October 1997

Chapter 5: Logistic Support for Peace Support Operations

Logistic Support Guidelines

508. A clear mandate and well-planned logistic support are essential to successful NATO peacekeeping activities. PSO will usually involve a mix of type forces: formed and ad hoc units, individual observers, patrols, and groupings from non-NATO nations or non-government organizations (NGOs). The mix to be supported may include civilians and civil police as well as military personnel, and it may be called upon to perform political, humanitarian, security, disaster relief, and liaison tasks in conjunction with the basic peacekeeping mission. Logistic support for PSO may very well include requirements not normally included in the Alliance definition of "logistics". Consideration could be given to providing guidance for support in the areas of command and control, administration, communications, food and water supply, engineering, military police, ammunition, contracting, maintenance, materiel, medical, petroleum, services, and transportation.

General Logistic Guidelines

509. The provision of logistic support to national forces is ultimately the responsibility of the nations providing forces; and nations must ensure collective or individual provision of logistic support resources (including strategic mobility) to achieve maximum effectiveness. However, insofar as PSO involve NATO multinational forces, the NATO authorities will have an important co-ordinating role among participating nations and other organizations (such as the UN). Through such coordination, it will be possible to increase the overall effectiveness of logistic efforts. Logistic planning factors should include the following:

  1. Logistic support concepts and procedures, as well as the size and structure of logistic units, should be tailored to the supported forces and their related employment options. The concept should take into account:
    • the national mix of multinational support forces;
    • logistic sites available or required for multinational support operations;
    • support that can be obtained from NATO agencies and organizations;
    • the required level of standardization of equipment, supplies and logistics procedures; and
    • the possible need, in cooperation with nations, to plan and co-ordinate the deployment of the force, including prioritization, movement and transport-ation coordination, co-operative use of military transport resources, reception, staging, and onward movement.
  2. Levels and the distribution of logistic resources must be sufficient to achieve designated degrees of readiness, sustainability and mobility to provide the required military capability. This will involve:

    • reviewing/initiating and implementing host nation support arrangements where appropriate;
    • co-ordinating with appropriate civil organizations for the use of civil/commercial resources;
    • determining interoperability and interchangeability requirements for procedures, equipment and supplies;
    • calculation of daily consumption rates, and the level of logistic support required;
    • movement and transport planning, with particular emphasis on co-ordinating deployment, reception, staging, and onward movement;
    • the preparation of equipment and supplies to achieve the most cost effective deployment method;
    • planning for in-theatre local procurement of supplies and services;
    • normal back-up supply and service support through links (or lines of communication) to the rear (national or multinational, military or civilian support organizations); and
    • the provision by participating nations of a coherent logistic structure for their forces tailored to the needs of the mission: this will include the initial self-sufficiency required until such time as the force logistic structure is operational, and follow-on sustainment which must be planned in accordance with the overall force logistic concept.


510. PSO planners should ensure that appropriate coordination is effected with UN Headquarters, and between military and civilian supported and supporting agencies, to ensure logistic related issues, including financial aspects, are addressed at the required level. The flexibility of logistic support is enhanced by the increased powers of NATO Commanders over logistic resources of NATO nations as defined in MC319/1.


511. The provision and increased effectiveness of logistic support may be achieved using any combination of methods, including: individual national responsibility; mutual support; multinational integrated logistics; role specialization; lead nation; host nation; and UN sources (to include the letting of UN-financed local contracts). (See Chapters 12 and 13 for in-depth coverage of these multinational logistic options).


512. Deployment options dictate the levels of strategic mobility, transportation and movement of forces required. PSO normally allow for a steady build up of forces including equipment and supplies. Nations in their contributions to NATO PSO forces need to take into consideration:

  • readiness criteria (time to get ready to deploy from date of notification) and consideration of operational timescales for deployment and transit times;
  • movement requirements in terms of equipment, personnel or stocks as part of the deployment manoeuvre;
  • transport resource requirements by modes of transport to support the movement requirement, inter alia, the availability of commercial transport resources (particularly shipping);
  • reception and onward movement requirements; and
  • overflight/transit requirements through other, non-NATO nations.

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