Reference document

Capability Hierarchy

The ‘Capability Hierarchy ‘ taxonomy layer represents the agreed means by which NATO groups and organizes its capabilities. It describes a functional breakdown of capabilities and is used as a framework to support the expression of capability requirements at differing levels of detail. The Capability Hierarchy is used primarily within the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP) to provide a coherent structure to support the expression of the Minimum Capability Requirement (MCR) and for the aggregation of shortfalls. In addition, the CH is also used as a structural framework to support the expression of ACO Force Standards (AFS) and by the International Staff to structure the Step 5 Capability Reports. The hierarchy provides an agreed NATO capability taxonomy, which is exploited as a tool for use in areas beyond NDPP. The Capability Hierarchy encompasses the full spectrum of capabilities to meet all aspects of NATO’s Strategic Concept (Article 5 Collective Defence, Non-Article 5 Crisis response and Cooperative Security). Full spectrum comprises military and non-military capabilities to cover all phases of NATO operations including preparation, deployment, implementation with sustainment, and re-deployment/withdrawal.

Operational Capabilities