October 1997

Chapter 13: Multinational Logistics

Component Support Concepts

1326. While NATO's logistic concept embraces jointness, each component, due to the nature of their missions, has a slightly different approach to implementing the multinational logistic concept. Although the specific methods of supporting deployed multinational units do vary, their support requirements are very similar. That is, support elements must be flexible, mobile and responsive to the requirements of the component commander. Where efficiencies can be gained, jointness should be maintained down to the lowest level practicable. In general terms, this means that operational level support elements may have a geographical area of responsibility to provide support to a joint force. At the tactical level, however, support elements will likely be focused at supporting, on a functional basis, specific component elements. A broad synopsis of the component support concepts is provided below:

Land Component Concept

1327. In the layout of the battlefield, there must be a clear understanding among the nations that national logistic organizations exist in a multinational framework in support of combined operations. Combined logistics was traditionally described within the context of the various zones of battlefield. On the modern, non-linear battlefield or even during peace support operations (PSO), these zones may not be well established or defined. Over the entire spectrum of conflict, modern military operations make flexibility and mobility key aspects of successful operations. Logistic support must be equally flexible and mobile to ensure successful support.

1328. The Land Component Logistic Support Concept is based on multinational logistics within the Land Component in support of either multinational or national corps. The Land Component manages and coordinates services or supplies unique to ground forces when an MJLC exists. The Land Component command may also manage services or supplies in support of other components, like fuels and medical support. Lead nation support, role specialization, mutual assistance, and commonly funded resources may be employed when determined to be more economic.

1329. The Land Component commander sets priorities for support within the overall priorities set by the Theatre Commander. The Land Component Commander will exercise coordinating authority over those national logistic elements operating in the Area of Responsibility (AOR). The Land Component Commander monitors, assesses and reports the status of logistic resources and infrastructure, reception, onward movement of forces, and the status and disposition of logistic units, assets, resources and stocks.

Air Component Concept

1330. The NATO Air Component Logistic Support Concept focuses on both Article5 and non-Article 5 operations. While the total air logistic support concept is likely to involve a mix of national and multinational support structures, the NATO ACSP enables operational commanders to launch tactical aircraft for missions from air bases other than their parent main operating bases using personnel and equipment from other nations. This capability enhances the flexibility and mobility of air power and enhances the commanders' capability to respond to developing crises in a timely manner.

1331. The fundamental principle of multinational air operations is that support should be capable of being readily deployed to maximize the flexibility of air power. At multinational air bases logistic support should be centrally coordinated with lead nation/role specialist nations employed to the maximum extent possible in the provision of common user resources. Aircraft repair and maintenance, however, will remain principally a national responsibility. NATO coordination of these multinational air logistic efforts as well as national air logistic efforts can be co-ordinated by an MNLC (Air) if the size and complexity of the operation dictates. Under smaller, less complex operations, air component support may be co-ordinated through an air logistic section in an established logistic staff element or MJLC organization.

Maritime Support Concept

1332. Support to a deployed MNMF has two facets: ashore support, and afloat support. In a joint context, afloat support is the sole responsibility of the tactical level (MNMF) commander, whereas responsibility for ashore support is shared between the operational and the tactical commanders because the operational commander is the only commander with the capability to coordinate the flow of personnel, mail and cargo from ashore to the task force. To ensure the appropriate focus of the ashore element commander, the ashore element must be responsive to the afloat commander (MNMF), but responsible to the CJTF commander. In a large operation, the chain of command from the ashore support organization may be through a separate maritime logistic command while in a smaller operation, the ashore support commander may report directly to the MJLC.

1333. The fundamental precept of the maritime logistic support concept is to provide ashore centralized distribution and support sites for the MNMF. The concept calls for multinational Advanced Logistic Support Sites (ALSSs) that provide a variety of life support, supply, distribution, medical, damage repair, etc., in support of the entire force. Smaller, more mobile, Forward Logistic Sites (FLSs), located closer to the supported force, are employed as final distribution points for personnel, mail and cargo flowing from the larger, more capable ALSS. These support sites may be joint in nature or may be collocated with other component support elements. In all cases, however, they are manned on a multinational basis through national personnel and equipment contributions.


MC 317
NATO Force Structures for the Mid - 1990s and beyond
MC 319/1
NATO Principles and Policies for Logistics
MC 326
Medical Support, Precepts and Guidance for NATO
MC 327/1
NATO Military Planning for Peace Support Operations
MC 334/1
NATO Principles and Policies for Host Nation Support (HNS Planning)
MC 336/1
The Movement and Transportation Concept for NATO
MC 389
Military Implementation of the CJTF Concept
MC 400/1
Military Implementation of the Alliance's New Strategy
Land Forces Logistic Doctrine
Multinational Maritime Force (MNMF) Logistics
Guidance for the Planning and Preparation of Host Nation Support Agreements/Arrangements
Responsibilities for Aircraft Cross-Servicing

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