The Exercise CAPABLE LOGISTICIAN 2013 (CL13)
Logistic Standardization and Interoperability Field Training Exercise Capable Logistician 2013 (CL13) was the largest event of its kind in the last two decades, with 1,750 personnel and around 600 pieces of equipment involved. In total, 35 Allies and Partner nations have committed personnel and equipment. CL13 was planned, coordinated and conducted by the MLCC and supported by Slovakia as the Host Nation (HN). CL13 took place in the Military Training Area Lešť, Air Base Sliač and the Training Centre Vlkanová-Hronsek, Slovakia.
The NATO contributors besides two co-organizing nations Slovakia and Czech Republic were Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Poland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Having joined the MLCC and standing a good example of PfP nation cooperating with NATO, Austria provided the largest contingent out of Partner nations. The other PfP nations participating in the exercise were Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Serbia, and Ukraine. There were also several commands and organizations participating in this exercise as it created and provided environment necessary to achieve progress or validate results of their projects. Those included Allied Command Transformation conducting the Operation Logistics Chain Management experiment and NATO International Staff, Emerging Security Challenges Division that conducted Smart Energy Demonstrations. ACO through NATO Support Agency deployed a module of CP156 - laundry facility that provided laundry services for exercise participants. NATO Force Structure (NFS) either trained their personnel or observed CL13. Participating multinational corps were NRDC-Italy and NRDC-Spain. In addition, several multinational units were trained during the exercise, e.g. Multinational Military Police Battalion and two Multinational Integrated Logistics Units (MILUs) - Movement Control MILU and Infrastructure Engineering for Logistics MILU. Last but not least, EU Military Staff, as a part of DISTAFF, was represented in CL13.
CL13 was a clear illustration of the goal that the Alliance set itself at the Chicago Summit in May 2012: “NATO Forces 2020”—modern, tightly connected forces equipped, trained, exercised and commanded, so that they can operate together and with partners in any environment—and the two initiatives arising from it: “connected forces”, which means forces are more effective thanks to better training, enhanced interoperability and exercises involving Allies and Partners; and “smart defence”, which focuses on improving the way NATO develops and acquires its defence capabilities, achieving economies of scale.
CL13 was undoubtedly a significant milestone in the field of multinational logistics and interoperability development. In NATO operations, logistics is the “collective responsibility” of the nations and the Alliance. Effectiveness can be improved and the logistic footprint and redundancy can be limited thanks to common procedures and better interoperability of forces and equipment.