October 1997

Chapter 3: Logistic Support of the Alliance's
New Strategy

Logistic implications of the New Strategy

307. The implications of the new strategy primarily focus on the need for greater flexibility in Alliance logistics, and on the mobile and multinational character of NATO's forces. Additionally, the increased need for a closer cooperation with non-NATO nations and the requirement to logistically support PSO under legal peacetime conditions have a substantial influence on NATO and national logistics. A number of logistic implications need to be addressed, and these are discussed in the following paragraphs.

308. Flexibility. Logistic support must be sufficient to accommodate strategic and operational requirements. The wide range of possible operations in and beyond NATO's area requires flexibility in providing logistic assets and supplies. This calls for:

  • appropriate levels of support;
  • timely availability of resources;
  • transportability of equipment;
  • tailoring of logistic support to the forces and their employment options, to provide the optimum support for operational roles;
  • providing NATO Commanders at the appropriate levels with the necessary logistic authorities according to the operational situation;
  • ensuring that logistic planning is executed as an integral part of defence planning, and at the same levels at which force and operational planning takes place; and
  • promoting the interoperability with non-NATO nations to enable them to participate in NATO-led PSO.

309. Strategic Mobility, Movement and Transportation.
To provide the requisite degree of flexibility of employment options, nations must make adequate provision for the strategic movement and transportation of forces. Capacity/capability planning can provide the ability to react to varying political and military requirements. Sufficient air and surface transport resources, combined with essential infrastructure support such as ports and airfields, and effective civil/military movements planning and control organizations, are prerequisites for the deployment, employment and redeployment of NATO forces (see Chapter 14).

310. Multinationality. The Alliance's New Strategy as well as the new force structure demand for a substantial increase in multinational force structures and procedures. This must, of course, also be reflected in the logistic systems and structures of NATO and nations. Different modes of multinational support have been developed and have stood their first test during NATO's first PSO in the former Yugoslavia (see Chapter13). Additionally, adequate logistic authorities and responsibilities have been identified for NATO Commanders to give them the tools to properly coordinate and control multinational logistic structures and services (see Chapter 7).

311. Standardization. Levels of standardization will directly influence the combat effectiveness of NATO's forces, in particular that of multinational formations. Therefore, standardization of equipment, supplies and procedures is an overall logistic force multiplier and should always be taken into account. The interoperability of main equipment, interchangeability of combat supplies and commonality of procedures are the minimum objectives needed to attain combat effectiveness (see Chapter 17).

312. Host Nation Support (HNS). HNS as a supplement to organic support is crucial to the sustainability of forces. Bilateral and multilateral agreements, which take into account MNC requirements, contribute to the provision of necessary protection, logistic and infrastructure support for the reception, movement and employment of those forces. The required flexibility and multinationality of forces highlights the need for greater involvement by NATO Commanders in the development of HNS agreements. Moreover, the variety of deployment options requires a more generic approach be taken towards HNS planning than before (see Chapter 12).

313. Use of Local Resources. NATO may operate beyond its area of responsibility and/or in a situation where the Host Nation administration is incompetent or even hostile. Such a situation may require the procurement of civil resources and their centralized control by a multinational logistics entity (see Chapter 5).

314. Sustainability. Logistic elements will contribute to sustainability by maintaining the necessary combat equipment, combat support assets and war consumables at levels sufficient to sustain operations. Sustainability requirements will be met by balancing the peacetime provision and locations of logistic assets and war consumables with the ability to resupply and reinforce. This balance must ensure timely and continuous logistics support for a variety of employment options (see Chapter 4).

315. Medical Support. The medical services make a major contribution to sustainability by the prevention of disease and the rapid treatment of the sick, injured and wounded, and their early return to duty. Medical capabilities in the deployment area must be balanced with the force strength and the risk exposure; moreover, the medical support system must be operational prior to hostilities (see Chapter 16).

316. NATO Infrastructure. NATO infrastructure and nationally provided installations must be adequate to support NATO forces in accordance with security challenges and geostrategic considerations. Military requirements for infrastructure will be prioritized taking force missions into account. The NATO Security Investment Programme (NSIP) addresses these requirements (see Chapter 18).

317. Cooperation and Coordination. Enhanced civil-military cooperation and coordination will be essential to maximise the use of civil and industrial resources. This, combined with improved planning for industrial support, should ensure greater productivity in areas where industrial capabilities are available, production times are short, and dual use of certain civil resources can contribute to military needs (see Chapter 9). Cooperation and coordination is also required between NATO authorities and nations in the development of logistic concepts, doctrines, plans and procedures and in particular in planning of PSO.

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