NATO Defence Planning encompasses many different domains: force, resource, armaments, logistics, C3 (consultation, command and control), civil emergency, air and missile defence, air traffic management, standardization, intelligence, military medical support and science and technology. In April 2012, the integration of cyber defence into the NDPP began. Relevant cyber defence requirements are also identified and prioritised through the defence planning process.
Force planning aims to promote the availability of national forces and capabilities for the full range of Alliance missions. It seeks to ensure that Allies develop modern, deployable, sustainable and interoperable forces and capabilities, which can undertake demanding operations wherever required, including being able to operate abroad with limited or no support from the country of destination. The focus of force planning is on “capabilities” and how Allies should prioritise their resources to achieve these.
NATO resource planning focuses on the financing of capabilities that are jointly or commonly funded, where members pool resources within a NATO framework. Resource planning is closely linked to operational planning.
There is a distinction between joint funding and common funding: joint funding covers activities managed by NATO agencies, such as the NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) and NATO pipelines; common funding involves three different budgets; the civil budget, the military budget, and the NATO Security Investment Programme.
These budgets are relatively small, but the specific use of each is key to ensuring the cohesion of the Alliance and the integration of capabilities.
The Resource Policy and Planning Board
The Resource Policy and Planning Board is the senior advisory body to the North Atlantic Council (NAC) on the management of all NATO resources. It has responsibility for the overall management of NATO’s civil and military budgets, as well as the NATO Security Investment Programme and manpower.
Armaments planning focuses on the development of multinational (but not common-funded) armaments programmes. It promotes cost-effective acquisition, cooperative development and production of armaments. It also encourages interoperability, and technological and industrial cooperation among Allies and partners.
The Conference of National Armaments Directors
The Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) is the senior NATO committee responsible for Alliance armaments cooperation, material standardization and defence procurement. It brings together the top officials responsible for defence procurement in NATO member and partner countries to consider the political, economic and technical aspects of the development and procurement of equipment for NATO forces, with the aim of arriving at common solutions.
Logistics planning aims at ensuring responsive and usable logistics support to NATO operations. This is achieved by promoting the development of military and civil logistics capabilities and multinational logistic cooperation.
The Logistics Committee
The Logistics Committee is the senior advisory body on logistics at NATO. Its mandate is two-fold: to address consumer logistics matters to enhance the performance, efficiency, sustainability and combat effectiveness of Alliance forces; to exercise, on behalf of the NAC, a coordinating authority across the NATO logistics spectrum.
NATO's political and military functions require the use of NATO and national consultation, command and control (C3) systems, services and facilities, supported by personnel and NATO-agreed doctrine, organisations and procedures.
C3 systems include communications, information, navigation and identification systems as well as sensor and warning installation systems. They are designed and operated in a networked and integrated form to meet the needs of NATO. Individual C3 systems may be provided by NATO via common-funded programmes or by Allies via national, multinational or joint-funded cooperative programmes.
There is no established C3 planning cycle which allows C3 planning to be responsive. However, activities are harmonised with the cycles of the other associated planning disciplines.
The Consultation, Command and Control (C3) Board
The Consultation, Command and Control Board is a senior multinational body acting on behalf of and responsible to the NAC on all matters relating to NATO C3 issues. This includes interoperability of NATO and national C3 systems, and advising the CNAD on C3 cooperative programs.
Civil emergency planning
Civil emergency planning aims to collect, analyse and share information on national planning activity to ensure the most effective use of civil resources for use during emergency situations, in accordance with Alliance objectives. It enables Allies and partners to assist each other in preparing for and dealing with the consequences of crisis, disaster or conflict.
The Civil Emergency Planning Committee
The Civil Emergency Planning Committee is the top advisory body for the protection of civilian populations and the use of civil resources in support of NATO’s objectives.
Air and missile defence planning
Air and missile defence planning enables members to harmonise national efforts with international planning related to air command and control and air and missile defence weapons. The NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence System (NATINAMDS) comprises sensors, command and control facilities and weapons systems, such as surface-based air defence and fighter aircraft. It is a cornerstone of NATO’s air and missile defence policy, and a visible indication of cohesion, shared responsibility and solidarity across the Alliance. A NATO Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (ALTBMD) programme has been initiated to enhance the previous NATO Integrated Air and Missile Defence (NATINAD) system, particularly against theatre ballistic missiles.
The Air and Missile Defence Committee
It is the senior multinational policy advisory and coordinating body regarding all elements of NATO’s integrated air and missile defence and relevant air power aspects in a joint approach. It advises the NAC and the relevant Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council bodies on all elements of air defence, including missile defence and relevant air power aspects. It promotes harmonisation of national efforts with international planning related to air command and control and air defence weapons. It reports directly to the NAC and is supported by its Panel on Air and Missile Defence.
The Military Committee Working Group (Air Defence) is responsible for reviewing, advising and making recommendations to the Military Committee on air and missile defence issues.
Other groups dealing with air and missile defence-related issues include the DPPC(R) with particular responsibilities on ballistic missile defence, the Missile Defence Project Group, which oversees the BMD Programme Office, and the NATO-Russia Council Missile Defence Working Group.
Air traffic management
NATO's role in civil-military air traffic management is to ensure, in cooperation with other international organisations, the following: safe access to airspace, effective delivery of services and civil-military interoperability for air operations conducted in support of the Alliance's security tasks and missions. The aim is to achieve these objectives while minimising disruption to civil aviation, already constrained by the limited capacity of systems and airports, and mitigating the cost implications of new civil technologies on defence budgets.
The Air Traffic Management Committee
This committee is the senior civil-military advisory body to the NAC for airspace use and air traffic management. Its mission is to develop, represent and promote NATO’s view on matters related to safe and expeditious air operations in the airspace of NATO areas of responsibility and interest.
At NATO, standardization is the process of developing shared concepts, doctrines, procedures and designs to achieve and maintain the most effective levels of “compatibility, interchangeability and commonality” in operations, procedures, materials, technology and administration. The primary products of this process are Standardization Agreements (STANAGS) between member countries.
The Committee for Standardization
The Committee for Standardization is the senior authority of the Alliance responsible for providing coordinated advice to the NAC on overall standardization issues.
Intelligence plays an important role in the defence planning process, especially with the emergence of multidirectional and multidimensional security challenges such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The Intelligence Steering Board
The Intelligence Steering Board acts as an inter-service coordination body responsible for steering intelligence activities and for providing effective support to the decision-making process at NATO Headquarters. It is tasked, among others, with developing the Strategic Intelligence Requirements from which any capability requirements are derived.
The Civilian Intelligence Committee
It is the sole body that handles civilian intelligence issues at NATO. It reports directly to the NAC and advises it on matters of espionage and terrorist or related threats, which may affect the Alliance.
The Military Intelligence Committee
It is responsible for developing a work plan in particular in the areas of NATO intelligence support to operations and oversight of policy guidance on military intelligence.
Military medical support
Military medical support is normally a national responsibility; however planning needs to be flexible to consider multinational approaches. The degree of multi-nationality varies according to the circumstances of the mission and the participation of Allies.
The Committee of the Chiefs of Military Medical Services in NATO
The Committee of the Chiefs of Military Medical Services in NATO is composed of the senior military medical authorities of member countries. It acts as the central point for the development and coordination of military medical matters and for providing medical advice to the Military Committee.
Science and technology
NATO promotes and conducts cooperative research and information exchange to support the effective use of national defence science and technology and further the military needs of the Alliance.
The NATO Science and Technology Organization
The NATO Science and Technology Organization (STO) acts as NATO’s principal organisation for science and technology research.
It is composed of a Science and Technology Board, Scientific and Technical Committees and three Executive Bodies (the Office of the Chief Scientist, the Collaboration Support Office, and the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation).
The STO was created through the amalgamation of the Research and Technology Organization and the NATO Undersea Research Centre. These bodies were brought together following a decision at the 2010 Lisbon Summit to reform the NATO agency structure.