Jun 9, 2017
Light Footprint Operations (LFO) is a concept not currently found in EU doctrine, despite many EU military missions being small in size and shorter in duration. This study, commissioned by the European Defence Agency, defines LFO and its impact on required medical support. The report provides recommendations on doctrine, harmonisation and standardisation, modularisation of roles, multinational cooperation and engagement with civilian medicine.
Light Footprint Operations (LFO) is a concept not currently found in EU doctrine, despite a number of recent EU military missions being characterised as: involving a limited number of personnel deployed with no host nation support; seeking to leave small infrastructure footprint; being relatively short. Whilst so far all EU missions without host nation support have deployed medical support for more traditionally defined medical capabilities (Role 1 and Role 2 medical treatment facilities (MTFs)), these capabilities are designed to support larger military formations in both permissive and hostile operating environments.
This study was carried out in support to the European Defence Agency's work to achieve more efficient medical support to LFO carried out as part of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). A selection of methodologies was employed, including concept development, case study analysis, literature reviews, interviews, expert workshop, survey on European medical support capabilities and attitudes towards multinational cooperation and harmonisation, scenario development, medical technology scan and feasibility assessments. The study proposes a definition for LFO and concludes with a set of recommendations on current doctrine, harmonisation and standardisation, modularisation of Roles, multinational cooperation in technology development and deployment and engagement with civilian medical community.