United main hubs: Where Are United Airlines Main Hubs? (2023 Latest Hubs + Key Airports)

Where Are United Airlines Main Hubs? (2023 Latest Hubs + Key Airports)

United Airlines (UA) is one of the major carriers in the United States with its headquarters at Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois. The airline flies to 230+ domestic destinations, and 118 international destinations worldwide with more than 800 aircraft.

The airline operates from 8 hubs located at different airports across the country. The operating bases can be found in 7 locations including Illinois, Colorado, Guam, Texas, California, New York, and Washington D.C. Besides, there are various other key airports located in international destinations. 

Today, we will find out ‘Where are United Airlines main hubs?’ including terminal information, and amenities. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Table of Contents

  • Where are United Airlines main hubs? (Domestic Hubs)
    • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
    • Denver International Airport (DEN)
    • Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
    • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
    • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
    • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
    • Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
    • Guam/Agana Field International Airport (GUM)
    • New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
  • Other major international airports for United Airlines
    • Frankfurt International Airport (FRA)
    • London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
    • Guarulhos International Airport (GRU)
    • Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)
    • Narita International Airport (NRT)
  • Conclusion on ‘Where are United Airlines main hubs?’
  • FAQs on United Airlines Hubs

Where are United Airlines main hubs? (Domestic Hubs)

As mentioned above, United Airlines operates from 8 primary hubs located in 7 different areas across the United States. Let’s explore all the hubs in detail below.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Chicago O’Hare Int’l Airport (ORD) is the primary international airport serving Chicago Metropolitan Area. It is the major hub for United Airlines, American Airlines, and also the focus city for Spirit Airlines, and Polar Air Cargo.

O’Hare airport features four passenger terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Terminal 3, and Terminal 5. These terminals hold a total of 191 gates with 9 Concourses.ORD Airport (Where are United Airlines main hubs?)

United Airlines operates domestic, and international flights from Terminal 1, Terminal 2, and Terminal 5. United, and United Express operates the majority of flights from Terminal 1, and Terminal 2 whereas Terminal 5 is specially used for International Arrival flights.

United Airlines Terminal Facilities at ORD Airport

  • Kiosk Check-in/Customer Service Center
  • Ticketing/Check-in
  • Baggage Claim
  • Animal Relief Area
  • United Polaris Lounge
  • United Club Location
  • United Premier Check-in
  • Nursing Room
  • Security Walkway
  • TSA Pre-screening Program
  • Shuttle Service includes bus, monorail, and train transport.
For detailed information on United Airlines ORD Terminal, you can visit our detailed blog that covers arrivals/departures information, terminal facilities, parking service, and much more.

Denver International Airport (DEN)

Denver Int’l Airport (DEN) is among the 8 primary hubs for United Airlines. This airport is one of the top 3 busiest airports in the United States as it handles over 50 million passenger traffic each year.

DEN is equipped with only one passenger terminal named ‘Jeppesen Terminal’ that holds three Concourses: Concourse A, Concourse B, and Concourse C.Denver Airport (Where are United Airlines main hubs?)

Concourse A holds 51 Gates, Concourse B holds 66 gates, and Concourse C accommodates 29 gates. United Airlines operates from all three Concourses (A, B, and C) at Denver Airport.

United Airlines Terminal Facilities at Denver Airport

  • Kiosk Check-in/Customer Service Center
  • Ticketing/Check-in
  • Baggage Claim
  • Immigration
  • Animal Relief Area
  • United Club Location
  • United Premier Check-in
  • Nursing Room
  • TSA Pre-screening Program
  • Secure Walkway
  • Shuttle Service includes bus, monorail, and train transport.
If you are traveling via Denver Airport with United Airlines, please don’t forget to read our detailed blog on United Airlines Terminal at DEN Airport.

Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)

George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), originally known as Houston Intercontinental Airport, is one of the major international airports serving the Greater Houston region. It is also one of the primary hubs for United Airlines.

The IAH Airport infrastructure holds five passenger terminals: Terminal A, Terminal B, Terminal C, Terminal D, and Terminal E. United Airlines operates from all terminals including Terminals A, B, C, D, and E. IAH Airport (Where are United Airlines main hubs?)

United Airlines Terminal Facilities at Houston Airport 

  • Kiosk Check-in
  • Customer Service Center
  • Ticketing Counter
  • Check-in Service
  • Baggage Claim
  • Immigration
  • Animal Relief Area
  • United Polaris Lounge
  • United Club Location
  • Nursing Room
  • Shuttle, Bus, Monorail, and Train Transport
  • TSA Pre-screening Program
We have already published a detailed article on United Airlines Terminal at IAH Airport.  You can visit the article by clicking this link.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Los Angeles Airport (LAX) is a primary international airport serving Greater Los Angeles, and its surrounding metropolitan area. It is the main hub for airlines including United, American, Delta, Alaska, and Polar Air Cargo. Furthermore, it is the focus city for Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and Allegiant Air.

LAX is equipped with 9 passenger terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Terminal 3, Terminal 4, Terminal 5, Terminal 6, Terminal 7, Terminal 8, and Terminal B. These terminals are arranged in the shape of the letter ‘U’ or a horseshoe.LAX Airport (Where are United Airlines main hubs?)

United Airlines, and United Express operate from Terminal 7, and Terminal 8 at LAX Airport.

Facilities available at United Airlines LAX Terminal

  • Kiosk Check-in/Customer Service Center
  • Ticketing/Check-in
  • Baggage Claim
  • Animal Relief Area
  • United Polaris Lounge
  • United Club Location
  • United Premier Check-in
  • Nursing Room
  • Security Walkway
  • TSA Pre-screening Program
  • Shuttle Service including bus, monorail, and train transport.
If you are looking for detailed information on United Airlines Terminal at LAX airport, we have prepared a full article covering all information. Read it here.

Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

Newark Liberty Int’l Airport serves the New York metropolitan area by facilitating flights to domestic as well as various international destinations. EWR is the primary hub for United Airlines, and FedEx Express.

EWR Airport features there passenger terminals namely Terminal A, Terminal B, and Terminal C. Concourse A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2, and C3 are located in the respective terminals.

United Airlines operates from Terminal A, Terminal B, and Terminal C. United owns, and manages Terminal A at EWR. Terminals B, and C are used for both domestic, and international flights.Newark Airport (Where are United Airlines main hubs?)

United Airlines Terminal Facilities at EWR Terminal

  • Kiosk Check-in/Customer Service Center
  • Ticketing/Check-in
  • Baggage Claim
  • Animal Relief Area
  • United Polaris Lounge
  • United Club Location
  • United Premier Check-in
  • Nursing Room
  • TSA Pre-screening Program
  • Shuttle Service including bus, monorail, and train transport.
Find a detailed United Airlines Terminal Guide at Newark Airport by visiting our blog ‘What terminal is United at Newark?’.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

San Francisco Int’l Airport is the primary hub for United Airlines, and Alaska Airlines. Located in California state, the airport serves San Francisco Bay Area.

Taking about the airport infrastructure, SFO is built with four passenger terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2, Terminal 3, and the International Terminal. There are seven concourses lettered from A to G.

SFO Airport (Where are United Airlines main hubs?)

United Airlines and United Express operate from Terminal 3 at SFO. The majority of flights are handled in Terminal 3 while Terminal 2 and the International Terminal are also used often. SFO international terminal is used for international flights by United Airlines.  

United Airlines Terminal Facilities at SFO

  • Kiosk Check-in/Customer Service Center
  • Ticketing/Check-in
  • United Polaris Lounge
  • United Club
  • United Premier Check-in
  • Baggage Claim Area
  • Immigration
  • Medical Center
  • Shuttle Service including monorail, bus and train transport
  • Secure Walkway
  • TSA Pre-Screening Program
We have already published a detailed blog on United Airlines Terminal at SFO Airport with terminal map, facilities & services, parking options, and more.  Read this article to explore all the important information.

Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Washington Dulles is also among the main hubs for United Airlines, and is located 26 miles west of downtown Washington in the Eastern United States.

IAD (commonly known as Dulles Airport) is equipped with the main passenger terminal that takes us to the two parallel midfield terminal infrastructures. 

The main terminal consists of five of the original gates whereas the two parallel midfield terminal buildings accommodate Concourse A (19 Gates)/Concourse B (29 Gates), and Concourse C (24 Gates)/Concourse D (25 Gates) respectively. Besides, there is also a Concourse Z located near the main terminal with 4 gates.Dulles Airport (Where are United Airlines main hubs?)

United Airlines operates from Main Terminal Building (Concourse Z), Concourse A, Concourse C, and Concourse D.

Read this blog to explore complete information on Untied Terminal at Dulles Airport. 

Terminal Facilities at Dulles Airport

  • Kiosk Check-in/Customer Service Center
  • Ticketing/Check-in
  • Baggage Claim
  • Animal Relief Area
  • United Polaris Lounge
  • United Club Location
  • United Premier Check-in
  • Nursing Room
  • TSA Pre-screening Program
  • Shuttle Service includes bus, monorail, and train transport.

Guam/Agana Field International Airport (GUM)

Guam International Airport, also known as Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport,  is located in Barrigada & Tamuning, Guam. It is a primary hub for United Airlines, and Asia Pacific Airlines.Guam Airport (Where are United Airlines main hubs?)

GUM Airport features only one main passenger terminal that holds three levels. The basement level, Apron Level, and Third Floor are the three levels inside the passenger terminal.

United Airlines operates from the main passenger terminal, and offers various facilities including Ticketing/Check-in, Baggage Claim, TSA PreCheck, and Immigration.

New York LaGuardia Airport (LGA)

United Airlines also operates its flights from LaGuardia Airport in New York however, it is not the hub for the airline but just a key airport.

LGA Airport features four passenger terminals including Terminal A, Terminal B, Terminal C, and Terminal D. United Airlines, and United Express operate their flights from Terminal B at LGA.LGA Airport (Where are United Airlines main hubs?)

United Airlines Terminal Facilities at LGA Airport

  • Kiosk Check-in
  • Customer Service Center
  • Nursing Room
  • Baggage Claim
  • Animal Relief Area
  • United Club Location
  • TSA Pre-Screening Program
  • Ticketing/Check-in
  • Transfer Shuttle, Bus, Monorail or Train Transport

Other major international airports for United Airlines

United Airlines also operates its flights from international airports located in Germany, the United Kingdom, New York, Brazil, and Japan.

Frankfurt International Airport (FRA)

United Airlines operates flights to 200+ destinations within the U.S. from Terminal 1 at Frankfurt International Airport located in Germany.

Terminal Facilities at FRA

  • Ticketing/Check-in
  • Medical Center
  • Secure Walkway
  • Transfer Shuttle, Bus, Monorail or Train Transport

London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

London Heathrow (LHR) is one of the major airports in London, United Kingdom. United Airlines operates from Terminal 2A, and 2B from this airport

The airline flies to 200+ destinations within the United States, and 100 international destinations from LHR.

Terminal Facilities at LHR

  • Kiosk Check-in
  • Customer Service Center
  • Ticketing/Check-in
  • Baggage Claim
  • Immigration
  • United Club Location 
  • United Premier Check-in

Guarulhos International Airport (GRU)

Guarulhos Int’l Airport also known as Guarulhos–Governor Andre Franco Montoro is an international airport located in Guarulhos, Brazil. There are three passenger terminals at GRU: Terminal 1 “Blue”, Terminal 2 “Orange”, and Terminal 3 “Red”.

United Airlines operates from Terminal 3 “Red”. Passengers receive transfer shuttle, bus, monorail, or train transport at GRU airport.

Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)

Tokyo Haneda, officially known as Tokyo International Airport, is one of the two major international airports serving the Greater Tokyo Area. HND is equipped with three passenger terminals: Terminal 1, Terminal 2, and Terminal 3.

United Airlines operates from Terminal 3 at Haneda Airport, and provides the following facilities to the passengers.

  • Ticketing/Check-in
  • Baggage Claim
  • Immigration
  • United Premier Check-in
  • Transfer Shuttle, Bus, Monorail, or Train Transport

Narita International Airport (NRT)

Narita Int’l Airport is among the two primary airports serving the Greater Tokyo Area. It is also known as Tokyo-Narita Airport. NRT features three passenger terminals namely Terminal 1, Terminal 2, and Terminal 3.

United Airlines operates from Terminal 1 at Narita Airport. The terminal facilities include:

  • Ticketing/Check-in
  • Kiosk Check-in
  • Customer Service Center
  • Baggage Claim
  • Immigration
  • United Premier Check-in
  • Medical Center

United operates flights to 200+ destinations within the United States, and 100 international destinations from NRT.

Conclusion on ‘Where are United Airlines main hubs?’

We explored all 8 primary hubs of United Airlines located at different airports in the United States. Besides, we also discussed some key airports in the foreign country from where the United flies to 200+ destinations in the U.S. and 100+ worldwide.

Orlando Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
Colorado Denver International Airport (DEN)
Texas Houston/George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
California Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
New Jersey Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
California San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Washington D. C. Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
Guam Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport (GUM)
New York (Key Airport) LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
INTERNATIONAL KEY AIRPORTS Frankfurt International Airport (FRA)
London Heathrow International Airport (LHR)
Guarulhos International Airport (GRU)
Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND)
Tokyo Narita Airport (NRT)

FAQs on United Airlines Hubs

How many US hubs does United have?

United Airlines operates from 8 US hubs located in Chicago (ORD), Denver (DEN), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO), and Washington Dulles (IAD).

What is United’s biggest hub?

United Airlines flies to various domestic, and international destinations from 8 different hubs. As per the 2021 statistics, Denver International Airport (DEN) was United’s biggest hub.

Does United have a hub in New York?

United doesn’t feature its hub in New York however, LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in NY is the key airport. Also, United has claimed the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) as their New York area hub.

Snapshot: A Look at United Airlines by the Numbers


Zach Wichter covers the aviation industry for TPG. He previously worked for The New York Times.

Aug. 29, 2019

2 min read

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United Airlines began its corporate life as a subsidiary of Boeing. Now it’s one of the largest airlines in the world. For a time following its merger with Continental, it actually was the largest.

It flew its first flight in 1926 under the moniker Varney Airlines. In the modern era, it’s perhaps best known for its «Friendly Skies» tagline, or for making Gershwin part of the the travel experience of thousands of people every day.

Here’s where things stand with the company today:

Headquarters: Chicago

CEO: Oscar Munoz

Destinations: 355 in 48 countries

Hubs: Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Guam, Houston Bush Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark Liberty, San Francisco and Washington Dulles

Daily Departures: 4,900

Frequent-flier program: MileagePlus

Frequent-flier alliance: Star Alliance

Related: 16 Rows of Biz: Reviewing Polaris on United’s ‘High-J’ 767-300ER

Busiest Airports by Number of United Passengers in 2018

  1. Chicago O’Hare (35.90 million)
  2. Houston Intercontinental (32.60 million)
  3. Newark Liberty (29.42 million)
  4. Denver (26.80 million)
  5. San Francisco (24.76 million)
  6. Washington Dulles (14.67 million)
  7. Los Angeles (12.31 million)
  8. Boston (3.98 million)
  9. Orlando (3. 91 million)
  10. Las Vegas (3.89 million)

Source: Diio by Cirium

Busiest Airports by Average Daily United Airlines Departures in 2018

  1. Chicago O’Hare (567)
  2. Houston Intercontinental (483)
  3. Denver (401)
  4. Newark Liberty (383)
  5. San Francisco (283)
  6. Washington Dulles (226)
  7. Los Angeles (143)
  8. Cleveland (42)
  9. Boston (40)
  10. Las Vegas (36)

Related: Bye, Bye Continental: United Officially Drops Continental Name

Source: Diio by Cirium

Planes in United’s Fleet (Including Regional Affiliates)

  • Boeing 787 (40)
  • Boeing 777 (92)
  • Boeing 767 (54)
  • Boeing 757 (77)
  • Boeing 737 (338)
  • Airbus A320 (99)
  • Airbus A319 (70)
  • Embraer E175 (153)
  • Canadair CRJ700 (64)
  • Canadair CRJ 200 (128)
  • Embraer E170 (38)
  • Embraer E145 (176)

Source: United fleet as of Dec. 31, 2018, as pulled from United Airlines’ 2018 annual report

Related: The 8 Best Credit Cards for Flying United

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— 2.4.1.

2.4.1. General characteristics of computer networks

A computer network (CN) or a computer network is a complex of geographically dispersed computers interconnected by data transmission channels and network software in order to effectively use the storage medium and computing power in the performance of information and computing work. Therefore, the CS can be considered as a system with hardware, software and information resources distributed over the territory, and the technical means determine the potential, and the software determines the real capabilities of the CS. nine0003

The specifics of the organization of computer networks are affected by the basic target settings for creating a CS. There are three of them:

1. Mobilization of resources to solve complex problems.

2. Minimization of resources through the collective use of the most significant (expensive) of them.

3. Intellectualization of communications.

In the general case, the CS is represented by a set of three nested subsystems (Fig. 2.3):

• networks of workstations; nine0003

• server networks;

• Basic Data Network.

In this hierarchy, the computer (hereinafter referred to as the computer) acquires a new name: workstation, server, switching computer.

In a particular case, the CS can degenerate into a single-level network of workstations (in this case, the CS is called peer-to-peer) or a two-level network of workstations with one or more servers. Note that the success of the development of CS and microelectronics has led to the fact that any computer, including a personal one, can be considered as a CS, but in a miniature version. nine0003

Network of workstations — the outer shell of the CS. It is represented by a set of workstations and means of communication that ensure the interaction of workstations with the server and, possibly, among themselves. A workstation (client machine, workplace, subscriber station, terminal) is a computer that a CS subscriber directly works on.

Fig. 2.3. Generalized diagram of a computer network

Server network — a collection of servers and communications that connect servers to the underlying data network. A computer that performs common CS tasks and provides services to workstations is called a server. nine0003

Basic data transmission network — a set of means for transmitting data between servers. It consists of communication channels and communication nodes. Communication node — a set of means of switching and data transmission in one point. The communication node receives the data coming through the communication channels and transmits the data to the channels leading to the subscribers. A typical example of a communication center is an automatic telephone exchange. Note that the world’s first electrical network is telephone. It was she who formed the basis of the basic data transmission network and largely determined the principles of constructing the CS. The basic data transmission network is the core of the CS, which provides the integration of computers and other devices. nine0003

The geometric connection diagram (physical connection configuration) of the network nodes is called the network topology. There are a large number of options for network topologies, the basic of which are bus, ring, star (Fig. 2.4).

1. Tire. A communication channel that connects nodes into a network forms a broken line — a bus. Any node can (if it has permission to do so) receive information at any time, and transmit only when the bus is free.

nine0002 2. Ring. The nodes are connected in a network of a closed curve. Data is transmitted in only one direction. Each node, among other things, implements the functions of a relay. He receives and transmits all messages, perceives only those addressed to him.

3. Star. The nodes of the network are connected to the «center» by beams. All information is transmitted through the center, which makes it relatively easy to troubleshoot and add new nodes without interrupting the network. However, the cost of organizing communication channels is usually higher here than for a bus and a ring. nine0003

Fig. 2.4. Basic network topology options:

tire (a), ring (b) and star (c)

The combination of basic topologies — hybrid topology — provides a wide range of solutions that accumulate the advantages and disadvantages of the basic ones. For example, a double ring (with an increase in the cost of communication channels) allows you to increase the reliability and performance of the network: The implementation of a star with respect to each node as a center provides communication «each with each», while it becomes possible to organize alternative (bypass) paths between nodes. nine0003

The choice of network topology is a very responsible task that must be solved before the design and development of the KC. Changing the topology at a later stage is difficult and expensive.

Obviously, in each CS subsystem, communication channels can be used that implement different topologies and different organizational principles. In a network of workstations, monochannels (a single channel) are most often implemented, and in a basic data transmission network, a polychannel (a composition of monochannels). nine0003

Currently, the following physical media are used in monochannels: ether, coaxial cable, fiber optic cable, twisted (twisted) pair and various modifications of flat cables.

On the air, a monochannel can be formed at various frequencies without the use of any conductors. Depending on the signal frequency used, a radio channel, infrared, ultrashortwave and microwave communication channels are distinguished.

Each radio channel is formed at a certain frequency — the carrier frequency of radio signals — with the help of transceivers. The radio channel is characterized by a low signal transmission rate, average cost, transmission distances within radio visibility, exposure to all types of radio interference. nine0003

The infrared channel is convenient for transmitting information over branched communication channels within the line of sight. It is formed using infrared signals transmitted by small transmitters and perceived by very sensitive receivers. Due to infrared frequencies, the channel is insensitive to electromagnetic interference, which can be emitted by power electric units, electric welding machines and other units in working conditions in industrial premises. nine0003

The VHF channel primarily uses VHF radio and television transceiver equipment. The advantage of the ultrashortwave channel is the possibility of using low-power transceiver equipment, increased noise immunity in relation to amplitude-modulated electromagnetic interference, the possibility of placing a large number of communication channels within the ultrashortwave channel, that is, the formation of a polychannel. Mastering the range of ultrashort waves made it possible to create radio relay lines. nine0003

The birth of satellite communication systems completely solved the problem of transmitting large flows of information over considerable distances. A satellite communication system includes a plurality of ground stations and a repeater located on the satellite. Ground stations track the movement of the satellite relative to the Earth until it disappears below the horizon. The satellite repeater is implemented in such a way that it provides multiple access (several ground stations have direct access at once). The communication line through a satellite transponder has a large bandwidth, covers vast distances and, due to the low level of interference, can transmit information with high reliability. An additional advantage is communication via a geostationary satellite. Firstly, the height of the geostationary orbit is such that the satellite «sees» almost a third of the surface of the globe, and secondly, this satellite provides transmission and reception with fixed antennas of ground stations. The main disadvantage of satellite communication is its high cost. However, multiple access makes the unit cost of satellite communications acceptable for practical use. nine0003

The microwave channel is based on the use of light to transmit information, and special lasers are used here as a source of information. It is possible to transmit information using a light carrier in two media: in the atmosphere and along an artificial light conductor — a light guide. In the atmosphere, this channel operates steadily in the line of sight. The amount of «line of sight» increases significantly when using a light guide. The light guide is ultra-transparent fiberglass. Its small diameter (thinner than a human hair) allows many fibers to be packed into one small diameter cable. Such fiber optic cables firmly hold the lead among high-speed mono channels. With their help, you can transfer all kinds of information: speech, data and television images. They expand the capabilities and stability of the microwave channel, as they replace the ether with a more reliable physical medium. nine0003

Modern coaxial cables come in a variety of designs, with an inner conductor and an outer shielding surface that makes the cable virtually noise-free at any distance. According to technical and operational indicators, broadband and narrowband coaxial cables are distinguished. They are a commonly used physical transmission medium in a network of workstations.

Twisted-pair conductors are the most accessible means of connecting workstations for the mass user. There is no need to use scarce cables and carry out their laying in accordance with the requirements of industry standards. Twisted pair can be simply laid on the floor or along the wall, temporarily or permanently. Therefore, the actual cost of developing and operating data transmission channels based on twisted pair is the lowest among other types of monochannels. In a twisted pair, the conditions for protection against external interference are improved compared to a single conductor. However, these conditions are much worse than in coaxial and fiber optic cables. nine0003

Flat cable is a collection of conductors united by a common shielding mesh and isolated from each other. Their design is focused on the transmission of information in a parallel code of 8, 16 and 32 bits, usually over short distances (up to 15 m).

Connecting a computer to a network is somewhat like connecting an electrical appliance (TV, refrigerator, iron, etc.) to an electrical network. The computer is also an electrical device, so it is connected to the power supply using a socket and plug, but the computer also needs a “socket and plug” to be included in the COP. However, these «socket and plug» are not as simple as electrical ones. To operate the air, receivers and transmitters are needed, and to work with coaxial, fiber-optic cables and twisted pair (which are most often used to organize a network of workstations), in addition to special receivers and transmitters, you also need tees-couplers. nine0003

The basic principles of the organization of the COP determine its main characteristics:

• operational capabilities;

• productivity;

• message delivery time;

• Cost of services provided.

Operational capabilities — a list of the main data processing activities. The computers included in the CS provide users with all traditional types of services: programming automation tools, access to application packages, databases, but the main effect of combining computers in the CS is manifested in the full availability of network resources for users (subscribers). Network subscribers have the opportunity to use the memory and processors of many computers for storing and processing data. The possibility of parallel processing of data by many computers and duplication of necessary resources provided by the CS allows reducing the time for solving problems, increasing the reliability of the system and the reliability of the results. CS subscribers have access to software and databases concentrated in each computer. Network users have the ability to build distributed databases located in the memory of many computers, create complex information structures. Information links between subscribers allow teams of users to solve problems of modeling complex systems, perform design and other work, based on software and databases distributed among many computers. These links obviously reduce the security of software and databases from unauthorized influence. nine0003

Thus, network data processing is a qualitatively new organization of processing, in which, on the one hand, the complexity limit and speed of solving problems that require the participation of large teams of workers are significantly increased, and, on the other hand, the threat of confidentiality of information stored in the CS is reduced .

CS performance (in relation to the task) is the total performance of the computers involved in solving the user’s task. In this case, usually the performance of computers means the nominal performance of their processors. nine0003

Message delivery time is defined as the statistical average time from the moment a message is sent to the network to the moment the message is received by the addressee.

The concept of «cost of services provided» is introduced here without comment.

NATO Review — Establishing a secure and functioning home front: a new headquarters for NATO Joint Provision and Support Command

The publications of NATO Review do not constitute the official position or policy of NATO or any member states. nine0101 The mission of NATO Review is to inform and encourage discussion of security issues. The authors of the articles express their personal opinion.

  • Sergei Boeke
  • January 13, 2020

On September 17, 2019, the Joint Supply and Support Command (OKOP) reached the level of initial operational capability. As an important component of strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defense in response to the changing security environment, this command will help accelerate, coordinate and secure the movement of NATO forces and assets (equipment) across the borders of European countries. nine0003

The establishment of the OKOP was approved by the Ministers of Defense in February 2018 along with the headquarters of the Allied Forces Command in Norfolk. Allied Command Norfolk’s mission is to help secure the sea lanes connecting North America to Europe, while OKOP takes care of the so-called «rear area» in Europe. Germany played a key role in the creation of the OKOP, because due to the location and organization of the troops (forces) of this country as the material and technical platform of Europe, Germany is an ideal «frame country». The OKOP is part of the NATO force structure and is operationally subordinate to the Supreme Commander Allied Forces Europe (SHAPE Allied Forces Europe). In the first phase, the OKOP will have approximately 280 personnel (in peacetime). In a crisis, the number, of course, will be greater. nine0003

In the event of a crisis, the task of the new NATO Joint Supply and Support Command is to assist, if necessary, with the rapid deployment of reinforcement troops (forces) and military equipment in Europe. © Bundeswehr / A. Bier

After the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 and the emergence of security problems in the south, in particular the brutal attacks of ISIS (Daesh) and other terrorist groups, NATO made the largest increase in collective defense since the Cold War and adopted a 360-degree view approach . nine0003

Commanders and planners have discovered a gap in the area of ​​responsibility of the Allied Command in Europe. If a security incident occurs during a conflict, a thousand kilometers from the front line, who will be required to act? The Allied Command in Europe itself or one of the Allied Commands (Brunssum and Naples) within their Joint Operations Areas (ROOs)? After all, they will be focused on military operations in their ROO. The presence of a secure rear, combined with the ability to quickly reinforce troops (forces), would allow both to focus on their main task — the conduct of hostilities — and would also be a critical factor in the success of their operations. nine0003

Why is a new logistics headquarters required when there was no such headquarters during the Cold War? There are three main reasons: the structure of the armed forces, geography and planning.

First, over the past 30 years, NATO’s military capabilities have been significantly reduced. Compared to the NATO force structure during the Cold War, the Alliance currently maintains only a limited forward area presence in NATO’s east, in battalions rather than divisions. This means that the readiness and ability to quickly strengthen groupings — through the rear area — is the most important element of deterrence and defense. nine0003

Secondly, with the accession of Eastern European countries to NATO, distances have increased. In the past, for example, a column of American troops moving from the port of Rotterdam to the West German border had to cover about 500 kilometers and cross only one border. Now, to get to Tallinn, you need to overcome more than 2200 kilometers and cross five borders. During the Cold War, many European countries were on the front lines or not far from it, and now many are far from the front lines (both real and notional). nine0003

Finally, during the Cold War, planning for NATO deployment and operations was comprehensive and accurate. For example, NATO tank battalions knew exactly where and how to deploy to West Germany in the event of an escalation. Routes were prepared, procedures worked out, and everything was regularly tested in practice, in particular, at the NATO REFORGER exercises (return of forces to Germany).

After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, NATO headquarters were reduced and plans disappeared. NATO has focused on operations outside its area of ​​responsibility, such as in Afghanistan, which have required different planning and logistics. Missions were carried out when and where the Alliance saw fit. Planning was done on a case-by-case basis, and weapons and equipment were simply delivered on commercial ships or by air, sometimes even on chartered Ukrainian or Russian aircraft. nine0003

The new civilian infrastructure — roads and bridges — in Europe was created without regard to any military considerations. Thus, it has not become easier to deliver a 60-ton tank from point A to point B. Now, with renewed emphasis on NATO’s ability to respond quickly to any threat to its territorial integrity, preparedness is essential. Therefore, you need to be ready to put plans into action with the simple push of a button. But in areas such as logistics and planning, NATO is having to relearn a forgotten art. nine0003

UK troops check the mobility of troops (forces) while making a forced march to participate in the NATO exercise «Trident Juncture — 2018». © NATO

However, a simple comparison with the Cold War period is misleading. With the implementation of NATO’s current 360-degree approach, regions not normally considered a rear area may become one. Since 1989 societies have undergone fundamental changes. Critical infrastructure in States has been largely privatized and virtually everything has been connected to the Internet. As a result of business efficiencies, such as just-in-time delivery, many organizations and systems have been able to shed excess. At the same time, cyberspace creates a new and attractive vector for malicious activity, and societies have only begun to systematize the resulting vulnerabilities and interdependencies. nine0003

These vulnerabilities have been targeted in what is known as “hybrid warfare”, which involves covert operations such as cyber attacks, disinformation campaigns and sabotage. The most important thing is that these harmful actions generally do not reach the level of armed conflict, that is, they are carried out in peacetime. What was called civil defense during the Cold War now falls partly under the broader term resilience (the ability to bounce back or bounce back in the event of a crisis) and requires a whole-of-government approach. Responding to these new challenges means being able to master something completely new. nine0003

The main mission of the Joint Supply and Support Command (OKOP) is two-fold: security and assistance. To address the gap in the Allied Command Europe area of ​​responsibility, the OKOP is placing strong emphasis on security and force protection in times of crisis, at the request of sovereign nations.

In the event of a crisis, the following scenario is possible: the (receiving) country does not have the necessary capabilities to ensure the reception and transit of incoming troops (forces), either because it sent its troops to participate in some operation, or because its military capacity was initially limited. This country can apply to OKOP for help, which in turn matches supply and demand. One more option is possible: troops (forces) can also be allocated to the command of the OKOP as a full-fledged joint headquarters in tactical control. In other scenarios, air cover may be provided for critical points or transport corridors. nine0003

Such scenarios only arise in a crisis, when the North Atlantic Council assigns a (rear) area to the OKOP and agrees on an operational plan.

The second component of the OKOP’s mission, facilitation, is just as important. Facilitation is a broad term covering not only mobility but also functioning. This includes all elements that help organize and improve transit to and within the combat area(s) of the multinational task force. nine0003

Currently, NATO countries are responsible for transporting their troops (forces), weapons and equipment to the front. These complex movements are organized through various bilateral agreements between sending countries, transit countries and receiving countries. If collective defense is required (which falls within the scope of Article 5 of the NATO founding treaty) and many countries need to send their units and subdivisions to the combat areas of the multinational task force, this system will be heavily stressed. For this reason, in recent years, European member states have reduced bureaucratic formalities to speed up border crossings for troops (forces), weapons and equipment, and NATO countries have committed to reduce border crossing times to less than five days. nine0003

Many countries lack the military logistics needed to transport their own troops (forces) (often these were the first victims of cuts in defense budgets in the past), and therefore they depend on the same small number of civilian firms — carriers. In the event of an acute crisis, these firms will be overwhelmed by the volume of orders, transport routes will be overloaded, and a flurry of requests for help will descend on host and transit countries. The situation could be exacerbated by traffic flowing in the opposite direction, such as the transport of wounded military personnel or the flow of civilian refugees. And this is where OKOP comes in. Acting on the guidance of the Allied Command Headquarters in Europe and in close coordination with other NATO structures, it works to harmonize and prioritize work in the rear area. nine0003

Coordination is essential to ensure that transport routes are not congested during military deployments in the event of an acute crisis. © Bundeswehr / R. Alpers

Effective coordination is possible only if the OKOP has accurate, up-to-date information about the situation (general operational picture). The foundation for this needs to be laid in peacetime, as it will be too late to build it from scratch in times of crisis. OKOP has already established a network of focal points in most NATO countries, and through them a whole-of-government approach will be implemented in these countries. The OKOP will depend on data provided by NATO countries, supplemented by information from reliable open sources. When an overall operational picture emerges, it will confirm that the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts. nine0003

With an overall picture of the situation, OKOP will be able to advise the Allied Supreme Command in Europe on the priority of units and units, the coordination of movements (transfers) or the redirection of convoys, if necessary. Part of this work is being done in close collaboration with the Standing Joint Logistics Team (SPGMT), which is part of NATO’s command structure and will be based with OKOP in Ulm in 2020. Although it is not yet clear which tasks are performed by the OKOP and which by the POGMTO, the metaphor of the pipeline can be useful: OKOP builds and protects the pipeline that goes to the areas of operations, and the POGMTO decides what goes through the pipeline and how much. nine0003

Training and exercises will be essential to the development of the support function of the OKOP. As previous exercises have clearly demonstrated, the transport of troops (forces), weapons, equipment and ammunition across European borders is a slow and complex process. The former commander of the US Army in Europe, Lieutenant General (retired) Ben Hodges, managed to achieve progress in this area. Partly to spur assistance work in NATO, the US is strongly supporting the OKOP. Indeed, in the event of a crisis, it is the US Armed Forces that will have to carry out rapid transportation (transfers) and send huge forces and means. These skills will be practiced during the major US exercise Defender Europe 2020. With 20,000 troops coming from the US, this will be the largest US military deployment to Europe (to participate in exercises) in 25 years. This will be the first opportunity for the OKOP to observe the progress of the exercise and to acquire coordination skills in the rear area. nine0003

Over the past four years, NATO has invested more than two billion euros of its own funds in military mobility projects. Among them are the modernization of sea terminals and the equipment on them of large fuel tanks for NATO aircraft; construction of parking areas for aircraft carrying out aerial refueling; restoration of runways for use by NATO aircraft.

A number of European initiatives are also important to the facilitating function carried out by OKOP. Mobility is now one of the main areas of cooperation between NATO and the European Union, aimed at ensuring that civilian and commercial transport infrastructure, in particular ports, roads and bridges, meet the standards required for the transport of military forces and heavy equipment. An example of cooperation between the EU and NATO is the «Military Mobility» project, put forward by the Netherlands, which provides for actions in the field of logistics and in the regulatory sphere. OKOP could help with the implementation and implementation of these initiatives through training and exercises. nine0003

NATO and the European Union have identified military mobility as one of the main areas of cooperation in the Joint Declaration signed in July 2018 by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and President of the European Council Donald Tusk. © NATO

On the road to full operational capability, scheduled for October 2021, OKOP faces three major challenges. nine0003

The first involves building understanding among stakeholders. The OKOP is intended to be the central coordinating node in the international network, and therefore it needs to demonstrate its added value to NATO countries. If NATO countries actively support the OKOP and provide it with the necessary data, it can in turn serve them more effectively.

The second problem concerns doctrine. NATO has recently been successful in harmonizing its military strategy and it goes without saying that the necessary documents are currently being finalized. In this context of doctrinal development, the OKOP, together with the NATO Supreme Command Headquarters in Europe, is conducting pioneering work and learning by doing. nine0003

Finally, the OKOP needs to create a headquarters that combines two completely different tasks. Its main task in peacetime is to coordinate and outreach, liaise with civilian and military structures, and create a new system that provides a common operational picture of the rear area. Another task, in preparation for the crisis, is to create a joint operational headquarters. Given the continued scarcity of resources, despite their increase, this will not be easy. nine0003

For NATO, the secure rear area is an important element of deterrence. A mission-appropriate operational presence and presence in the Alliance’s forward area means that the ability to rapidly reinforce the force on the front lines is critical. With the NATO CMCoord in Europe as a priority for readiness, OKOP is playing an important role in improving coordination and facilitation. Some of this will require relearning the lessons of the Cold War, while others will require a new and innovative approach. On the path from initial to full operational capability, OKOP will continue to liaise with Member States and coordinate closely with civilian and military stakeholders. Twenty-two of the twenty-nine NATO Allies are already actively engaged with the OKOP, demonstrating the importance they attach to the rear area.

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