Training for logistics cooperation in Slovakia
Logisticians from several Allied and partner countries are being put to the test in NATO’s largest-ever logistics exercise from 8 to 26 June. Capable Logistician 2013 is centred around a scenario where NATO-led multinational forces are deployed to a fictitious country to manage a simulated crisis involving inter-ethnic conflict and floods of refugees.
The exercise is providing an opportunity for participants to test and develop collective logistics solutions and to assess the interoperability of their equipment, systems and procedures. Logisticians will then be able to make recommendations to improve the overall interoperability of coalition forces.
Developing interoperability for effective cooperation
“Capable Logistician 2013 is the largest event of its kind in last two decades,” says Col Miroslav Pelikán, Director of the Prague-based Multinational Logistics Coordination Centre (MLCC), which organised the exercise in cooperation with the host nation Slovakia. An international military organisation, the Multinational Logistics Coordination Centre was established in January 2011 following a decision taken by Allies at the 2008 Riga Summit to develop multinational logistics solutions. “Standards, common procedures and compatible equipment are key to interoperability,” says Pelikán. “Without interoperability, there is no effective cooperation in logistics, and that can have an impact on the sustainability of a mission and the effectiveness of forces in combat, particularly in the case of out-of-area operations.”
Putting Smart Defence projects into practice
Capable Logistician involves all areas of logistics, with a key focus on the production, purification and distribution of water, fuel handling and munitions storage and distribution – areas in which the Alliance has launched multinational projects in the framework of its Smart Defence initiative to help Allies to acquire and maintain jointly critical logistics capabilities. “The Multinational Logistics Coordination Centre is coordinating four multinational Smart Defence projects,” explains Pelikán. “The exercise is an opportunity to test these projects and put them into practice in the current context of the redeployment of the coalition forces in Afghanistan and, of course, in the light of the budget cuts which we are all faced with."
Logistics form the backbone of any military operation and, until very recently, their provision was considered to be a national responsibility. In today's security and economic environment, the need for more mobile forces and multinational operations calls for improved coordination and the pooling of resources in new areas.