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BG 12.006 - February 14, 2012
An Operational Support Hub (OSH) is a strategic international location where Canadian personnel have pre-arranged access to necessary services, facilities and capabilities, so that supplies can be staged and so the Canadian Forces (CF) have a flexible and cost-efficient location to deploy and sustain international operations. An OSH enhances the ability of the CF to respond to crises in a timely manner, whether the need is humanitarian relief, peace support, or combat operations throughout an immediate region or beyond. An Operational Support Hub is not a CF Base.
The OSH concept allows the Department of National Defence and the CF to better fulfill the Government’s mandate to make meaningful contributions across a full spectrum of international operations.
The Department of National Defence and the CF continue to pursue discussions with potential partner nations for the establishment of a worldwide OSH network. A robust OSH network will allow the Canadian Forces to more efficiently and effectively deploy on short notice to locations around the world, and to sustain operations and missions anywhere across the globe where the unique capabilities of the CF are required.
The CF has operated a small OSH at Spangdahlem, Germany, since the summer of 2009. While modest in size and scope, this location proved the benefits of the OSH concept in cost savings, time, and resource efficiencies through its use in sustaining Canadian troops in Afghanistan. Analysis was conducted and it is deemed important for the CF to continue maintaining an OSH capability within the area.
After careful consideration, the German Air Force Base and civilian airport at Köln-Bonn, Germany, was identified as the optimal location for a more permanent OSH in Europe. This location at the large Köln-Bonn airport provides a very capable facility with 24/7 operating hours and infrastructure that can provide great flexibility in meeting the CF requirements, as well as providing tremendous access to the full range of transportation networks required to support our OSH operations.
In 2011, Canada entered into a focused agreement with Kuwait to establish an Intermediate Staging Terminal in Kuwait to specifically facilitate logistics support for ongoing CF operations in Afghanistan.
An Intermediate Staging Terminal is a temporary transportation point where materiel is transferred between modes of transportation, for example from air to sea, in order to reduce costs. In contrast, an OSH is designed to support a wider range of logistic and strategic activities.