Chapter 7: NATO Principles and Policies for Logistics
704. Following policies are to be observed.
Logistic support should be provided by balancing
the peacetime provision and locations of logistic assets
and conflict consumables with the ability to resupply
and reinforce to ensure timely and continuous support.
This must include appropriate arrangements for peace
support operations beyond NATO's Area of Responsibility.
- Logistic Planning
- Logistic support concepts, structures and
procedures must be tailored to the respective forces and
their related employment options.
- Logistic planning, including movement
and transportation planning, should be executed as
an integral part of defence planning, and be
consistent with force and operational planning. The
consideration of Host Nation Support (HNS) and/or the use of
local resources is a vital and indispensable part of
that planning process.
- National and NATO logistic planning must
be harmonised as early as possible during the
operational planning process.
- Force Planning and Generation
- The readiness and availability of logistic units
and personnel should be adapted to the force they
support, thereby ensuring the timely support of the force.
- Mission related logistic force generation
under peacetime conditions is an important aspect of
planning for non-Article 5 operations. Therefore, logistic
force requirements must be established at an early stage
and in consultation with nations, taking into account
the need to man the force continuously in the event of
a protracted operation.
- Non-NATO nations should be integrated into
the force generation process for non-Article 5
operations at the earliest opportunity.
- Logistic capabilities required, including those to
support non-Article 5 operations, should be identified
within the force planning process and the PfP Planning
and Review Process (PARP).
- The achieved levels of standardisation must be
taken into consideration when forces are generated and
the order of battle is established.
- Logistic Command and Control
- In order to coordinate national and
multinational logistics and to execute their logistic authorities
and responsibilities, NATO Commanders must have appropriate logistic command and control
capabilities within their staffs. Designated NATO HQs should
have the ability to establish a responsive
deployable command and control structure for
multinational logistic operations if required.
- The communications and information systems
between NATO, national and multinational logistic staffs
must provide efficient and compatible interfaces. As
required, provision should be made for reliable
communications with participating non-NATO nations and
other organisations such as the UN, OSCE, WEU and NGOs.
- Logistic reporting must provide sufficient visibility
to enable NATO Commanders to fulfil their mission,
and to accommodate the graduated needs of peace,
crisis and conflict.
- The NATO Commander establishes the
logistic requirements, and co-ordinates logistic planning
and support within his area of responsibility. This
will include, in close cooperation with nations,
the implementation of the different methods for
logistic support, such as purely national support or
- Appropriate responsibilities should also be granted
to a non-NATO Commander of a multinational force within a NATO-led operation. Vice versa, the
NATO Commanders' responsibilities will also apply for
non-NATO nations' troop contingents.
- The NATO Commander assumes responsibility
for tasks as directed. These could include, in addition
to logistics, where appropriate:
- rear area security;
- operating points of entry and lines of communication;
- coordination of the use of real estate; and
- theatre level engineering.
- Each nation bears ultimate responsibility for
ensuring the provision of logistic support for its forces
allocated to NATO. This may be discharged in a number of
ways, including agreements with other nations or with NATO.
NATO Commanders may be tasked to mediate and coordinate such agreements.
- Nations retain control over their own resources,
until such time as they are released to the
- The provision of specific logistic functions may
be assumed by a lead nation or by a role
specialist nation. The lead nation may also assume
the responsibility to coordinate logistics of other
nations within its functional and regional area of responsibility.
- NATO Commanders at agreed levels have
the authority to redistribute specified logistic
assets committed by nations for the support of the
forces under their command. Redistribution is not a
routine procedure but only a temporary expedient
to overcome unanticipated deficiencies in support of
an operational mission. Redistribution shall not jeopardise the survivability of the providing force
(see Chapter 13).
- The NATO Commander assumes control of
commonly provided resources as directed.
- The specific rules concerning authorities,
responsibilities and funding in the case of multinational
integrated logistic units are to be established at
an early stage during the planning process and
well before transfer of authority.
- The NATO Commander has the authority to
establish requirements for HNS and the use of local resources,
to initiate and participate in bilateral and
multilateral negotiations and, where appropriate, to conclude
HNS arrangements on behalf of sending nations subject
to their prior concurrence. Specific arrangements
will govern this process for forces of NATO nations
outside the integrated military structure, for forces of
non-NATO nations and for negotiations with other organisations such as the UN, OSCE, WEU, and NGOs.
- The NATO Commander is authorized to require
reports on, and inspect (1), in peace, crisis and conflict, the quantity and quality of specified logistic assets designated
to support the forces which will be under his command.
For non-NATO nations, this will include the
certification of logistic units prior to the deployment and
inspection as required of specified logistic assets.
- Logistic cooperation between the civilian and
the military sectors, within and between nations,
must make best use of limited resources.
- Duplication of common logistic functions must
be minimized. Equitable cooperative arrangements
and mutual assistance among nations in the provision
and the use of logistic resources should ease the
individual burden. The application of the different modes
of multinational logistics such as multinational
integrated logistic support, role specialization in certain
logistic areas, commonly funded resources and the lead
nation principle should be considered where these
are beneficial and cost effective as appropriate solutions
in providing logistic support, especially for
multinational forces. The potential of NATO agencies, such as
the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), in the support of multilateral ventures should be considered when this is cost-effective.
- Movement and Transportation
- Movement systems and transportation
resources must be able to respond to force and
logistic deployments, sequentially or concurrently,
to accommodate de-escalation, to adjust the
movement flow, and even to reverse it.
- Sufficient transportation capability, with
associated standardized movement control, coordination
and prioritization systems, must be provided from military and civil resources.
- Nations should ensure ready and economical
access to appropriate civil and military
transportation resources and infrastructure, in order to meet
reaction times in peace, crisis or conflict.
- The use of military and civilian transport
resources made available for the deployment, resupply
and redeployment of forces, must be co-ordinated at
the appropriate level, and must be responsive to
the NATO Commanders' overall priorities.
- Detailed principles and policies for movement
and transportation are laid down in MC 336/1
(see Chapter 14).
- Host Nation Support
- The variety of deployment options requires that
a generic approach be taken towards HNS planning.
As a consequence, nations will generate
appropriate military and/or civil support capacities and
capabilities - in accordance with logistic
arrangements/Memoranda of Understanding - to conduct HNS planning
in coordination with NATO authorities. However,
there will remain circumstances, notably but not
exclusively for Reaction Forces, in which HNS planning
against specific requirements can and should continue.
For operations beyond NATO's Area of
Responsibility, provisions must be made for a central co-ordinating
and contracting capability at theatre level.
- The NATO principles and policies for
HNS planning are laid down in MC 334/1 in more
detail (see Chapter 12).
- Civil Resources
- An optimum balance between use of military
and civil resources should be exploited whenever
feasible, reliable, timely and cost-effective.
- Nations should review national legislation and
other arrangements to facilitate the use of civil
resources in peace and early in the crisis spectrum, in
particular with respect to HNS, transportation, other
deployment-related resources, infrastructure, and industrial support.
- When feasible, the dual use of resources should
be actively pursued. Defence features should be incorporated in the design and construction of civil assets and installations as appropriate and
cost-effective, thus enabling them to meet the military requirement when this exceeds that needed for commercial use.
While many general logistic precepts apply to
medical support, medical authorities face unique operational
and technical problems affecting the health of armed
forces. Thus, medical support requires that distinctive
principles, policy, and guidance be defined:
- In Article 5 and
non-Article 5 operations, the goal of military medical services is to provide medical care
at a standard as close as possible to prevailing
peacetime standards, given military exigencies.
- The medical support system of a force must be
capable of maintaining the necessary quality and quantity
of treatment and evacuation activities during peace,
crisis, and conflict. This requires having on hand or in
reserve appropriate medical equipment, supplies, and
evacuation capacity, as well as having the ability to resupply and
to replace medical personnel on a continuous basis.
- Medical support plans must include detailed
measures for the prevention of disease and injury to
deploying forces as a key factor of personnel sustainability.
- The medical capabilities in the area of operation
must be in balance with the force strength and the
exposure to risk. The aim must be to provide, prior to the
onset of crises or hostilities, sufficient capability so as
to adequately collect, evacuate, treat, and
hospitalise casualties at the expected rate, and to expand
this capability as needed.
- The responsibility for obtaining medical
support resources, and for planning and controlling the
medical support of national forces and national
components of multinational forces, rests with each nation.
This principle must be tempered by the need for
cooperation, coordination, and economy, and may include
cooperative arrangements initiated by NATO
Commanders. Nations retain the ultimate responsibility for the health
of assigned forces but, on transfer of authority, the
NATO Commander will share the responsibility for the
health of assigned forces.
- Detailed medical support precepts and
guidance, governed by specific medical factors, are laid down
in MC 326 (see Chapter 16).
- Armaments and Standardization
- Logistic support considerations should be
integrated into the design and production of systems
and equipment . Equally, the design of military
equipments and systems should take account, wherever
possible, of civil components and standards.
- Standardization of materiel and services has a
direct impact on sustainability and combat
effectiveness and should therefore be attained as far as
possible. The minimum objectives are interoperability of
main equipment, interchangeability of combat
supplies, and commonality of procedures. Sufficient
flexibility must be provided to allow the inclusion of
non-NATO nations in NATO-led operations.
- For Article 5 operations, the established funding
and budget principles and policies will apply.
- For non-Article 5 operations, beyond NATO's
Area of Responsibility, specific principles and policies
will be established by the NAC. These should be
available as early as possible and provide sufficient
flexibility and practicable authorities for the commander in
the field. As a prerequisite, this requires a timely
and credible request by the NATO Military
Authorities to the NAC.
- MC 319/1
- NATO Principles and Policies for Logistics
- MC 326/1
- Medical Support Precepts and Guidance for NATO
- MC 334/1
- NATO Principles and Policies for Host Nation Support Planning
- MC 336/1
- The Movement and Transportation Concept for NATO
- MC 400/1
- Military Implementation of the Alliance's Strategic Concept
France cannot accept the authority to inspect logistic assets