The Regional Special Operations Component Command (R-SOCC) declared that it has reached Initial Operational Capability on 12 May 2021 as part of exercise Black Swan 2021 (19 April – 14 May 2021).
Under the leadership of Hungary, R-SOCC will provide the participating nations (Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Slovenia) with a temporary deployable command element specifically dedicated to leading operations of special forces. R-SOCC provides a regional capability similar to the Composite Special Operations Component Command (C-SOCC) established by Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands, which reached its Full Operational Capability in December of 2020.
The command will increase the ability of the five participating nations to effectively employ their special operations forces, and will enable each nation to use its own contributions separately, while benefitting from an integrated R-SOCC structure once activated for deployment. The next main milestones of R-SOCC are to reach Full Operational Capability by December 2024 and to make the command available for the NATO Response Force in 2025.
R-SOCC is one of NATO’s multinational High Visibility Projects and was launched by the Defence Ministers of the five nations through a Letter of Intent in February 2019. This was followed by a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia in October 2019, and by Austria in December 2020.