-Dutch cooperation in the Corps Convention and the Corps Agreement, which were originally signed that same year. In general, the documents state that Germany and the Netherlands provide the Corps framework on an equal basis; both countries share the responsibility for command & control capabilities.
In November 2002, the Corps headquarters (HQ) received the High Readiness Force (HRF) status after successfully passing the Final Operational Capability Check.
Since 2002, additional nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding, thus transforming the binational Corps into a multinational Corps HQ. As a NATO international military HQ, the Paris Protocol and the subsequent agreements apply to the Corps HQ.
Full proof of its HRF capabilities was given on 10 February 2003, when the Corps HQ took over command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan, for a six months period. Two more ISAF missions were contributed to, one in 2009 and another in 2013.
Shortly thereafter, the Corps assumed its responsibilities as a Land Component Command (LCC) for the new NATO Response Force (NRF). As a result, the Corps was on standby as NATO Response Force not only during the first half of 2005, but also during the first half of 2008 and in 2015 for the duration of the entire year.
The next step in the Corps’ development is to become Joint Task Force (JTF) Headquarters Land capable and be on standby from July 2017 until June 2018.
Currently 1 (German/Netherlands) Corps consists of twelve nations: Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States.
HQ 1 (German/Netherlands) Corps not only has the ability to conduct high intensity operations, crisis management and peace support operations.
It is also possible to be called upon to conduct humanitarian and other relief missions. These can be conducted in or outside NATO’s territory.