Chapter 13: Multinational Logistics
The Multinational Joint Logistic Centre (MJLC) Concept
1311. NATO's New Force Structures provide a much
higher degree of multinationality than during the cold war period.
This applies not only to the number of multinational units which
exist or are emerging but also to the deeper multinational
integration at lower levels of command. Consequently, the logistic
support system and structures also needed to be adapted to that
process. In order to assume the enhanced logistic authorities
and responsibilities of NATO Commanders and to enable
NATO headquarters at the different levels of command to
properly coordinate the logistic support within their area of
responsibility, the MNC's are developing the MJLC
1312. The MJLC concept is to be regarded as the logistic
pillar of the Combined Joint Task Force (CJTF) concept (MC 389).
It provides for the tools in terms of structures and procedures
which the NATO Commander needs to exercise his logistic
authorities and responsibilities in an effective and well coordinated fashion.
1313. Whilst MC 389 provides a solid foundation for
the establishment of an MJLC, there are several salient points
related to its formation which are fundamental and which should
- Flexibility. The guiding principle for the formation of
a CJTF HQ and an MJLC is flexibility. Flexibility
increases the organization's ability to respond to changing
needs and reduces response time. Flexibility is improved
by modularity, and trained and ready staffs.
- Modularity. A modular approach to structuring the
MJLC is essential, especially for non-Article 5 operations.
This includes organizational templates and modular
building blocks of MJLC functions which may be quickly
added, shifted, or deleted as the requirements of an
- Training. No substitute exists for trained and ready
staffs. These must be available upon activation of an MJLC if
the centre is to be initially effective. Therefore, parent HQs
will be identified to accommodate the MJLC nucleus staff.
MJLC Employment Options
1314. Within the overall CJTF command and control
organization in the MJLC itself should be considered a module that is
flexible in adapting to different requirements and command and
control structures as the situation dictates. In principle the MJLC can
be deployed or used in following options:
- for individual augmentation of CJTF HQ - Logistic
- as an MJLC centre integrated in or collocated with the
CJTF HQ; and
- as the logistic staff element within a CJTF Support Command.
The decision for either option and on the size and authority
of that element depends on the overall logistic concept of
the operation, the size and complexity of component participation
as well as on force contributing nations.
1315. The capability and flexibility to escalate the
logistic command and control organization from an augmented staff to
a larger more complex and capable MJLC must exist. The
following considerations will help guide this decision.
- Is there a NATO Host Nation (Article 5 operation)? If
so, many logistic functions may be performed by the
Host Nation and thus reduce the need for a large
MJLC organization or even for a MJLC at all.
- Notwithstanding that a Host Nation might have
considerable assets, the suitability of those assets to purpose, the
legal agreements between the Host Nation and NATO,
the quality of goods and services available and the costs
of Host Nation services will still have a bearing on
the eventual requirement for the numbers of specialist
staff within the modules of the MJLC.
- Is there a capable non-NATO Host Nation? There
may be cases where the NATO led force can be based in
a non-NATO nation. The degree of familiarity which
the Host Nation has with NATO procedures will also
impact on the size and functions of the MJLC.
- What is the scope of the multinational logistic
coordination effort? If the logistic effort is provided primarily
under national responsibility, then the requirement for an
MJLC is significantly lessened. Conversely, provision of
common services and resources under the responsibility of the
NATO Commander (e;g; NATO infrastructure
engineering, centralized contracting and the use of
multinational logistics) may require a significant MJLC effort.
- What is the degree to which multinational
integrated logistic support units are employed? The use of
these assets necessitates that a significant
coordination function be given to the MJLC.
- What is the make-up of the force in terms of size
and structure by components?
The MJLC concept is still under development. After a series of tests within the framework of CJTF trials it will be formalized.