October 1997

Chapter 17: Standardization and Interoperability


1701. Through NATO Standardization, Alliance nations will enhance their capability to perform the whole range of Alliance tasks and missions. NATO standardization also adds a political value as an outward demonstration of cooperation and solidarity. Therefore, NATO policy is to encourage nations and NATO Authorities to develop, agree and implement common concepts, doctrines, procedures, criteria and designs to enhance the Alliance's operational effectiveness and improve the efficiency in use of available military resources.

1702. The increasing need for Alliance cooperation in the development and maintenance of multinational forces for all missions demands more flexibility to meet broader, less predictable risks, and to ensure a variety of military crisis measures. Given the current emphasis placed on cooperation in Peace Support Operations (PSOs), combined efforts, also with Partners, should be made in the field of standardization. For multinational formations the overall mutual cooperation between all forces and units is essential. This requires a significant level of standardization.

1703. Major changes in NATO involving new and more delicate missions, Partnership for Peace (PfP) and Enlargement will necessitate clearly defined standardization parameters and require an appropriate level of standardization to allow collaborative operations, training and exercises in NATO led non-Article 5 operations (including PSOs, search and rescue, humanitarian operations and crisis management). In particular, the identification and implementation of interoperability objectives for PfP nations will become increasingly important, likewise the involvement and integration in the standardization process.

1704. The production and maintenance of NATO Standardization Agreements (STANAGs) and Allied Publications (APs) is largely the responsibility of the Military Agency for Standardization (MAS), the Conference of National Armament Directors (CNAD) and the NATO Pipeline Committee (NPC) acting as Tasking Authorities (TAs) for their associated working parties/groups. In order to highlight the most important standardization objectives (SOs) for the Alliance, a NATO Standardization Programme (NSP) is produced containing key requirements and objectives.

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