THE Director of the NATO Standardisation Agency (NSA), Brigadier General Julian Maj, and the President and Chief Executive Officer of GS1 , Miguel A. Lopera, have signed a Technical Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between their organisations at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
Over the last few years, a number of GS1 Standards have been included within NATO Standards Agreements (STANAG) and Ministries of Defence have initiated a number of enhancements to GS1 Standards on NATO's behalf.
This agreement broadens the cooperation between the NSA and GS1 in the fields of supply chain standards and technologies.
It formally enables direct contributions by the NSA to the establishment of relevant GS1 Standards.
On an equal basis, the agreement formally enables GS1 to contribute to the standardisation activities of the NATO standardisation community.
The NSA is an independent agency responsible for administering NATO STANAGs and activities conducted under the authority of the NATO Committee for Standardisation (NCS).
GS1 is a leading global organisation dedicated to the design and implementation of global business standards.
The terms of the TCA include direct participation in relevant working groups of both standardisation organisations, written contributions on proposed draft specifications and standards and the exchange of experts, documents and information.
GS1 is grated access to NSA working groups dedicated to the concentration of civilian and military standardisation work.
The importance of the agreement
Following the review of the NATO Standardisation Process, the NSA has been tasked to address much broader standardisation issues, such as identifying overall Alliance standardisation goals, coordination between operational and material standardisation activities and implementation of a new standardisation policy, which aims to ensure a maximum practicable use of civil standards within all NATO standardisation activities.
Accordingly, the responsibilities of NATO's standardisation organisation have been expanded in order to coordinate all standardisation activities within NATO and following the approval by the North Atlantic Council in Spring 2004, also outside of NATO, with civil standards organisations on a national, regional and international level.
In the field of supply chain standards, the further alignment with GS1 will have an important influence on the smooth attribution and distribution of all functional goods and services a military unit requires in civil actions, from basic materials such as pens and paper, to food and beverage supplies, uniforms and blankets, technical material and tool kits, and all assets such as trucks, kegs and containers.
The cooperation between the NSA and GS1 is expected to substantially improve and facilitate supply chain processes and procedures, especially in crisis situations, including situations of civil emergency relief or natural disasters, where a smooth operational exchange of equipment and supplies between the military and civilian sides, engaged in close cooperation, is more crucial than ever.