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Maritime Development Division (MDD)

The Maritime Development Division is the primary point of direction and coordination for all NATO Special Operations Maritime - related activities to provide the vehicle for accelerating and synchronising Alliance efforts to enhance the capability, capacity and interoperability of SOF in the Maritime Domain.


Welcome Maritime Development Division

Welcome to the Maritime Development Division. This website provides basic information about MDD’s organisation and role in the capability development of NATO’s Maritime Special Operations Forces.


Mission Coordination and Direction

Facilitate the development and training of the NATO maritime community of interest to increase capability and interoperability, ultimately providing assistance to relevant, ready and integrated NATO SOF entities.


Vision Platform for Maritime SOF

The SOFCOM MDD is a platform for coordination and collaboration that advocates for NATO Allies and partner Maritime SOF.


About Us

What is MDD?
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SOFCOM established the Maritime Development Division in June 2021 to focus on special operations in the Maritime Domain. MDD’s main aim is to develop NATO maritime SOF by enhancing SOF maritime doctrine, education, and exercises by synchronising SOF activities in the Maritime Domain. MDD will serve as a platform for Maritime SOF and host a maritime community of interest to increase capability and interoperability.

MDD Branches

The Maritime Development Division has three branches focused on enhancing and strengthening NATO maritime SOF:

Education: NATO Special Operations University (NSOU) Partnership with NATO Maritime Interdiction Operations Training Centre (NMIOTC)

  • SOMTG Leader course: 1 week COI offered twice a year starting in November 2022. To register for the SOMTG course, please follow this link Login - SOFCOM Portal (nato.int). Register for an account. If an account is established, log in and click "TRAINING" and in the keywords, use 36844 for the SOMTG course;
  • SOMTU Leader course: 2 - week COI offered twice a year starting in March 2023.

Doctrine: Work with custodians of NATO Publications to address SOF operations in the Maritime Domain

  • Improve upon existing NATO publications (Policy, Doctrine, Standards, and Tactical publications) to advocate for SOF operations in the Maritime Domain. Example: SOF Boarding Team operating from a conventional afloat platform in a supporting / supported relationship.
  • Create NATO SOF Maritime Operations Manual (estimated publication Feb 2023).

Exercises: Exercise SOF Operations with Conventional Naval Forces

  • NATO Exercises: SOF capabilities and C2 (supporting / supported) exercised in the maritime Domain.
  • MARCOM SOF Playbook Activities: Limited duration, limited scope touchpoints between NATO - flagged Naval Ships and National SOF.
  • Multi - National SOF exercises advocate, coordinate and facilitate a maritime component to existing National SOF exercises.

SOFCOM Maritime Development Division maintains a community of interest for collaboration of NATO Maritime SOF, leveraging SOFCOM’s Convening Power, and organising:

  • Annual MDD conference.
  • Workshops to address common interests/issues.

Contact Us

We are here to help!

SOFCOM Maritime Development Division (MDD)