The NATO Movement and Transport Working Group: this group’s experts constantly review and update transportation doctrine and search for new and innovative transportation practices

The NATO Movement and Transport Working Group: this group’s experts constantly review and update transportation doctrine and search for new and innovative transportation practices

Thomas D. Little

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Movement and Transport (M&T) Working Group brings together transportation doctrine experts to face a huge logistics challenge: standardizing and simplifying NATO transportation doctrine. This is not an easy task, but the experts charged with the task are making remarkable progress.

The M&T Working Group is one of several NATO working groups that are standardizing doctrine in their respective fields. Each group concentrates on a specific area. but all have the same goal: improving NATO’s ability to deploy troops and equipment more rapidly and effectively.

Group Composition

The M&T Working Group is made up of representatives of 24 nations. (That number includes a representative from each of the 19 current member nations and from 5 of the 7 nations that have been invited to join.) Iceland does not have an Army and does not participate, and Belgium represents Luxembourg. Representatives of six of the Partnership for Peace (PfP) nations (Austria, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Sweden, Switzerland, and Ukraine) also attend the meetings, but they do not have voting rights. Some of the PfP nations were part of the former Soviet Union, and their citizens are eager to modernize and westernize their transportation infrastructure and doctrine. Several of the PfP nations also are looking forward to gaining NATO membership and will join the M&T Working Group with full voting rights when their membership is approved. The M&T Working Group is looking at ways to integrate the PfP nations fully and work together within the context of the PfP Program.

The seven new nations invited to join NATO at the Prague Summit in November 2002 have brought a wealth of new knowledge to the M&T Working Group. The seven nations (Latvia, Lithuania. Estonia, Romania. Bulgaria, Slovenia, and Slovakia), all former Soviet Bloc countries, are in the process of converting their armies to NATO standards. To do this, they must align their transportation doctrine with NATO transportation doctrine. The M&T Working Group is actively involved n making this happen.

The M&T Working Group convenes semiannually at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. During the year, two smaller planning meetings are held in one of the NATO countries. All M&T Working Group meetings are conducted in English and French. and all participants are required to have a working knowledge of one of those languages. The current chairman of the M&T Working Group is from Germany.

Allied Movement Publications

In an effort to standardize movement and transportation doctrine for NATO, the M&T Working Group is consolidating the NATO Standardization Agreements (STANAGs) for movement and transport into five Allied Movement Publications (AMovPs).

A custodian from a NATO country is appointed for each of the AMovPs. The custodian maintains a database and posts changes to the AMovP. To assist the AMovP custodians, a chapter custodian is appointed for each chapter of each AMovP. The M&T Working Group submits the AMovPs to the Standardization and Military Committee for approval before they are released to ensure that they are consistent with NATO policy. The Group also reviews each AMovP at least once every 3 years and reports any updates to NATO.

A recently implemented initiative assigns a PfP representative to work with each NATO custodian on the AMovPs. This initiative illustrates how the M&T Working Group is integrating the PfP nations into developing NATO transportation doctrine.

The Group has reduced 19 STANAGs into 5 AMovPs–

* AMovP 1: Regulations and Procedures for Road Movement and Identification of Movement Control and Traffic Control Personnel and Agencies. This AMovP consolidates all basic military road traffic regulations, including operation orders, tables, and graphs for road movements. It also contains the methods and procedures used on military routes and road networks. AMovP 1 provides the basic regulations for military road movement by wheeled and tracked vehicles, the marking of military vehicles, and the methods of identifying movement control personnel. The custodian for AMovP 1 is from the Netherlands.

AMovP 1 includes the provisions of six STANAGs: 2025, Basic Military Road Traffic Regulations; 2027, Marking of Military Vehicles; 2041, Operational Orders, Tables, and Graphs for Road Movement; 2154, Regulations for Military Motor Vehicle Movement by Road; 2159, Identification of Movement Control and Traffic Control Personnel and Agencies; and 2174, Military Routes and Route/Road Network.

* AMovP 2: Procedures for Surface Movements Across National Frontiers. AMovP 2 was developed to address how the provisions of the London Agreement of 19 June 1951, commonly called the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), apply to NATO forces moving through NATO countries and to provide guidance on maintaining and respecting each country’s integrity. It standardizes the regulations, procedures, and forms that apply to NATO and PfP forces when traversing NATO countries for the purpose of transporting military equipment and personnel. The custodian for AMovP is from France.

AMovP 2 consolidates STANAGs 2171, Procedures for Military Trains Crossing Frontiers, and 2176, Procedures for Military Road Movements Across National Frontiers.

* AMovP 3: Movement and Transport Documents and Glossary of Terms and Definitions. This AMovP standardizes movement requirements and surface movement requests and notification of movement documents in NATO. It also contains a terms and definitions section for the benefit of movement specialists. The custodian for AMovP 3 is from Germany.

AMovP 3 incorporates information from five STANAGs: 2026, NATO Travel Order; 2155, Road Movement Bid and Credit; 2156, Surface Transport Request and Reply to Surface Transport Request; 2165, Forecast Movements Requirements–Rail, Road, and Inland Waterways; and 2166, Movements and Transport Documents Used for Movements by Ship.

* AMovP 4: Technical Aspects of the Transport of Military Materials by Railroad. AMovP 4 consolidates the documents and technical rules that apply to loading and transporting military equipment on railcars in European NATO countries. The custodianship for AMovP 4 is shared between Belgium and the Planning Board for European Surface Transport, a NATO civil-military body.

AMovP 4 is a very detailed document on European rail movements and includes maps and sketches of the different NATO country railways. It consolidates information from six STANAGs: 2152, Loading Ramps; 2158, Identification of Military Trains; 2173, Regulations for the Securing of Military Tracked and Wheeled Vehicles on Railway Wagons; 2175, Classification and Designation of Flat Wagons Suitable for Transporting Military Equipment; 2832, Dimensional Restrictions for the Transport of Military Equipment by Rail on European Railways; and 2943, Regulations for the Lateral or End-On Loading and Unloading of Wheeled or Tracked Military Equipment Transported on Railway Wagons.

* AMovP 5: Multimodal Movement and Transport Matters. This AMovP, the latest to be developed, addresses emerging multimodal transportation doctrine in NATO. AMovP 5 consolidates and standardizes the movement of freight containers within NATO and establishes national points of contact for moving dangerous goods. The custodian for AMovP 5 is from the United Kingdom. AMovP 5 does not replace or consolidate any STANAGs. It was an initiative of the M&T Working Group to consolidate all multimodal information in one AMovP.

U.S. M&T Working Group Representative

The Army Combined Arms Support Command at Fort Lee, Virginia, provides the U.S. representative for the M&T Working Group. This representative is a transportation doctrine expert from the Directorate of Combat Developments-Transportation and is responsible for presenting U.S. transportation doctrine to NATO. Working with combat service support proponents such as the Transportation Corps and the Quartermaster Corps, the U.S. representative ensures that NATO doctrine is considered when U.S. doctrine is formulated.

The U.S. representative to the M&T Working Group has a unique challenge. Since the majority of the NATO nations are in Europe, European transport standards are more relevant, and it is sometimes difficult to understand the terminology used. For example, Europeans call railcars “wagons” and measure distances in kilometers. These differences cause a lot of discussion and debate at M&T Working Group meetings. The U.S. representative must be diplomatic and keep U.S. interests in mind while helping to maintain unity in NATO. The chairman makes the final decision if the Group cannot reach a consensus.

The M&T Working Group helps promote interaction among the 15 other working groups in NATO, which facilitates information flow among the groups. A representative of the M&T Working Group usually attends the meetings of the other working groups as a liaison. The U. S. representative acts as a liaison with the Asset Tracking, Air Transport, and NATO Shipping Working Groups and presents liaison reports on those groups’ activities at the M&T Working Group meetings, often generating debate and exploration of new ideas.

The constant review and update of transportation doctrine and the search for new and innovative practices by the M&T Working Group ensures that NATO will be able to project its forces throughout its area of responsibility and complete its mission for years to come.

Major Thomas D. Little is a logistics advisor in the Office of the Program Manager-Saudi Arabian National Guard in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He was the U.S. representative on the NATO Movement and Transport Working Group when he wrote this article. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in logistics management from Florida Institute of Technology. He is a graduate of the Transportation Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, the Army Command and General Staff College, and the Army Logistics Management College’s Logistics Executive Development Course.

COPYRIGHT 2003 ALMC

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group