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Directive authority for logistics (DAFL)

Definition Directive Authority for Logistics (DAFL) is a term used in military operations, referring to the authority given to a commander to govern and direct specific logistical functions within the command’s jurisdiction. The authority includes the ability to order and control logistics capabilities to ensure successful mission execution. However, the distribution and extent of DAFL […]


Directive Authority for Logistics (DAFL) is a term used in military operations, referring to the authority given to a commander to govern and direct specific logistical functions within the command’s jurisdiction. The authority includes the ability to order and control logistics capabilities to ensure successful mission execution. However, the distribution and extent of DAFL depends on the mission requirements and resources at hand.

Key Takeaways

  1. Directive Authority for Logistics (DAFL) refers to the authority that within a military operation gives the command the ability to direct appropriate logistical measures and operations to adequately support their forces.
  2. DAFL assigns responsibilities for logistics functions and balances the need to support operational requirements with the efficient use of resources. It ensures that the assigned forces have the crucial logistical support they require to execute their mission.
  3. This authority generally lies with a senior commander who can direct logistics across the entities under their command, ensuring all components of the military operation are well-supplied and ready for action.


Directive Authority for Logistics (DAFL) is a crucial military operations term due to its role in enabling effective coordination and management of logistics within joint operations.

It provides a designated officer with the authority to issue directives related to logistics to ensure synchronization and integration across various units and services.

This ensures that all logistician services, including transportation, medical support, and supplies amongst others, are effectively coordinated without jurisdictional disputes.

The consistent and efficient flow of supplies and reinforcement is vital, as it directly influences the operational readiness and the ability of the military to execute its missions effectively.

Thus, the importance of DAFL lies in its function as a principal mechanism for the integration of logistics, which is central to the success of military operations.


The Directive Authority for Logistics (DAFL) is a vital aspect of military operations, as it serves to streamline and regulate the overall logistics of an operation. DAFL’s primary purpose is to ensure that there is a centralized command overseeing the logistical needs of an operation.

Its role includes the direction of logistics capabilities and resources in support of military missions. This command comprehensively embraces aspects such as procurement, transportation, maintenance, operation of certain services, health services, and the allocation of available resources.

In terms of its usage, DAFL plays a key role in effective planning, coordinating, and execution of military operations. By directing the logistics responsibilities in a comprehensive manner, the DAFL guarantees that military operational needs are met in the most efficient, timely and cost-effective way possible.

In other words, its principle operation is endowing a single authority to unify and synchronize logistics efforts by eliminating the possible confusion and redundancy that might result from shared commands. Therefore, DAFL is essential in enhancing readiness, supporting sustained operations and enabling optimal employments of forces.

Examples of Directive authority for logistics (DAFL)

Operation Desert Storm (1991) – In this military operation, the United States and its allies deployed a huge number of forces in a short period of time to counter Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. The U.S Central Command exercised DAFL by controlling and directing all logistical activities such as transport, supply, and services that were necessary for the operation. Using DAFL ensured that logistics resources were provided to the right place at the right time and in the required quantities.

The Afghanistan War (2001-Present) – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has exercised DAFL through the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Resolute Support Mission (RSM). This logistical authority allowed NATO to synchronize the logistical efforts of the coalition forces in Afghanistan for sustained offensive operations against the Taliban and other hostile forces.

Operation Unified Protector (2011) – In this NATO-led operation in Libya, DAFL was used to manage the use of military logistics resources of participating nations. From coordinating the delivery of ammunition and other supplies, to ensuring fuel availability for aerial sorties, DAFL played a critical role in executing NATO’s mandate in the Libyan conflict. In these examples, Directive Authority for Logistics plays a critical role in ensuring coordinated and efficient supply and support for military forces in the field.

FAQs on Directive Authority for Logistics (DAFL)

1. What is Directive Authority for Logistics (DAFL)?

Directive Authority for Logistics (DAFL) is the authority given to a military leader to direct logistics operations under their command to perform specific missions. This includes reallocating resources, modifying current processes, and overseeing logistical operations to ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

2. Which military rank does DAFL typically apply to?

DAFL typically applies to personnel at the level of General or Admiral, coming under the command of a Unified Combatant Command (UCC). The range of authority may vary by context, mission, and the specific rules of engagement for a given operation.

3. What responsibilities come with DAFL?

Responsibilities under DAFL include planning, coordinating, synchronizing, and overseeing the execution of logistics operations under one’s command. This might include managing supply chains, overseeing transportation of equipment and personnel, and ensuring resources are allocated efficiently to meet mission objectives.

4. Does DAFL include authority over civilian logistics structures?

Generally, DAFL does not give authority over civilian entities unless explicitly stated under specific rules of execution. The primary focus is on military logistics operations. However, in some cases, DAFL may extend to joint military and civilian operations when specified by higher command.

5. How does DAFL contribute to the effectiveness of military operations?

DAFL allows for streamlined, effective, and expedient logistics operations by granting authority to a single commander. This helps to avoid duplication of effort, ensures resources are used optimally, and facilitates quick decision-making and operational flexibility.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Resource Allocation: The process of assigning and managing assets in a manner that supports DAFL.
  • Asset Management: The systematic process of operating, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of assets related to DAFL in the most cost-efficient way.
  • Logistics Policy: Guidelines and regulations that oversee the implementation of DAFL.
  • Supply Chain Management: The oversight of materials, information, and finances related to DAFL.
  • Logistics Operations: The planning and execution of the physical flow of goods and services in support of DAFL.

Sources for More Information

  • Joint Chiefs of Staff: This official U.S. Department of Defense entity is a reliable, authoritative source for military operations terminology including DAFL.
  • U.S. Department of Defense: The official site of Department of Defense often provides definitions and explanations of various military terms and concepts.
  • U.S. Navy: The Navy’s site could provide information about DAFL in the naval context.
  • GlobalSecurity.org: This non-profit organization provides broad coverage of security-related information including military operations terms like DAFL.

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