We are privately owned and not affiliated or endorsed by any government agency.

Take the Benefits Quiz

Concept of logistic support (COLS)

Definition The Concept of Logistic Support (COLS) is a military term that outlines the overarching strategy for planning and providing the essential resources and services necessary for military operations to function effectively. It includes aspects such as supplies, transportation, personnel, maintenance, health service support and other operational requirements. COLS is instrumental in ensuring a military […]


The Concept of Logistic Support (COLS) is a military term that outlines the overarching strategy for planning and providing the essential resources and services necessary for military operations to function effectively. It includes aspects such as supplies, transportation, personnel, maintenance, health service support and other operational requirements. COLS is instrumental in ensuring a military force’s readiness, sustainability, and overall operational success.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Concept of Logistic Support (COLS) refers to the framework that ensures all essential materials, personnel, and services are available for a military operation to enable its success. It involves the strategic planning and implementation of all logistical needs of an operation, including maintenance, transportation, and supply chain management.
  2. COLS encompasses not only the immediate needs of a military operation but also forecasts long-term requirements. In an equally important aspect, it involves the estimation of resources, planning for their procurement and distribution, ensuring their adequate storage, and ensuring timely delivery, considering possible challenges like transportation bottlenecks or enemy actions.
  3. The efficiency of COLS impacts the success of military operations. A well-planned and executed logistic support concept ensures minimal disruption, maintains operational tempo, improves efficiency, and can be a decisive factor in the outcome of military engagements. It requires effective coordination, cooperation, and synchronization among different stakeholders.


The Concept of Logistic Support (COLS) is integral to military operations as it outlines the foundational planning and execution strategies needed for effective logistics management.

This involves the coordination and integration of all logistic functions such as supply, maintenance, transportation, and services needed for a successful military operation.

Essentially, COLS ensures the readiness, sustainability, and efficiency of military forces, impacting both the operational effectiveness and mission success.

It considers aspects such as operational environment, force deployment, supply lines, infrastructure, and resources allocation.

Without a well-defined COLS, military operations may face logistical challenges that could compromise their strategic objectives, hindering operational effectiveness and agility.


The Concept of Logistic Support (COLS) serves as a crucial element in military operations as it is designed to ensure not only the consistent but also well-planned allocation of resources throughout an operation. The provision of logistics support is instrumental in guaranteeing that personnel and equipment are rapidly available at the right places and in the precise amounts when required. The primary purpose of COLS is to make sure that military resources are used effectively and efficiently.

It is designed to promote readiness, sustainability, and operational capability. COLS is therefore no mere adjunct to strategy but an integral part of it. Its application can range from the transport of personnel and equipment, provision of accommodation and meals, supply of ammunition and fuel, to the maintenance and repair of equipment.

COLS acts as the coordinating agent in an operation, overseeing the support to be provided, monitoring the ongoing logistical needs, and modifying the plan as situations change. It forms the vital connection between the high-level strategic plans and the tactical requirements on the ground. Thus, understanding and implementing an effective COLS is key to the success of a military operation.

Examples of Concept of logistic support (COLS)

Operation Desert Storm (1991): This U.S-led multinational military operation was an example of exceptional logistic support. They showcased their strategy in handling the immense task of moving massive amounts of equipment, supplies, and personnel over a large distance. COLS was applied in this case by establishing bases for supply deposition, managing transportation, and coordinating resources from multiple participating countries.

World War II – Pacific Theater (1941-1945): Due to the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, the logistics of supporting personnel, ships, planes and supplies across different islands and water bodies was a significant military challenge. To resolve this, the U.S established a series of island bases which acted as stepping stones to the Asian mainland. This decisive use of COLS aided the American forces to march toward victory.

UN Peacekeeping Missions: The United Nations often sends peacekeeping forces to areas of conflict to help maintain or enforce peace agreements. An example is the ongoing mission in South Sudan (UNMISS, established in 2011). The logistics involved in this kind of mission includes providing and transporting personnel, equipment, supplies, and often humanitarian aid to remote and sometimes hostile locations. In all these examples, the concept of logistic support plays a vital role in defining the efficiency, effectiveness, and success of military operations.

FAQs on Concept of Logistic Support (COLS)

What does the Concept of Logistic Support (COLS) mean in military operations?

The Concept of Logistic Support (COLS) is a military methodology that refers to initially planning and coordination of all elements necessary for a successful operation. In essence, it is the process where by military forces get the supplies and services they require to perform their tasks.

What are some examples of logistic support in military operations?

Logistic support in military operations can include a broad range of activities such as transportation of personnel and equipment, provision of medical services, acquisition or construction of facilities, and maintenance and repair of equipment and facilities.

What are the advantages of a well-planned Concept of Logistic Support (COLS) in military operations?

A well-planned COLS ensures military operations run smoothly by ensuring resources and supplies are optimally allocated, available when needed, and minimizing wastage. It also reduces logistic footprint and contributes to the overall success of the campaign.

Does the Concept of Logistic Support (COLS) vary from one military operation to another?

Yes, the specifics of COLS can vary significantly based on the type of operation, the geographical location, conditions on the ground, the military force’s capabilities, and the desired end-state.

How is the Concept of Logistic Support (COLS) incorporated into military training?

Training in the Concept of Logistic Support (COLS) is an integral part of military training programs. It may be delivered through a mix of classroom-based learning, practical exercises, and virtual simulation scenarios.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Operational Readiness
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Equipment Acquisition and Lifespan
  • Infrastructure Maintenance
  • Logistics Optimisation

Sources for More Information

Joint Chiefs of Staff: The primary organization for strategic military planning in the U.S. It offers in-depth information on military terms and concepts, including the Concept of Logistic Support (COLS).

NATO: The international military alliance offers a broad array of resources and publications linked to military strategies and concepts.

National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA): This non-profit organization provides a variety of education resources focused on advancing the national security and defense sectors.

JSTOR: A vast digital library containing numerous scholarly articles and books where you can find further, in-depth information about the Concept of Logistic Support (COLS) and other military operations’.

Benefits.com Advisors

With expertise spanning local, state, and federal benefit programs, our team is dedicated to guiding individuals towards the perfect program tailored to their unique circumstances.

Rise to the top with Peak Benefits!

Join our Peak Benefits Newsletter for the latest news, resources, and offers on all things government benefits.

Related Articles