Updated: 15 June 1999 Documents


Appendix D

Operational Capabilities Concept
for NATO-led PfP Operations

This appendix sets out the principal features of the Operational Capabilities Concept for NATO-led PfP Operations (OCC) and provides advice and recommended taskings for the development of the full Operational Capabilities Concept by the time of the Autumn 1999 Ministerial meetings. It has been developed on the basis of the PMSC's recommendations noted by the NAC through PO(INV)(99)29 (circulated to Partners under EAPC/PFP(PMSC)N(99)21) and interim NMA advice in MCM-031-99.

Outline Concept

  1. The Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC) is designed to establish new means and mechanisms to reinforce PfP's operational capabilities through enhanced and closer military cooperation. The OCC would seek to improve the interoperability of Partner forces and thereby the ability of Allied and Partner forces to operate together in future NATO-led PfP operations. The OCC has two specific aims:
    1. to improve the ability of Partner forces to contribute to NATO-led PfP operations; and,

    2. to give increased flexibility, predictability about potential contributions, and capability in putting together tailored force packages to mount and sustain future NATO-led PfP operations.


  1. The development and implementation of the OCC will be governed by several fundamental principles. It must not compromise NATO's integrity and ability to fulfil, independent of Partners, the full range of its missions. It must recognise that the decision to take part in a specific operation is taken on a case-by-case basis by both NATO and Partner nations. It must be open to all Partners, regardless of their levels of progress, aspirations and means, and it must safeguard the basic PfP principles, such as self-differentiation. Finally, training will remain a national responsibility.

Means and Mechanisms to Reinforce PfP's Operational Capabilities

  1. The OCC will be developed, inter alia, on the basis of the following elements:
    1. Pool(s) of Forces and Capabilities:

      The OCC will identify pool(s) of Partner forces and capabilities, which will be further elaborated and will be potentially available for NATO-led PfP operations. In principle, all Partner forces and capabilities declared by nations through PARP or other appropriate mechanisms are potentially available for NATO-led PfP operations. This "declared pool(s)" of forces could include multinational Ally/Partner formations as well as Partner units and multinational formations involving Partners alone.

    2. Established Multinational Formations:

      Multinational formations involving Partners, and possibly Partners and Allies, could be included in the OCC, if agreed by participating nations, as a cohesive contribution to the pool(s) of forces and capabilities. Actual contributions may also be made available in the form of the respective national contingents from such multinational formations.

    3. Peacetime Working Relationships:

      The further development of effective and efficient peacetime working relationships would facilitate the preparation and integration of these forces into a NATO-led PfP operation. The OCC would, therefore, envisage enhanced peacetime working relationships between Partner and Alliance headquarters and staffs, and between Allied and Partner formations. These enhanced relationships would build on the informal peacetime working relationships, which already exist as a result of PfP cooperation to date in the military field. When fully developed, they will represent a new quality in PfP military cooperation, by providing more structured arrangements than currently exist within the PfP framework. Such peacetime working relationships, including regular training and exercises and possible assessment and feedback mechanisms, will foster the habits of cooperation, standardisation and interoperability that are key to military effectiveness in multinational forces.

      NMA advice on the implementation of the CJTF concept in MCM-038-99 notes that based on the successful participation of Partners in CJTF trial exercises, it would be considered advantageous for the Alliance if a pool of trained augmentation modules from Partner nations could be established ready to fill a role in the CJTF HQ. In this context, it will be necessary to consider how the implementation of CJTF could be supported by the peacetime working relations that are envisaged in the OCC.

    4. Assessment and Feedback Mechanisms:

      A central element of the concept will be for the Alliance to assess and provide feedback on the operational capabilities of declared Partner forces. This aims at improving the military effectiveness of those forces requested by Partners to be assessed. Partners could be included in the assessment, as well as in the selection of the appropriate NATO standards to be applied.

      Such militarily effective contributions will thus facilitate the force generation and tailoring process and enhance the Alliance's capability to sustain long duration operations. Once a Partner's declared contribution had been assessed as providing an appropriate capability, Alliance planners might reasonably count it as ready to contribute to NATO-led PfP operations. This will of course have to be subject to the particular circumstances of any operation that arose, and any operational certification process that might be deemed necessary by the appropriate military authorities at the time.

    5. Enabling Mechanisms:

      Subject to a further assessment of the military value and political advisability of formalising enabling mechanisms in advance, while noting the proven utility of the SOFAs, the OCC will address, with a view to standardisation and interoperability, enabling mechanisms that might facilitate the conduct of NATO-led operations with Partners, such as host nation support, cross-servicing, basing, airspace and transit arrangements.


  1. The OCC will take account of the work of the PMSC and other NATO bodies on multinationality and multinational formations in the framework of PfP. The concept will address the challenges and opportunities of multinationality, drawing a distinction between established multinational formations and multinationality as practised in SFOR. It would have a strong "operational" focus, and emphasise the desirability of additional peacetime measures for improving the military effectiveness of multinational forces which are likely to cooperate in future NATO-led PfP operations.

Related Initiatives

  1. Without prejudice to the outcome of ongoing work on other PfP initiatives, the development of the OCC will need to take into account a number of related issues, which have already been implemented or are currently under development. The OCC will support the implementation of the PMF and Partners participation in the CJTF concept. It will also draw on the expanded and adapted PARP and support the Membership Action Plan in enhancing the interoperability of Partner forces with those of the Alliance. The OCC will also build on PfP enhancements, particularly in the military field, that have already been implemented or are currently under development. In this regard, the work underway on common modalities for multinational formations, on the routine assessment of Partner units for NATO-led PfP operations, and on the possible analysis and lessons learned mechanisms for evaluation of PfP exercises will need to be considered. The OCC will also have to take into account improvements to PfP Training and Education suggested in Appendix E.

Political-military Considerations for the Development of the OCC

  1. Initial political-military considerations for the development of the OCC include:

    • The concept should be assessed in terms of its value added.

    • If additional training and exercise activities are recommended as part of the OCC, these should be clearly described. The aim is to increase the quality of PfP training and exercises, not to do more. This might be done by working within currently programmed PfP exercise levels. Such activities would be separate from Alliance Article 5 training.

    • Common training of Allied and Partner forces should not detract from the value and training capacity relating to Article 5.

    • For all elements of the OCC, quality should be emphasised over quantity.

    • The ability of the Alliance and Partners to absorb proposed activities in OCC should be considered.

    • The OCC should seek to improve transparency of in the spirit of PfP activities and to make optimum use of these activities in support of the concept, while respecting their national character.

    • The ability of established multinational formations to be self-supporting and sustainable will be a major consideration. The optimisation of military effectiveness in this regard will be more challenging the lower the level of multinationality.

    • The implementation of peacetime working relationships within the OCC should not result in a loss of military capability for the Alliance.

    • Means and mechanisms using the tools of PfP should be explored to enhance all Partners' ability to take full advantage of the new opportunities offered by the OCC.


  1. Resource implications for Allies and Partners must be fully taken into account in all elements of the OCC. Cost effectiveness and affordability will be key considerations in the development of the means and mechanisms of the OCC. Although resource estimates will only become available as the activities are developed over time, it is clear that, in line with current PfP activities, implementation will largely rely on national defence budgets and manpower allocations. Additionally, many of the commonly funded activities supporting the enhanced and more operational Partnership, including the OCC when implemented, will have been programmed or budgeted as part of overall Alliance requirements (e.g. exercise budgets, CJTF and Computer-Assisted Exercises capabilities, Peace Support Operations). The focus of the OCC resource implications will be on manpower and specifically the operational impact of assigning that manpower to PfP activities. NATO resource bodies should nevertheless be invited to review, where appropriate in consultation with the NMAs, the common-funded resource implications of the OCC.


  1. Council is invited to agree the following recommendations:

    1. task the PMSC to develop political-military advice on the OCC and report to the NAC by 1 June 1999;

    2. task the NMAs, based on political-military advice to be developed in accordance with the above tasking, to provide further recommendations regarding the OCC's elements by 1 September 1999;

    3. task the PMSC to provide an interim report to the NAC by mid-September 1999;

    4. task the PMSC to develop the full OCC, as part of the comprehensive report on the overall implementation of the enhanced and more operational Partnership, taking into account further military advice, in time for the Autumn 1999 Ministerial meetings; and,

    5. task the Senior Resource Board, in consultation with the NMAs, and the Civil Budget Committee - as part of the tasking in paragraph 19 d. of the main body of this report - to provide an affordability assessment of this concept by the time of the Autumn 1999 Ministerial meetings.