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Army Logistics White Paper: "delivering materiel readiness to the Army".

The Army G-4 exists to deliver materiel readiness to our Soldiers--a task that has remained the same for years. Today's operating environment has changed; we are an Army at War ... relevant and ready. Our most critical task is to sustain the combat readiness of our Deployed Force and to maintain the operational readiness of the Current Force. The Current Force provides the warfighting readiness that serves our nation. The Current Force must adapt to a changing enemy and fight and win decisively against any threat. Our fundamental challenge within G-4 is to enhance our current capabilities while transforming Army Logistics for tomorrow. We will accomplish this vital task by focusing our efforts on four clear objectives.

This White Paper describes four G-4 Focus Areas we will hold preeminent over the next two years. It addresses known shortfalls in our current structure that require immediate action, and directly supports our Army's transition to an expeditionary force that is agile, versatile, and capable of acting rapidly and effectively. These Focus Areas are the Army G-4's highest priority, and we will apply our policies, processes, and resources to ensure success.

Focus Area #1 -- Connect Army Logisticians

Today's Army Logistician cannot see the requirements on the battlefield. Our customers cannot see the support that is coming their way. As a result, we rely on pushing support based on our best estimate of what we think the Soldier needs. Soldiers order the same item several times because they have no confidence support is on the way. We will solve this problem by connecting Army Logisticians. Army Logisticians will be an integral part of the joint battlefield network with satellite-based communications that provide 24/7 connectivity on demand, enabling them to pass and to receive key data from the battlefield to the industrial base. This connectivity will cover the battlefield, and it will provide Army Logisticians the agility and flexibility to quickly plug into and unplug from a dedicated network with an asynchronous (stand-alone) capability.

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The G-4, along with the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) and the U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM), will work with the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army (CSA) Task Force Network to ensure logistics communications solutions are embedded within the Army's network and will optimize joint and combined operations in an expeditionary environment. Our Enterprise Resource Planning work in Battle Command Sustainment and Support System (BCS3), Global Combat Support System--Army (GCSS-A), Logistics Modernization Program (LMP), and Product Life-cycle Management (PLM+) are critical to implementing fully this Focus Area from foxhole to factory to foxhole. The logistics common operating picture (LCOP) will be improved by this network connectivity, and it will provide the vital link in the joint commander's ability to see the force and to make decisions based upon accurate, real-time logistics information.

Focus Area #2 -- Modernize Theater Distribution

Today's Army is not able to respond rapidly and precisely when support requirements are identified. We do not have the battlefield distribution system that we need. We cannot provide time-definite delivery schedules, and we cannot effectively control physical movements across the new battle environment. Effective theater sustainment rests solidly on the fundamental concepts of distribution-based logistics. We need a single focus on the simple task of guaranteeing delivery--on time, every time. We must have a distribution system that reaches from the Soldier at the tip of the spear to the source of support, wherever that may be. Our success will be measured at the last tactical mile with the Soldier.

We will build warfighter confidence by increasing visibility and establishing flexible, responsive distribution capabilities. We will not need to store large quantities of supplies forward because we will respond to customer requirements with speed and precision. The G-4 will work with CASCOM and the U.S. Transportation Command, the DoD distribution process owner, to develop this solution from factory to foxhole in the joint environment. Along with AMC and the Defense Logistics Agency, we are committed to enabling an effective distribution-based sustainment process. We will work with the CSA Task Force Modularity to develop this objective in the near term.

Focus Area #3 -- Improve Force Reception

We have invested heavily over the past 10 years in improving our ability to deploy rapidly from our continental U.S. platforms. The strategic movement of forces by Large Medium Speed Roll-On/Roll-Off (LMSR) vessels and C-17 aircraft has significantly enhanced our capabilities. However, we have not invested at the other end--in our ability to receive forces in the theater. We are hamstrung by the lack of an organizational construct that focuses on joint theater opening tasks. Today, we build ad hoc support organizations to execute aerial and sea port of debarkation operations, and we depend on forces from several organizations to establish the theater sustainment base. This process of receiving forces in theater takes time, a luxury we will not have as the Army develops an expeditionary structure that is capable of rapidly deploying joint-capable force modules.

In order to effectively facilitate the immediate operational employment and sustainment of the expeditionary force flow, we will design an integrated theater-opening capability that can respond on extremely short notice and can execute critical sustainment tasks immediately upon entry. That theater-opening capability will not be an ad hoc organization. It must be a support organization that has trained to the task. It must be enabled with the right tools to succeed, and it must have the capacity to expand to meet theater growth. The critical operational tasks for this organization include: (1) providing operational sustainment command and control with reach-back capability and initial network visibility; (2) conducting theater reception, staging onward-movement and integration operations, to include life support, force protection and port of debarkation operations; and (3) sustaining forces in theater with theater distribution and requirements visibility.

Focus Area #4 -- Integrate the Supply Chain

Over the past several years the Army has taken supply reductions at many levels for various reasons. We changed Army policy several years ago to reduce the amount of items carried on unit prescribed load listings while simultaneously reducing stock levels in many authorized stockage lists across the field army. Additionally, we took risks at the strategic level by underfunding strategic spares programs. The cumulative result of these reductions is a lean supply chain without the benefit of either an improved distribution system or an enhanced information system. As a result, our Soldiers are at the end of a long line of communication with reduced inventories and an old distribution system.

We will view the supply chain in a holistic manner to ensure we understand the impact of actions across the entire chain, not just at a single level or within a single Service. This joint, end-to-end view is essential if we are to provide the kind of support our Soldiers deserve. The solution is an enterprise view of the supply chain, and an agency and a Service integration of processes, information, and responsibilities. We are committed to developing the Army's Enterprise Solution to the supply chain in close coordination and alignment with DoD's Focused Logistics Initiative. Ultimately, joint information will be freely and automatically shared among strategic, operational, and tactical-level headquarters and agencies. Consumers and logisticians from all agencies and Services will enter local supporting systems, plug into the sustainment network, and be afforded end-to-end joint total asset visibility (JTAV). As a result of our Theater Distribution efforts, combatant commanders will be capable of seeing inventory in motion, as well as seeing what is available at storage locations, and they will be able to rapidly and effectively execute decisions that meet their requirements.

Conclusion

We will build confidence in the minds of the combatant commanders by delivering sustainment on time, every time. We can do that only if we provide Army Logisticians the capability to see the requirements every day and to control the distribution to guarantee precise, time-definite support. Army Logisticians will be part of joint and combined logistics processes that increase speed to deliver focused logistics. We will integrate real-time total asset visibility and seamlessly connect to the industrial base. This will give us an LCOP that will enable the kind of end-to-end control that always delivers the right support to the exact location at the precise time needed. If we do not connect Army Logisticians, improve the capability of the distribution system, modernize force reception, provide integrated supply management and give the joint force combatant commanders JTAV, we will study these same lessons after the next major conflict. The Army G-4 is committed to ensure that we will not have to relearn these same lessons.

RELATED ARTICLE: From the Editor

The Army's Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, released in late December 2003 an Army Logistics White Paper. "Delivering Materiel Readiness to the Army," describing logistics shortfalls and near-term priorities.

"It's our strategic vision," said Lt. Gen. Claude V. (Chris) Christianson. Army G-4. "The paper's intent is to provide clear guidance where we want to take Army logistics in the next two years. It is tied directly to what we have experienced in the past few years."

For the benefit of our readers, the paper is presented here in its entirety. This summer, Defense AT & L will also be publishing an interview with Christianson that will focus on the logistics failures and successes he observed while serving as the principal Operation Iraqi Freedom logistics operator, the C-4/J-4 for the Coalition Forces Land Component Command headquartered in Kuwait, from August 2002 through July 2003.

RELATED ARTICLE: Sixteenth Annual International Defense Educational Arrangement (IDEA) Seminar

To be held at the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham, United Kingdom June 14-18, 2004

The Sixteenth International Defense Educational Arrangement (IDEA) Seminar will be theme-based and will provide for your individual participation and positive information exchange and feedback.

The seminar is sponsored by IDEA, which consists of defense acquisition educational institutions in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, and the United States.

Those eligible to attend are Defense Department/Ministry and defense industry employees from the five sponsoring nations who are actively engaged in international defense acquisition programs. Other nations may participate by invitation.

Invitations, confirmations, and administrative instructions will be issued after May 1, 2004.

Contact an IDEA Team Member for additional seminar information:

Comm (U.S.): 703-805-5196

e-mail: internationalseminars@dau.mil or Visit our Web site: http://www.dau.mil/international/international.asp
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Author:Christianson, C.V.
Publication:Defense AT & L
Date:Mar 1, 2004
Words:1731
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