NATO Moving Forward on Munitions Stocks

In an attempt to address supply issues that emerged during the 2011 Libya air campaign, NATO has developed a plan to jointly acquire large volumes of air-to-ground munitions, said the head of the NATO Military Committee Danish Army Gen. Knud Bartels in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Bartels, who was chief of defense of Denmark during the campaign, said Denmark ran out of munitions, but was resupplied within seven days. Resupply had more to do with guidance sets for bombs than the actual bombs themselves, he noted. Now, as a result of NATO’s smart defense initiative, the joint acquisition of these sets and munitions is “beginning to grow,” he said. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that we only have one depot,” he said, but that nations will get together and form joint acquisition efforts to procure munitions in a “substantial amount,” allowing for greater savings as well as a “greater ability to react at short notice” to contingencies. The plan is now in place, and is something that could be expanded upon in the future, said Bartels, who urged the aerospace industry to aid the Alliance in these efforts as well.