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Ad Hoc Committee on Equipment Interoperability

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Ad Hoc Committee on Equipment Interoperability

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The AC/297 chronological series contains the records of the Ad Hoc Committee on Equipment Interoperability. This was a temporary committee originally established for one year by the North Atlantic Council on 28 January 1976 (see C-R(76)3). Its terms of reference were presented at its first meeting, held on 5/2/1976 (see AC/297-D/1). It gave an interim report to the Council at each Ministerial meeting; the Council would then decide whether to prolong the Committee's work (AC/297-D/1).The Committee was chaired by the Deputy Secretary General. It was made up of the deputy permanent representatives, assisted or represented as required by defence counsellors from the delegations or national experts on technical matters (see C-R(76)3). The ASGs for the Defence Support, Defence Policy and Planning and Political Affairs Divisions also attended, as did representatives of the Military Committee (including the Chairman of the Military Agency for Standardization) and representatives of the three Major NATO Commanders. The Committee was empowered to draw on the services of existing NATO bodies whenever appropriate (see PO(76)7). The Committee was tasked: - firstly with determining "where the capability of the forces of the nations of the Alliance to operate together or support one another is seriously constrained due to the lack of interoperability of equipment"; - then with developing specific recommendations for correcting those deficiencies expeditiously; - and finally with preparing proposals for procedures to ensure adequate interoperability of equipment in future (see PO(76)7). Based on work already carried out by the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) and its subordinate bodies, by the Military Agency for Standardization, by the Major NATO Commands and by the international staffs, and also based on the initial proposals by the NATO Military Authorities (see C-M(76)28-REV1), the Council identified the five most pressing areas. It was agreed that others could be added subsequently, but this did not happen. Consequently the Committee established five working groups to develop specific action plans on a full-time basis (see C-R(76)3). They were made up of some Committee members and national experts (see PO(76)7). They were the Working Group on Communications – Tactical Area Communications (WG1), the Working Group on Cross-Servicing – Tactical Aircraft Rearming (WG2), the Working Group on Ammunition – Tank Gun Ammunition (WG3), the Working Group on Fuels – Naval Ships and Land-based Military Jet Aircraft (WG4) and the Working Group on Implementation of STANAGs – Those STANAGs which would give the greatest improvement in military effectiveness and flexibility (WG5). The Working Groups met several times a year and submitted provisional reports to the Committee. On the basis of those reports, the Committee prepared its report to the Council for each Ministerial meeting (see C-M(76)70-REV1) in which it invited the ministers to note the progress made and to endorse the proposals for action. The Committee held its last meeting on 7 November 1977, inviting the Council at that time to approve the disbandment of the working groups that had completed their work. The decision to disband the Ad Hoc Committee itself was postponed until the December 1977 meeting (see AC/297-D/41-DRAFT).

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