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Air Development Division (ADD)

The Air Development Division (ADD) is the primary point of contact and coordination for all NATO Special Operations Air Warfare related activities. ADD synchronises and accelerates the Alliance’s efforts to enhance the capability, capacity and interoperability of SOF Air and Aviation.


Welcome Air Development Division

Welcome to the Air Development Division. This website provides information about ADD’s three branches in enhancing NATO SOF air and aviation - Air Doctrine and Standards, Air Training and Exercises, and Air Assessment and Evaluations.


Mission Coordination and Direction

Facilitate the development and training for synchronised Allied SOF air and aviation operations. Providing a means for effectively accelerating mission capabilities and capacity and enhancing SOF interoperability are critical components to achieving mission success.


Vision The Relentless Pursuit of Excellence

ADD staff and associates emphasise fidelity to the idea that "humans are more important than hardware". The strategic motivation is to provide superior leadership to Allied SOF air and aviation throughout the network of NATO Allies and Partners.


About Us

What is the ADD?

Founded on 12 June 2012, the Air Development Division was the first step in addressing the significant quantitative and qualitative shortfalls in Allied SOF Air and Aviation. As the primary point of contact and coordination for all NATO Special Operations Air Warfare related activities, ADD synchronises and accelerates the Alliance’s efforts to enhance the capability, capacity and interoperability of SOF Air and Aviation. Additionally, ADD develops and maintains NATO SOF Air and Aviation standards, doctrine, training, education, assessment and evaluation programmes based on the NATO operational requirements.

ADD Branches

The Air Development Division has three branches focused on enhancing Allied SOF air and aviation operations:

Air Doctrine & Standards (D&S)

The Air Doctrine and Standards (D&S) new efforts have resulted in the first review of the SOFCOM Air/Aviation manuals and related publications. The main change consists of the fusion of the Special Air Warfare, SOATG, SOATU and SOALI manuals in the new NATO SOF Air Operation Manual, and the review of the Guidelines to NATO SOF Helicopter Operations and Guidelines to NATO Fixed-wing Operations. In addition, a SOF Military Assistance Chapter has been included in the Military Assistance Handbook as a Handbook Addendum.

Registered Users can download documents from the Library:

  • SOFCOM NATO SOF Air Operations Manual 2021
  • SOFCOM NATO SOF Fixed-Wing Operations Guidelines 2020
  • SOFCOM NATO SOF Helicopter Operations Guidelines 2021
  • SOFCOM SOATU Development Handbook 2019
  • SOFCOM NATO SOF Combat Controller Manual 2020
  • SOFCOM NATO SOF Military Assistance Handbook Addendum 2017

Air Training & Exercises (T&E)

The Air Training and Exercise (T&E) branch has developed a robust curriculum with five established courses. You can sign up for these courses:

  • The Special Operations Air Command (SOAC) Air Operations Centre Course (AOCC) prepares students to perform as members of a NATO Special Operations Component Command (SOCC) or SOAC future operations group (J35) and as a member of a SOAC AOC (J33).
  • The Special Operations Air Task Group Course (SOATGC) provides a deeper understanding of NATO Special Operations air warfare from the SOATG staff level perspective and the knowledge of how to plan, employ, and integrate special operations air and aviation assets at the theatre level as part of a NATO SOCC.
  • The Special Operations Air Planning Course (SOAPC) provides the foundation of how to plan and brief special operations air and aviation missions in a NATO context at the tactical level.
  • The Special Operations Air Mission Commanders Course (SOAMCC) educates future SOF Air Leaders on the principles, competencies and mind-set required to function as NATO SOF Air Mission Commanders.
  • SOF Air Mission Execution Course (AMExC) will allow the participants to engage with other nations and operators in all phases of the SDMP and specific parts of the mission execution. Special Operations Air Tasking Unit (SOATU) tactical operators will plan, coordinate, and integrate objectives, resources and environmental factors to support special operations, both land and maritime, in a virtual scenario. If requested in advance, the AMC can be upgraded with a SOATG battle staff training (BST).

Air Assessments & Evaluation (A&E)

The Air Assessments and Evaluations (A&E) branch contains highly specialized Subject Matter Experts that support NATO nations in standing up SOF Air and Aviation capabilities. In accordance with NATO evaluation criteria, A&E provides nations and units feedback in order to improve their capabilities and capacity.

Contact Us

We are here to help!

SOFCOM Air Development Division (ADD)