October 1997

Chapter 13: Multinational Logistics

Modes of Multinational Logistic Support

1316. Logistic support options for the NATO Commander range from a totally integrated multinational logistic force to purely national support. Normally, the NATO force will be supported through a combination of the various options available. Regardless, however, of the options used, national commanders as well as the NATO Commander remain responsible for the sustainment of the forces involved. In all cases the logistic support options used should be tailored to meet mission requirements and adhere to the logistic principles set forth in MC 319/1.

1317. To supplement purely national logistic support, to ease the individual national burden, and to achieve more economy of scale, the following modes of multinational logistic support may be implemented: lead nation logistic support; role specialist nation logistic support; mutual support arrangements; commonly funded logistic resources; multinational integrated logistic support; aircraft cross servicing; and contracting support.

1318. These modes of support can be implemented at different levels of command and to different degrees, and if they are efficient and beneficial to the parties involved. Which of the modes is to implemented, when and where is subject to a case-by-case decision made by the parties involved. The appropriate NATO Commander may serve as a mediator between nations and will assume a coordinating role if required. All of the above mentioned modes can be used in Article 5 and non-Article 5 operations and for pre-planned contingency operations as well as for ad hoc operations, and within and beyond NATO's area of responsibility.

Lead Nation Logistic Support

1319. One nation, based on capabilities, agrees to assume the responsibility for procuring and providing a broad spectrum of logistic support for all or a part of the multinational force and/or headquarters. In one operation more than one lead nation could be designated to provide a special range of support within a clearly defined functional and regional area of responsibility. A lead nation may also assume the responsibility to coordinate logistics of other nations within its functional and regional area of responsibility. Compensation and/or reimbursement will then be subject to agreements between the parties involved.

Role Specialist Nation Logistic Support

1320. One nation assumes the responsibility for procuring a particular class of supply or service for all or a part of the multinational force. This should always been considered, if one participating nation has a particular and unique logistic strength and capability and for common supplies and services. Compensation and/or reimbursement will be subject to agreements between the parties involved.

Multinational Support Arrangements

1321. These agreements may be concluded bi-and/or multi-laterally among nations and/or between nations and NATO authorities. They should ease the individual logistic burden and enhance the overall logistic efficiency and economy. They can be implemented for each type of logistic support or service and will help to avoid duplications of effort and redundancies. NATO Commanders may be tasked to mediate and coordinate such arrangement.

Commonly Funded Logistic Resources

1322. These include those assets which have been identified as eligible for common funding and for which funds have been made available. They may include, but are not limited to the following assets and services:

  • infrastructure and real estate, such as depots, airfields, headquarters, camps, ports and lines of communications (LOC);
  • operating and coordinating the use of infrastructure and real estate;
  • communication and information systems (CIS) assets; and
  • logistic engineering.

The funding procedures must be developed and agreed well before the operation starts and should provide sufficient flexibility and responsiveness.

Multinational Integrated Logistic Support

1323. Two or more nations agree to provide logistic assets to a multinational logistic force under operational control of a NATO Commander for the logistic support of a multinational force. This is an especially attractive support option when one single nation is capable of providing the nucleus of the unit and/or the command structure, around which the whole unit then can be formed by other augmentations and contingents. Such multinational units can effectively avoid duplications of effort and redundancies within the logistic system of an operation. Compensation and/or reimbursement are subject to an agreement between the parties involved.

Aircraft Cross-Servicing

1324. This is defined as services performed on an aircraft by an organization other than that to which the aircraft is assigned, according to an established operational aircraft cross-servicing requirement, and for which there may be a charge. Aircraft cross-servicing is divided into two categories:

  1. Stage A Cross-Servicing. The servicing of an aircraft on an aerodrome/ship which enables the aircraft to be flown on another mission, without change to the weapon configuration. The servicing includes the installation and removal of weapon system safety devices, refuelling, replenishment of fluids and gases, drag chutes starting facilities and ground handling.
  2. Stage B Cross-Servicing. The servicing of aircraft on aerodromes/ships which enables the aircraft to be flown on an operational mission. The servicing includes all Stage A services plus the loading of weapons and/or film/videotape and the replenishment of chaff and flares. This includes the processing and interpretation of any exposed film/videotape from the previous mission.
  3. The Aircraft Cross-Servicing Programme (ACSP) includes operational tasks such as debriefing, retasking and mission planning. The aim of the ACSP is to provide operational commanders with a flexible means of achieving rapid regeneration of combat-ready aircraft through interoperability.

Local Contracting

1325. Contracting of support for NATO forces will be used by the NATO Commander and nations where the use of commercial contracts supports the military mission, is economic and keeps military assets available for higher priority tasks. The NATO Commander and nations will adjust the extent of reliance on contracting based on the situation. The use of the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), for contracting assistance should be considered for NATO operations. Since NATO common and centralized funding is limited to specific categories of goods and services, most contracts actions will be funded nationally. NATO will, however, coordinate national contracting efforts to ensure enhancement of the contract process, reduction of competition between nations and realization of economies of scale. The prudent use of contracting coordinating activities as well as the cooperation of nations are essential. Effective NATO coordination of the contracting effort will enhance, not hinder, the contracting efforts of the nations.

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