This section provides best practices when implementing defense standards in support of defense planning and interoperability.The methods / practices used for implementation may vary depending on which domain a defense standard belongs to. There are the following three main domains within defense standardization:

  • Operational domain

Defense Standards within the operative domain specify conceptual, organizational and methodological requirements that may be redeemed (fulfilled) through the configuration and use of material, operating procedures and organization of military forces so as to achieve desired interoperability in military operations.

  • Material domain

Defense standards within the material domain specify material-specific requirements for equipment and systems, maintenance requirements and user requirements throughout the life cycle of the equipment.

  • Administrative domain

Defense standards within the administrative domain simplify NATO's administration in various areas, including but not limited to terminology, funding, personnel and military degree systems.

Definition of implementation

There is not an agreed definition on the implementation of defense standards. However we are considering as comprehensive the following approach: Implementing a defense standard (s) means making operational and material technical requirements current by using it in the defense sector through governing documents, tactics, techniques and procedures, regulations, technical specifications, education, training, evaluations tests and verifications, and following its content during exercises and operations. It is very important that agencies and departments include requirements for relevant defense standards for all investment projects and material procurement, and that requirements are followed throughout the investment process.

Defense Standards Implementation Plan

Integrated Project Team Managers shoud develop an implementation Plan for each defense standard based on the following best practices. The implementation plan should be prepared in the very early stages of the capability development process.

In order to properly implement a defense standard, a number of issues must be addressed. Many of the issues are different depending on the kind of the Defense Standard.

After evaluating where the Defense Standard applies (domain and services, platforms, units, equipment, etc.), the next step in defining implementation is to assess how the defense standard will be or needs to be implemented.

In doing so you should determine whether changes need to be made in each of the DOTMLPF areas listed below. After reading and understanding the implications of the defense standard, step through each area and document what change or changes need to be made in order to fully implement the defense standard.

Doctrine – TTPs (D)  Describe how the defense standard affect the way the Armed Forces operate, and assess whether there is a need for updates of existing TTPs, regulations, and education / training plans. If this content is in accordance with existing operating procedures, this may be confirmed. If the content differs, ie. the way you operate deviates from the defense standard, it should be described as non-matching and need for updating.

Organization (O) - Describe which agencies in the defense and operational units in the Armed Forces should consider implementing the defense standard, ensuring that all of these are included in the implementation process. If defense standard's content describes interaction between different defense forces, this should also be described so as to ensure that the interaction is reflected.

Training (T) - Describe whether the defense standard lead to change in the way of education, exercise and practice. If the content differs from existing education, training and exercise programs, one should describe what does not match and the need for updating.

Materiel (M) - Describe whether the defense standard is already included in a project idea, in a claim document or in a requirement specification. This applies both to new acquisitions and to modifications - modernizations.  Also describe if the defense standard is included as part of the test and verification plan when the material is received and who is responsible for the test and verification. Ensure that the test and verification of the defense standard is documented. If the material has already been received, check that it meets the defense standard’s requirements if this is contractual. Describe any deviations.  If the defense standard is already included in a project idea, in a claim document or in a claim specification, then costs associated with implementation of the defense standard should also be included in the project acquisition.

Leadership (L) - Describe whether the defense standard is rooted in management with authority and responsibility for the defense standard’s content. Also describe if there are planning, cost and time implications of implementation and whether this is reflected in the department's plan and budget. If implementation imposes departments in other agencies in the defense sector costs, this will have to be described and the agency / department charged with the costs must approve the cost.

Personnel (P) - Describe whether the defense standard implies the need for increased crew with special skills. In case of need provide cost estimation as appropriate.

Facilities (F) - If known, describe if the defense standard implies the need to upgrade facilities, for example, if there is a need for upgrading of property, construction and construction such as workshop, storage and storage space. (A specific example is how the ammunition is stored.

Interoperability (I) - Describe how the defense standards improves interoperability with Allies, other relevant nations with which your nations has special cooperative relationships, and also how, through implementing the defense standard, you improve the interoperability of different defense branches within your nation / organization.

In the simplest of cases, a defense standard may be satisfied and considered implemented by making a change to a defense procurement code in the supply system so that all new purchases of a particular item will be to a new standard.

In a more complex case implementation may require a change in the way we employ certain equipment (doctrine); training for personnel who use the equipment; procurement of new equipment; and removal, disposal, and replacement of existing equipment.  In making this determination one should consider whether retrofit of existing supplies or equipment is necessary for implementation or if implementation action required:   

Implementation of operational Defense Standards

As mentioned above perational defense standards, specify conceptual, organizational and methodological requirements that enable materials and installations, organizations and military forces to meet requirements for functionality and mission. To make the requirements of an operational defense standard applicable in the defense sector, one should:

  1. Anchor the content of the defense standard in the agency / department with associated authority and responsibility.
  2. Make the content of the defense standard known and available to users across the defense sector through updating of existing governing documents, doctrines, procedures and regulations.
  3. Update lessons in education and training according to the content of the defense standard. 
  4. Follow the content during training, exercises and evaluations (OPEVAL, TACEVAL, CREVAL) both nationally and internationally. Evaluate how to optimize the use of the defense standard and reflect this in existing procedures.

Implementation of material Defense Standards

As mentioned above, material defense standards specify technical requirements for the material throughout its life cycle. As a defense standard is not a legal basis for using money to acquire (or modify) systems or materials, a defense standard must first be included as a governing document (technical specification or performance specification) together with other governing documents in a project description. Systems or materials can only be procured or modified through approved projects or other approved procurement methods. Defense standards included in a project procurement should also be tested and verified according to the project requirements specification.

In order to make the requirements of a material technology defense standard applicable in the defense sector, one should:

  1. Anchor the content of the defense standard in the agency / department with associated authority and responsibility.
  2. Make the content of the defense standard known and available to users across the defense sector through the update of existing governing documents (technical specifications) and in projects where the defense standard is included in the requirement specification. This is to ensure that the acquisition is in accordance with the specification.
  3. Ensure that the defense standard is part of the warranty test if it is included in the specification and ensure that the material is evaluated and provides the functionalities described.
  4. Ensure that the defense standard is included in the project's test, trials and verification program.
  5. Update lessons in education and training according to content so that one learns to use the material optimally (for example, within given radiation and electromagnetic values). 
  6. Use the material during exercises, trials and evaluations according to the description and evaluate whether the use can be optimized.

Implementation of administrative Defense Standards

As mentioned above, administrative defense standards including but not limited to terminology, finance, personnel and military degree systems.

In order to make the requirements of an administrative defense standard applicable in the defense sector, one should:

  1. Anchor the content of the defrnse standard in the agency / department with associated authority and responsibility.
  2. Make the content of the defense standard known and available to users through the information letter or update of existing governing documents.

The best practice to track implementation of defense standards is to establish a tracking tool (database) keeping records and evidence for all checkpoints mentioned above. This tracking tool will offer a realistic and comprehensive picture on implementation data, history and profile for each defense standard.

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