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Logisticians deal with unknowns. They attempt to eliminate unknowns, one by one, until they are confident that they have done away with the possibility of paralyzing surprises.

                      	                            LTG William G. Pagonis
                           	     Commander, 22d Support Command (1992)

In peace operations, the US Army may find itself the principal provider of logistics support to a joint or multinational force. This chapter outlines aspects of logistics planning for peace operations. It includes specialized guidance for operating within the UN or other multinational logistics support environment, developing a local capability to provide support, and providing support to multinational forces as well as local nationals, NGOs, and PVOs.


Logistics-preparation-of-the-theater (LPT) is critical. LPT is a key tool available to logistics planners in building a flexible operational support plan. It consists of actions taken by logisticians to optimize means--force structure, resources, and strategic lift--of logistically supporting peace operations. These actions include identifying and preparing bases of operations; selecting and improving lines of communication (LOCs); projecting and preparing forward logistics bases; and forecasting and building operational stock assets forward and afloat. These actions focus on identifying the resources currently available in the theater for use by friendly forces and ensuring access to them. A detailed logistics estimate of requirements, tempered with LPT, allows the command logistician to advise leaders of the most effective method of providing support that will not overwhelm the force or fail to provide adequate, timely support. It involves the full range of logistics activities.

UN assessment teams are normally sent to a new mission site to provide UN leaders with information to refine force size and composition, as well as logistical planning data for force deployment and sustainment. When participating in a UN mission, engineers and logisticians should plan to participate in the UN mission survey team in order to prepare the UN assessment. Logistics automation and communication personnel may assist in this UN effort. US efforts to participate and/or coordinate with UN forces will improve the unity of effort and reduce potential conflicts for facilities or resources. Several logistics considerations are critical in peace operations. Those that cross functional lines include training, security, and transition.


Logisticians must consider special training for peace operations. Logistics planners at all levels must have a basic understanding of logistics and support doctrine, procedures, and capabilities. They must understand the limitations of the nations participating in the mission. The ultimate goal is logistics support and sustainment of the total force (see Figure 4-1). Planners must consider ways of integrating logistics automation and foreign parts and supplies into existing automation.

Figure 4-1. Logistics Training


All CS and CSS units are responsible for providing their own security. This security mission may however, detract from the unit capability to provide logistics support. Security may be provided by another unit to ensure the unrestricted flow of logistics. The US Army Criminal Investigation Command (USACIC) provides advice on logistics security.


Logisticians play a key role in planning transition of functions. Logistics functions performed by US Army elements may shift to--

  • Another US service.

  • An ally.

  • The UN or a regional alliance or coalition.

  • An NGO or PVO.

  • Civilian authorities or contractors.

In other situations, the requirement for the function may end. In such a case, the transition must be planned in depth. Transfers of functions require careful coordination between the two parties. They must specifically agree on what functions are involved, when the transfer is to take place, whether any assets will accompany the transfer, the standard required for the support function, and any other items peculiar to a particular situation. The same factors apply when a US element takes responsibility for a function from another party. Army units accepting functions cannot assume that equipment and supplies on hand when they arrive will remain behind for their use.


Nations, forces and agencies coordinate and work toward a common goal without reservation. Logistics may be conducted unilaterally. In other cases, a US element may be part of a logistics operation of the UN, a regional alliance, or an ad hoc coalition.

The most efficient logistics operation is planned and operated by one country. However, such a situation may not always be feasible or acceptable; therefore, logistics is often a shared responsibility. Such cases require extensive planning and coordination to integrate various national logistics systems. Yet, even a logistics operation led by the US involves numerous complexities since other elements of the force are likely to be from other countries.


Traditionally, the responsibility for logistics is a national responsibility. However, logistics support for a multinational operation must be the collective responsibility of the nations involved. The level of US participation in these operations is dependent on the objectives agreed upon at the national level.

The US logistician, as part of a multinational staff, will confront differences in terminology, procedures, cultural attitudes, and preferences related to all aspects of logistics. The multinational commanders or staffs may place demands on the system without understanding the capabilities and limitations of logistics elements. They may also require results not attainable through the logistics system or give directions that may conflict with established policies or procedures. Logisticians should use LNOs and have periodic coordination meetings to address these considerations.

Varying expectations of support from different elements of a multinational force provide another challenge during multinational operations. Nations must agree individually or through cooperative agreements to the provision of logistics resources or specific support requirements for their forces. Agreements may be worked out for specific operations where members of various contingents receive specific compensation such as cash bonuses, paid trips home, shorter tours, or specific logistics support. Without specifically agreed-upon levels of support, contingents may have different expectations regarding support. Logisticians must know if available support assets meet not only US standards but also those of supported multinational forces. In the case of subsistence, for instance, the standards include both hygiene and cultural and religious requirements.

The chief logistics officers of the force must ensure that standardized logistics procedures are based on mutual understanding. All must use these procedures and understand status reporting so that the chief logistics officer and his staff know what assets are available. In UN operations, logisticians should pay particular attention to the Guidelines for Contributing Nations, published by the UN. Logisticians must communicate logistics priorities to the chief administrative officer (CAO) to ensure consistency with budget priorities. See Figure 4-2.


UN operations present unique logistics challenges. However proactive coordination establishes effective logistics support and sustainment. Logistics policies and procedures for both the UN and participating nations should be tailored for the specific mission. Planning, coordination, and agreements among participating nations are essential. Also the effective use of contracting and control of funding is critical to eliminating unnecessary competition for limited resources.

The UN has only a small operational planning capability. A small staff of military officers from member nations assists the UN's military advisor in logistics planning. Support plans are typically developed for each operation. One of the most important planning aspects for each operation is to clearly affix logistics support responsibilities. Each contributing nation has some responsibility for providing logistical support to its own forces. Funding for UN operations is only approved after establishment of a force and only for the period of the mandate of the operation. Support techniques that may be efficient and effective for a lengthy operation may not be feasible if planners cannot count on funding past a short-term mandate period.

Figure 4-2. Multinational Logistics Operations

Finally, the nature of a peace operation is frequently fluid in terms of tactics and sometimes even strategies. As a result, logisticians who are used to time-driven schedules may have to adjust to working in event-driven situations.

The UN uses an expanded definition for the term logistics. The UN definition includes engineering, communications, and aviation support. UN headquarters, force headquarters, and contingents all deal with logistics. All must understand the UN logistics system.

United Nations Headquarters

The UN headquarters element that has the most responsibility for support to a UN-sponsored force is the field administration and logistics division (FALD) of the department of peacekeeping operations (DPKO). Its responsibilities include--

  • Planning the support structure.

  • Selecting key civilians for the operation.

  • Coordinating contributions from member states.

  • Prioritizing requirements from the force.

  • Negotiating local purchase agreements with host nations.

  • Negotiating for transportation to the theater.

The FALD develops its support plan around one of three possible methods.

  • One option is to have one nation control all the logistics for an operation. Though this is usually the most efficient option, it is not always acceptable, nor is one nation always capable or willing to perform this role.

  • The second option is to make logistics a shared responsibility, both in terms of logistics elements deployed and logistics personnel on the force headquarters staff.

  • The final option is to decentralize logistics and operations if the operation is dispersed over wide areas in different regions.

Figure 4-5. Planning, coordination, and agreement among participating nations is critical to UN logistics operations.

Force Headquarters

For the deployed force, the key logistics officers are the CAO and the chief logistics officer (CLO). The CAO has overall control of support to the operation, while the CLO controls the day-to-day logistics functions. Effective support to the force requires that these two officers work closely together.

The FALD appoints the CAO. The CAO may not be appointed for operations that are limited to a strictly observation mission. The CAO acts under the authority of the chief of mission, who is normally a special representative of the SYG. He retains a direct link to the UN headquarters. Within the AO, he is responsible for local purchases, host nation support, financial arrangements, prioritizing lift, and passing requirements to the FALD at the UN headquarters. If logistics operations are to be handled on a decentralized, regional basis, a CAO may be appointed for each region. CAO funding authority is limited. The CAO manages the entire mission budget.

The CLO is a military staff officer on the force headquarters staff. He is responsible for establishing and operating the logistics base, often called the field maintenance area. He uses a series of UN directives to control operations and ensures all contingents understand the logistics policies and procedures. The CLO validates all logistics requirements and passes them to the CAO for funding and procurement. The CLO also controls the activities of the logistics elements in the logistics base. Typically those elements provided by each contingent are organized into a force logistics support group (FLSG).

The FLSG coordinates receipt of stocks and movement to forward bases, as well as the sustainment of the force. The FLSG headquarters, under control of the CLO, coordinates support to contingents and keeps the force headquarters apprised of the logistics situation. The FLSG headquarters includes staff elements called national support cells from each contingent. These cells oversee support to their contingents and serve as liaison elements to coordinate with other contingent cells. The logistics activities provided by the FLSG include the full range of logistics support.

Figure 4-3. NATO Logistics Principles

The base also includes maintenance shops and facilities for other required services such as postal or operations. The UN provides any required unique items such as UN berets, field caps, hat bands, scarves, and cloth shoulder pads. Also, the FALD provides contingents with supply planning factors.


For each participating nation, logistics planning is similar to planning for any other multinational operation, except it receives support from a UN-operated base. Each contingent provides a national support element (NSE) to the FLSG. The NSE is a logistics operations element incorporated into the FLSG to meet the requirements of its contingent.

Some contingents may be self-supporting, while others rely on cooperative resources and bilateral agreements. Each operation is different. The UN negotiates the level of stocks the participating nations must bring. However, planners should anticipate a requirement to build a self-sufficient contingent force for the early stages of the operation.

The UN typically requests national contingents to arrive with personal weapons and ammunition, organic transportation, unit radios, organic maintenance and medical assets, and an agreed-upon stockage level of all supplies for 30 to 90 days. Despite such requests, units may arrive with little more than rifles and rucksacks. In such cases, the UN seeks donations of equipment from member nations, buys new equipment, or attempts to procure equipment on the local market. The UN's member nations have agreed to establish stockpiles of essential supplies and equipment. This effort will the speed UN's operational response time.

NATO Operations

When called upon to reinforce peace operations using NATO forces, planners must be aware of NATO requirements and procedures. Nations and NATO authorities have a collective responsibility for logistics support of NATO's multinational operations.

Although each nation bears ultimate responsibility for ensuring the provision of logistics support for its forces allocated to NATO, the NATO commander establishes the logistics requirements and coordinates logistics support within his AO. While nations have first call on their logistics resources, NATO commanders may direct the redistribution of logistics resources to meet critical operational needs. The principles in Figure 4-3 emphasize logistics support responsibilities during NATO operations. NATO logistics doctrine is addressed in greater detail in MC-319(1), MC-326 (2), and MCM-CIJ-001-94 (3).


The UN will reimburse contributing countries for the costs of the operations in accordance with its standard procedures as covered in the UN guidelines to contributing governments, aides-memoir to the peacekeeping agreement, notes verbal, and specific and general letters of assist (LOA).

If possible, the UN must approve all elements of national contributions and the extent of reimbursement prior to the actual deployment. Therefore, costs incurred for activities and troop deployments that are not agreed to by the UN will not normally be reimbursed by the UN. The CAO determines the obligatory authority in a particular operation.

US logisticians should track items that the UN agrees to reimburse. The CAO or his designated representative verify delivery of supplies or services. UN reimbursement is contingent on validation of requirements prior to obligation of funds and verification that supplies and services were rendered. Bills are generated for reimbursable items and sent through channels to the UN (see Figure 4-4).

Logistics assistance during peace operations may be furnished under a variety of statutes:

  • For ongoing UN operations, much of the support is provided under Section 552 of the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA), Title 22.

  • In other cases, support involving NATO countries may be covered by NATO agreements.

  • The President may direct an emergency drawdown of military department inventory stocks under Section 506 of the FAA for emergency assistance programs or support or under Section 552 of the FAA for PK.

  • In an emergency drawdown, all materiel, services, and training must be drawn from existing service stocks. This emergency authority does not authorize new procurement or expenditure of service funds.

  • Support may be provided to other countries and to the UN under FAA, Section 607, Sales or Grant Transfers, or with reciprocal services or replacement-in-kind under Title 10, Chapter 138, with Secretary of State approval.

  • Logistics support authorized under Chapter 138 includes food, billeting, petroleum, oils, transportation, nondistinctive clothing, communications services, medical services, ammunition, storage, spare parts, repair and maintenance services, and training. Unlike security assistance transfers under the FAA, however, logistics support authorized under Title 10, Chapter 138 does not include major end items, missiles, or bombs.

  • The service judge advocate will answer questions concerning fiscal issues associated with the provision of statutory logistics support.


The LSE is the forward element of the national strategic logistics base and may perform any and all supply, maintenance, readiness, and other logistical functions. Its traditional role is to support Army forces. However, by augmenting its normal role, it is also uniquely structured to support multinational land forces. The LSE can establish and operate a humanitarian depot in coordination with local authorities,

Figure 4-4. UN Reimbursement to the US

multinational partners, and nongovernment agencies. The LSE must augment its organic capability to maintain non-US weapon systems. The following logistics functions are key to peace operations.


Early deployment of transportation planners, a port-opening package, and movement control staff are critical. In underdeveloped countries, the logistician must plan to conduct transportation and movements control in adjacent and/or supporting countries to ensure expeditious resupply to the.

Movement Control

In a UN-controlled or multinational environment, participating nations share use of the same LOCs (air, sea, ports), requiring prioritization and deconfliction of the use of LOCs. The commander may establish a multinational movements control center (MCC) at the UN level to resolve disputes, allocate resources, and integrate transportation efforts. If US forces provide a majority of inland movement assets, the US may be required to provide a US movement control element to form the nucleus of the MCC or to provide representatives if another nation has the mission. The senior US movement control organization must ensure US requirements are adequately articulated and integrated into multinational plans.

Port Authority

A military or civilian port authority integrates seaport operations; discharges US, multinational, and civilian vessels; and manages real estate in the port and adjacent areas. In the absence of a recognized government or civilian authority, planners must select the appropriate headquarters to perform this mission.

Augmentees to a civilian or multinational port authority staff may be required. These may include a diplomatic officer (DOS), a political officer, a judge advocate officer (with knowledge of maritime law), a military translator, a LNO for contract supervision, and a CA team.

Inland Movement

Planning for inland movement must ensure that adequate transportation assets, materiel, and cargo handling equipment are provided. Types of units provided are based on the mission, terrain, and route characteristics.


Maintenance elements should be prepared to support civilian assets as well as those of other military forces in peace operations. Also, the UN may purchase US equipment to outfit other multinational forces. In such cases, those forces may not have the capability to repair or perform preventive maintenance on the equipment. US units may be called on to provide support or at least identify total support packages that include tools, repair parts, test equipment, and training. National-level agreements determine the extent of maintenance support of other nations' equipment.

The end state may require that maintenance support for peace operations include reestablishing and/or upgrading the infrastructure maintenance capabilities. This may entail providing tools and equipment to multinational and local forces. Careful property accountability is important. Non-US personnel at the user level may also require training in maintenance and supply automation


Unique aspects of peace operations in a multinational context include the need for compatibility of automated systems among direct-support, materiel management, and financial management organizations. Additionally, LPT and a greater reliance on UN support and local and contingency contracting to provide supplies may release valuable strategic lift for both supplies and CSS units.

When possible, it may be more efficient to assign a single supply support responsibility to one nation. Another unique aspect of multinational operations is that non-US forces are generally not authorized to use the Army and Air Force Exchange System (AAFES) or other exchange facilities. This may generate misunderstandings and expectations of support that need to be addressed. Under some circumstances, the commander can authorize the limited use of exchange facilities by foreign military forces operating with US forces. However, the commander must carefully consider the ramifications of such a decision.

Field Service Support

Predetermined agreements aid in providing economy of force. Field service support personnel must respect the social mores, customs, and standards of health and welfare of the locality, as well as the peace operation participants. Logisticians should use available services in the AO or those provided by other forces to reduce the required force structure.

Health Service Support

Planners for peace operations must consider all health service support (HSS) systems. In determining requirements for assets, they must consider the impact of providing medical care to multinational forces or local populations. Peace operations result in more frequent and direct contact with the local population. Provision for the mix of care-provider skills, instrument sizes, drugs, and supplies to support pediatric, geriatric, and obstetric problems requires prior planning for mission support. The US can project power from forward presence locations in response to requirements from the NCA. Because of this presence, medical units of the medical command (MEDCOM) and/or corps support command (COSCOM) are among the initial medical forces available outside the continental United States (OCONUS).

Personnel Services

In peace operations the personnel system may need to account for joint, multinational, or local personnel. Maintaining accurate strength accounting may be more demanding due to unusual tailoring of units to fit the particular peace operation mission. Strength reporting according to the UN format is required for reimbursement by the UN. Personnel units may assist local civilian authorities in personnel identification, classification, and accounting. Personnel units may assist in receiving and interviewing civilians to collect information and to identify individual skills that may be useful in the conduct of the operation. Personnel units may account for civilian casualties.

Religious Support

Peace operations require a diverse religious support capability. Without augmentation, each commander must share religious support assets to form a religious support system with diverse cultural and religious capabilities.

Band Support

Bands fulfill a variety of music roles to include military support to diplomacy, PA, CA, civil-military operations, PSYOP, and HA.

Finance Operations

Finance elements should deploy early to support procurement efforts and to begin the accounting process for peace operations. They also interpret, coordinate, and disseminate financial guidance to the commander.

Additionally, finance support ensures that soldiers' pay accounts reflect all entitlements associated with their peace operations duties. The deployed finance elements provide limited check-cashing support to soldiers and DOD civilians. Operational policies and may impose restrictions on cash payments to soldiers and limitations on currency and the value of goods removed from the country. Finance elements may be required to certify that such currency is a reasonable remainder of pay received in that country.

Historical Perspective (1)

Operation Able Sentry, a UN preventive deployment mission in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, provides some insight into the positive impact of chaplains in this environment. In this part of the world, diverse religions clearly play a significant role in the daily lives of the population. Religion captures the spotlight in the national political arena as well.

In FYROM, for example, 60 percent of the population is Greek Orthodox, 25 percent is Muslim, and 2 percent is Roman Catholic. The remainder is splintered among a variety of religions and sects. A task force chaplain's interaction with the Macedonian Roman Catholic bishop and local Greek Orthodox priests proved significant in convincing the religious leaders to view the UN mission positively. The calming effect resulting from "telling the UN/US story" proved significant in enhancing both force protection (citizens now view the UN positively) and the overall mission.

Historical Perspective

In the first 30 days, finance support touched more than one-third of the Army force deployed and was directly responsible for providing Army units the capability of employing more than 120 local citizens, freeing that number or more soldiers for the direct support of Operation Restore Hope.

33d Finance Battalion After-Action Report

Finance elements may provide for currency support, including currency exchange. Finance may provide payments for weapons turned in (weapons for cash), other bounties and claims, and other special programs. They may provide disbursing support to properly credentialed civilians (media, Red Cross), and civilian contractors. They may also pay travel and per diem for temporary duty during the operation.

Contracting Support

For UN operations, contracting support includes accounting for support provided to US forces through UN forces contracting and disbursing and arranging for reimbursement. Commercial vendor services (CVS) support covers the immediate needs of the force that cannot be reasonably met by normal logistics. CVS payments are usually paid by imprest fund cashiers, or Class A agents. These cash payments cover such expenses as day laborer wages and small quantities of supplies and services.

Some operations may require the creation of joint or multinational contracting elements, staffed by personnel from all services and contingents operating in the theater. Joint contracting organizations promote cooperation and coordination among the service elements and preclude interservice competition for local supplies and services to more effectively use scarce resources. In UN operations, contracting operations should be coordinated with the UN chief procurement officer. A budget officer should also be involved in early planning.

Legal Services

Peace operations present many unique legal service support issues that may not be present in other types of operations. The legal services support package must meet the traditional legal assistance, military justice, administrative and civil law (including contract and fiscal law advice), and operational and international law needs of the deploying force. The package must also be tailored to the particular peace operation. Additional peace operations planning considerations for legal services may include, but are not limited to--

  • Staffing a multinational task force law office designed to support the operations of many nations and/or the UN.

  • Coordinating the efforts of attorneys from many nations, ensuring quality and consistency of advice.

  • Having foreign claims authority and sufficient assets to investigate and adjudicate claims.

  • Adjudicating conflict of law issues when no government or legal system or procedures for reestablishing a government or legal system exists.

  • Assisting with legal issues when dealing with NGOs and PVOs.

1. NATO Principles and Policies for Logistics.

2. Medical Support Precepts and Guidance for NATO.

3. NATO Commander's Authority Over Logistics Resources, [Annex A to MC-319).

1. Adapted from a Center for Army lessons learned "News From the Front."

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