Genesis of a Logistics Train – Constructing a Modular Content material for Tactical Logistics Instructions

Genesis of a Logistics Train – Constructing a Modular Content material for Tactical Logistics Instructions


By Sandra Huber & Michael Kidd




A resurgent Russia has as soon as once more highlighted the significance of the NATO alliance. For such a big and numerous group, NATO is in a relentless state of innovation analyzing, testing, and the place applicable implementing new concepts. A chief instance is the creation of two Joint Logistics Assist Teams (JLSGs); 1 star deployable logistics headquarters that command enablers and coordinate theater logistics – allowing operational commanders to focus extra carefully on the mission whereas JLSG can place its whole organizational give attention to logistics. Particularly, they handle all features of Reception, Staging, and Onward Motion (RSOM) and threerd line sustainment of NATO forces on the tactical stage, to incorporate transportation, medical, engineering, and power safety (NATO, 2018).


These nascent instructions, situated in Naples Italy (JLSGNP), and Brunssum Netherlands, have engaged in a multi-year effort to construct their functionality by the start of 2023. STEADFAST JUPITER 22 was to be the capstone train for JLSG Naples. A totally built-in NATO train with over 20 coaching audiences the place JLSGNP would take a look at its mettle in help of a fancy multi-domain mission. The train would pressurize the command to see if the insurance policies and procedures it established would survive contact with an intricate set of challenges. 


In 2022 NATO de-prioritized STEADFAST JUPITER over fast necessities. Whereas most instructions shifted focus to different duties, for a variety of organizations, that was merely not an possibility. I needed to assess my command’s skill to command and management logistics forces. Our skill to help future operations as a part of the NATO response power is a precedence mission!” stated Admiral Vizulis, Commander – JLSG Naples. 


Directing his command to leverage the preliminary train plans into a fancy logistics Command and Management (C2) train, Admiral Vizulis pressed a usually 18 month planning cycle into six months whereas rebranding the train as a fancy logistically centered downside set. In whole, 172 group members from 16 completely different Headquarters and 15 member nations – plus Calian contracted help rallied to make sure the command would have a rigorous have a look at their ideas and procedures. By the top of October 2022, the commander would know that his command may bridge stovepipes and execute its core missions of RSOM and Sustainment and Assist whereas responding to disaster.


From a JLSGNP perspective, the primary effort of the train was twofold:

  1. Deal with logistics processes executed by JLSG. Would the train spotlight important gaps within the reporting expectations for subordinate and better organizations, or validate as adequate the prevailing communications necessities? 
  2. Moreover, begin the method of designing injects and storylines logistics and operational train for the long run in order that commanders can resolve which modules and injects are included in any train.


Chosen Background


Whereas an entire job listing is obtainable throughout the NATO JLSG Handbook, this text focuses on these particular areas related to the STEADFAST JUPITER train (NATO, 2021). Doctrine is evident: logistics is a nationwide duty and sovereign host nations will handle NATO deployments inside their borders (NATO, 2012). On the similar time allies perceive that logistic independence is untenable and a collective method to logistic administration will greatest serve the alliance (Petreski, Iliev, & Cerimi, 2017). The battlespace of a fancy battle doesn’t have the room for a number of logistics infrastructures competing for constrained assets. Moreover, important conflicts will restrict host nation assets. Whereas there’s an expectation that they’ll handle to welcome preliminary NATO forces, nationwide forces will shift to both tackle the menace, or reply to the impacts of battle on their society. The crumbling civilian infrastructure and displaced individuals at the moment in Ukraine gives a mannequin of what any nation might cope with throughout battle operations (NATO, 2018).


Given this, JLSG is on the heart of a tactical logistics universe. Working beneath the Joint Pressure Command’s joint logistics help community, they coordinate with Nationwide Assist Parts (NSE), and different part instructions as they command and management not solely subordinate models answerable for managing logistics, and operational forces being served by the logistics efforts (NATO, 2018). Although logistics administration is usually complicated, the character of NATO power technology provides extra layers of uncertainty. The JLSG assumes management within the early phases of a battle. Previous to that, they don’t have a command relationship over enabling models, and even which nations will present models. Consequently, they need to be capable to command and management forces with out the benefit of current relationships or prior workouts. They have to additionally achieve this in what is probably going probably the most complicated and sophisticated section of a NATO operation. 


STEADFAST JUPITER permitted JLSG to check itself by managing simultaneous RSOM and Sustainment of a brigade equal motion via a virtually 700 kilometer Joint Logistics Assist Community. The group was working in a area, and with models that had been previous to the occasion – strangers. Following a mannequin acquainted to most nations, the train’s point of interest was the command operational heart (Joint Logistics Operational Middle / JLOC). The JLOC grew to become the linchpin for operations, figuring out and de-conflicting friction between efforts to maneuver forces into theater whereas supporting them with meals, gas, and ammunitions. Rising the diploma of issue, injects are designed to particularly take a look at the provision and help community. 


The train was equal elements evaluation and coaching. Multinational headquarters should at all times combine new personnel into the tradition and procedures of their new group (Meyer & Xin, 2016). JLSG has the added duty of conducting this assimilation course of with out the inertia of organizational expertise. Regardless of members’ ranges of expertise shifting nationwide forces, this was the primary time JLSG deliberate and executed RSOM of forces in a simulated setting. The planning and execution of a brigade-size multinational NATO power through the train pressured a stage of coaching not beforehand potential. Conducting sea, air, rail, and highway actions inside a multi-modal distribution system required the group to steadiness capability and operational necessities. Moreover, the train group offered challenges to check the headquarters’ skill to acknowledge a altering setting, then appropriately reply to a brand new actuality. Enemy motion disrupted provide routes and key nodes fell sufferer to disease-forced closures. This is a vital subject since a number of research spotlight that applicable navy logistics resolution making makes the distinction in a profitable mission (Aćimović, Mijušković, & Golubović, 2021)(KANE, 2001)(Prebilič, 2006)


Complicating the RSOM problem was the necessity to steadiness the inflow of recent fight forces with the requirement to help and maintain current forces utilizing the identical infrastructure. From Napoleonic tour into Russia via Rommel’s operations in North Africa, and onward, historical past is replete with examples of instructions failing as a result of insufficient provide tails (Toole, 2011) (Draft, 1987). JLSG additionally manages the supply of significant provides to models working in theater. The train pressured a tough have a look at seemingly disruptions and frictions between competing logistics necessities. Be it, obtainable vehicles to maneuver materials, or schedule disruptions to oceanic delivery, headquarters personnel had been required to keep up the steadiness of assets whereas guaranteeing each missions succeeded. The previous a number of years noticed the Suez Canal blockage, and COVID enforced bottlenecks at nationwide borders. (Gast, Brinsfeld, Marsili, & Jahn, 2021) The train pressured logisticians to proceed going through these challenges and so reinforce the teachings imposed over the previous years. Consequently, injects launched individuals to the challenges border customs play in theater distribution. 


Although theater logistics C2 had not practiced at scale previous to the train, the RSOM and Sustainment sections of JLSG had educated and ready within the months main as much as the train. Their planning efforts contributed to a standard understanding of the setting throughout the headquarters. Utterly untested nevertheless, was interplay with subordinate models. As a standalone headquarters factor, JLSG has no command relationship with subordinate models previous to time of disaster. Whereas insurance policies and procedures existed, they needed to work independently of any current relationship between models. The train was the primary alternative for the varied organizations to come back collectively, set up working relationships and execute missions. Whereas current standing working procedures and customary directions facilitated a speedy norming of varied command parts, in addition to integration inside headquarters augmentees – there’s nonetheless friction in coming collectively. Workout routines tackle these frictions previous to time of disaster.


Design of Logistics Train


JLSGNP designed a disaster train planning course of that mimicked conventional train growth, albeit at a far sooner timeline than most workouts make the most of. Tightening the method, and eliminating all non-value added parts in order that the instructions may focus precisely on these areas supporting the mission NATO demanded.


As a result of restricted period of time to design the train, we centered on the primary coaching aims (TO) for the coaching viewers (TA) JLSGNP that examined our core obligations, specifically:

  • Deploying the forces,
  • Sustainment and help,
  • Present operations and synchronization and,
  • Plan joint operations (see Determine 1).
Determine 1 Coaching Obejctives

Based mostly on the TOs and the setup of the coaching alternative, we suggest the next key occasions for the planning and execution section of the train. Within the conception and de-scoping section, we brainstormed potential choices for the background data together with the fictional state of affairs in shut coordination with Joint Logistic Assist Group Coordination and Coaching Centre (JCTC) in Garlstedt, Germany. JLSG, in coordination with JCTC and nationwide/ NATO headquarters was capable of make the most of legacy work from the canceled train to execute key pre-exercise milestones of:

  • Preliminary rebranding: Whereas the train relied on background supplies initially ready for the unique STEADFAST JUPITER, shifting to a logistic focus required important changes to the proposed downside.
  • LOGFAS database growth: The Logistics Purposeful Space Providers (LOGFAS) database which is the primary NATO software program device to plan and execute actions and is important to planning or simulating actions inside an Space of Operations. (NEXUS Life Cycle Mangement, 2022) The main target lied within the creation of the multi-national detailed deployment plan and the tactical RSOM plan.
  • Planning Conferences: Accelerated planning required individuals from throughout the NATO and host nation logistics instructions to assemble and guarantee correct synchronization throughout the neighborhood.
  • Web site Survey: As a deployable command, it was important to scout places for the sphere headquarters, guaranteeing correct actual life help and communications infrastructure was obtainable. Specifically, a JLSGNP format was established and efficiently examined.
  • MEL/MIL: We centered on the scripting of the primary occasion listing (MEL) respectively the primary incident listing (MIL). Word that the MEL/MIL growth process usually consists of the next occasions: the Technique growth, the Incident- and the Scripting workshop. The purpose of those occasions is to develop the storybook for the train. The storyline development for the seven-day battle rhythm is depicted in Determine 2. We developed a full train script containing injects for all branches and the command group. At every time limit, EXCON had the flexibility to current injects over time in help of an built-in storyline. This modular design allowed us to up –or downscale the depth of the train. Nonetheless, it needs to be ensured that key injects (illustrated as yellow stars in Determine 2) are offered to the TA to realize the TOs. The all-logistics focus permitted logistics motivated injects that had been way more sturdy than logistics injects in an operational train. For instance, artifacts had been developed to simulate social media actions within the native inhabitants that the command needed to assess for relevance, and contractual bottle necks and roadblocks had been created that might by no means have made the minimize for a broader centered train.
  • JEMM growth: One of many principal efforts is the event of the train database within the software program known as Joint Train Administration Module (JEMM). A number of important inject strains had been developed and loaded into the train inject database, every containing branches to answer actions. Particularly, emergent prisoner of warfare facility that required coordination between operational instructions, engineers, power safety, contracting, host nation, civil navy affairs, and authorized with the intention to efficiently execute tasking – kinetic motion in opposition to logistics nodes and features of communication that examined explosive security necessities, engineering, motion and transportation and host nation help – and strategic motion disruptions that despatched ripples via the tactical motion schedule, disrupting not solely scheduled actions, but additionally the steadiness of finish merchandise deliveries to operators.
  • EXCON Growth: Lastly, the design means of STEADFAST JUPITER resulted within the execution section of the augmented Headquarter (HQ). With the intention to practice the HQ, we established the Train Management group (EXCON) separate from the coaching viewers. One of many principal objectives is to handle the script of the train and set off the JLSG processes. As well as, EXCON produced a number of forms of output, reminiscent of orders, replace briefings, LOGFAS updates, answered Request for Info (RFI), and many others. For instance, day-after-day an operational Replace Temporary superior the storytelling throughout the state of affairs. With the intention to obtain the above-mentioned objectives, a sturdy EXCON construction wanted to be established. To supply prime quality logistics merchandise as proven in Determine 5, the next capabilities needs to be represented: Chief State of affairs Middle (SitCen), LOGFAS cell, subordinate models (LOCON), operational instructions (HICON) and extra key stakeholders (FLANCON). Equally necessary is the senior mentor, logistics observers and analysis group. Specifically, these features stimulate the dynamic modifications through the execution section of the train. An illustration of our EXCON is depicted in Determine 3. As well as, two principal conferences, specifically the MEL/MIL Coordination and Train Steering assembly, needs to be established throughout the EXCON battle rhythm to make sure the script for the TA is successfully deliberate, refined, and executed (see Determine 4 for a examined battle rhythm).

Determine 2 Design of story strains to deal with JLSGNP TOs

Determine 3 EXCON construction

Determine 4 EXCON Battle Rhythm

Determine 5 Train Artifacts


Primary Findings on the coaching viewers and the train design


Coaching viewers: By means of the design of the train, the management assesses the efficiency of the TA and the long run steering they suggest. With respect to the TO Deploying the forces, it may be highlighted {that a} tactical RSOM plan has been efficiently deliberate and executed. This contains conducting motion conferences with the primary stakeholders such because the host nation, NSEs, and many others. Nonetheless, the restricted variety of LOGFAS operators positioned a sensible restrict upon the variety of validity checks on the motion plan, limiting the consideration of potential choices. Additional work may, subsequently, give attention to coaching extra operators in addition to pointers on conduct validly checks. This may then allow a direct evaluation serving to to execute high-quality plans.


One of the crucial necessary final result was a take a look at of the idea of the sister JLSG help at occasions of disaster. As talked about above, the Naples JLSG is one among two. Although the Brunssum JLSG is sort of equal to Naples in mission and staffing – it has a far completely different geographic focus, and nationwide make-up. As every group is navigating the NATO staffing course of every understands that ought to one want personnel to answer a disaster, the opposite would supply. STEADFAST JUPITER put that to the take a look at. Absolutely 30% of the headquarters could be model new members of the group, coming with their very own procedures and organizational tradition. Would these variations construct a extra numerous and deadly power, or would frictions between the teams put on away the effectiveness of the headquarters? Whereas the result of this train demonstrated that the professionalism of all concerned greater than made up for any challenges, all noticed that bringing disparate organizations collectively creates frictions requiring deliberate focus to alleviate. Shifting ahead it is crucial that planners perceive a number of key takeaways to make sure that workouts adequately stress logistics forces, and that non-logisticians have a practical view of how logistics influence fight operations.


Train design: First, we spotlight that a top quality LOGFAS database is without doubt one of the most necessary elements for attaining the TO “Deploying the Pressure”. On this sense, the nationwide sustainment planning, the nationwide power profile and holdings data and the deployment planning inside LOGFAS needs to be at an applicable stage. Thus, it is crucial that in an early stage of the planning course of the Joint Assist Enabling Command (JSEC), JCTC and extra LOGFAS Topic Matter Consultants are concerned.


The outcomes of STEADFAST JUPITER recommend the next findings for the MEL/MIL Growth course of. We will observe that the primary features, i.e. subordinate models (e.g. RSOM Battalion, Transportation Battalion, Sustainment Battalion), Nationwide Assist Parts (NSE), NATO Assist and Procurement Company (NSPA), have to be represented for the Incident and Scripting workshop with the intention to develop sensible injects and responses for the coaching viewers specifically JLSGNP. The aim needs to be to determine a JEMM knowledge base that comes with varied occasions for every part inside a JLSG. Specifically: Plans, Buy & Contracts, Provide & Providers, Intelligence, Joint Logistics Operation Centre, Navy Engineering, Motion & Transportation, Host Nation Assist, Medical, Civil Navy Firms, Commander Replace Briefings, and Reviews & Returns (R&R). Moreover, injects ought to embody the prioritization of logistic assets and providers in addition to logistics measurements for every node/ edge throughout the logistics community, e.g. Air Ports of Debarkation (APOD) respectively /Land Strains of Communication (LLOCs).


Subsequent, we examine how the EXCON construction impacts the result on the coaching viewers. With the give attention to JLSGNP, it’s essential to symbolize the commanders of every subordinate unit into EXCON (see LOCON in Determine 3). The principle benefit is to coach sensible processes with subordinate models which are sometimes met for the primary time, e.g. R2 with the intention to depict a logistics scenario. Moreover, the cooperation with NSEs and the host nation have to be represented within the construction (see FLANCON in Determine 3) with the intention to assure easy logistics operations. Lastly, an impartial state of affairs chief ensures that the scenario of the opposing forces is included within the TA’s replace and assesses in the event that they derive applicable conclusions for the logistics mission. Each day assessments of how the TA responds to injects are additionally necessary to make sure that the every day progress of the train continues on the correct tempo.





Most massive scale workouts take liberties with logistics – usually ignoring lead occasions and constraints with the intention to advance an operational storyline,” stated Admiral Munsch, Commander NATO Joint Pressure Command Naples and Commander US Naval Forces Europe and Africa. “This was an incredible alternative to totally give attention to all features of the logistics enterprise.”

The JLSG effort to rebrand STEADFAST JUPITER, into a totally built-in logistics train was an illustration of what would occur when logistics challenges weren’t “hand waived” away. Logisticians should at all times be accountable for options which can be really implementable.


STEADFAST JUPITER was the cornerstone on the highway of JLSGNP being prepared to meet its commitments as a part of the NATO Response Pressure. The train advantages are multifold:

  1. Permits multinational tasking alternatives with our NATO Response Forces subordinate models,
  2. Permits the collaboration with augmentees and stakeholders reminiscent of NSE, NSPA, and many others. and 
  3. Facilitates the triggering of enablement processes and enhancements of collaboration.


Everybody throughout the train growth and evaluation cycle should work to design versatile and repeatable state-of-the-art JLSG workouts. These ought to emphasize growth of basic plug and play occasions for JLSGs to make sure sensible storylines. That is much like a modular design during which the JLSG commander can resolve on the main target of the train. Moreover, the event of state of affairs, strategic, operational, and tactical documentation could be fruitful for a extra in-depth setting.


Disclaimer: This text displays the views of the authors and isn’t the place of JLSGNP, NATO, or any member nation.




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