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Delivering logistics readiness to the warfighter: the success of the current and future forces will depend on networking logisticians so they can communicate with each other and with the warfighters they support.

"The Army--At War and Transforming." Those words, which greeted attendees at last October's annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) in Washington, sum up the situation facing the Army as it begins this new year. Since 11 September 2001, the Nation has been at war--an unprecedented global war against terrorists and the rogue regimes supporting them that has put new emphasis on speed and precision, intelligence and communications, joint operations, special operations, and multinational partnerships. The strategic pause at the end of the Cold War, which seemed to afford the Army and the other armed services time to methodically pursue transformation into a 21st century military force, ended abruptly on 11 September. Since then, the Army has found itself in the stressful and demanding position of transforming--and supporting Department of Defense (DOD) transformation--while simultaneously fighting a war and rebuilding nations in farflung regions of the world.

As retired Vice Admiral Arthur K. Cebrowski, DOD's Director of Force Transformation, noted at the AUSA meeting, the global institutions created after World War II and matured through the decades of the Cold War are under tremendous stress. The fundamental global division has changed form East versus West (the Communist bloc versus the Free World) to the nations of the "functioning global core" (politically stable, economically integrated, and technologically advanced) versus "nonfunctioning nations" (politically unstable, economically underdeveloped, and increasingly alienated from the functioning nations).

The changed world geopolitical environment has led to the Army's current operations in Afghanistan and Iraq; it also has led to an accelerated process of transformation and experimentation. Military transformation, as Major General James M. Dubik, Director of Joint Experimentation at the U.S. Joint Forces Command, observed, is "driven from the top down," with Army transformation forming a component of the larger DOD process. Transformation is driving all of the services toward a new emphasis on joint operations and on improving their abilities to support joint warfare. At the same time, the world environment is driving a new emphasis on multinational operations and strategic partnerships. These imperatives have defined the goal of Army transformation: to develop a future force that supports the needs of the joint task force (JTF) commander.

Networking the Battlefield

To participate in a military environment increasingly characterized by joint, interagency, and multinational (JIM) operations, the Army, according to the commander of the Army Training and Doctrine Command, General Kevin P. Byrnes, needs to have a "joint and expeditionary mindset." The Army's Future Force will be joint, modular, networked, responsive, deployable, repositioned, unit-manned, and rotation-based--a force that is flexible and mobile enough to deploy, fight, and sustain itself in support of any requirement of the joint warfighter.

The key to achieving the Army's Future Force and fitting it into a joint operational environment is information--acquiring it and, more importantly, sharing it. A transformed Army will be based on a command and control network that connects operators and supporters at all levels of the battlefield. This emphasis on information and networking will be a hallmark of the Future Combat Systems (FCS). The FCS will be more than a hardware program that features the latest weapon and vehicle technologies; it also will incorporate information networks so that soldiers at the tactical level will participate in a common operating picture and achieve situational understanding of the battlefield.

Logistics Transformation

Army transformation depends on logistics transformation. The Army's logistics forces must not be an obstacle to the success of fast, agile, technologically advanced, battlefield-dominating combat forces. The logistician needs the same information and communications capabilities and the same flexibility as the warfighter.

That the Army's logistics forces do not have those capabilities yet was demonstrated in Operation Iraqi Freedom, as a number of speakers at the AUSA meeting noted. For example, the Army's new Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4, Lieutenant General C.V. Christianson, pointed out that logisticians in Iraq could not see the requirements of combat units on the move; those units reported their needs only when they stopped. The result was a lack of continuous, "24/7" connectivity to the operational requirements of maneuver forces. The Army's logistics forces do not have the connectivity they need to contribute to operational success.

In a recently released publication, Logistics Transformation: Adapting to Next-Generation Warfare and Technology Change, General Christianson described the challenge of logistics transformation like this--
 The bottom line is that logistics information
 technology connectivity, coupled with an integrated
 suite of logistics air and surface delivery capabilities
 and enablers, will provide our CSS [combat service
 support] forces with the required wherewithal to
 accomplish logistics re-supply and sustainment missions.
 And we will be able to do so at the right place,
 at the right time and with the right supplies in support
 of the JTF commander's CONOPS [concept of
 operations] and his ever-changing/dynamic
 Battlefield Distribution requirements. This represents
 the essence of our ongoing Logistics

The same publication defines four focus areas that will govern Army Logistics Transformation--

* Connect logisticians. This area reflects the emphasis on acquiring and sharing information. As Logistics Transformation puts it, "Connectivity for logisticians on the battlefield is critical. Supporting information systems and communications must provide a '24/7' sense and respond capability. [The Army] must be able to see the [warfighter's] requirement across the spectrum of operations, understand the requirement, and respond with precision, speed, and agility."

* Modernize theater distribution. "A modernized theater distribution capability must be characterized by coherent and workable information systems architectures, commercial off the shelf solutions, refined distribution tactics, techniques, and procedures, and leaders and soldiers trained to understand and apply logistics support to continuous operations over extended distances."

* Improve force reception capability. "[The Army] must aggressively focus on development of theater opening capabilities characterized by rapid distribution, theater logistics command and control capabilities fully networked to a larger enterprise, and improved Aerial Port of Debarkation (APOD) and Seaport of Debarkation (SPOD) operations."

* Integrate the supply chain. "An integrated supply chain is essential to developing a logistics capability that can quickly adjust and adapt to the difficult and high-risk challenges on the battlefield. This supply chain must be optimized for major combat operations, but fully capable across the full spectrum of ... operations, providing real options for the Combatant Commander. The supply chain [must] provide a framework for vertical and horizontal integration in a [JIM] environment."

Maneuver Sustainment

Transforming logistics in these four areas will require implementation of several concepts. One of the most important is maneuver sustainment. This is basically the idea that, on battlefields that are increasingly large, discontinuous, and fast-paced, sustainment must be rapid, agile, flexible, assured, and synchronized with the maneuver commander's battle rhythm. The intended result is the integration of sustainment into maneuver, thereby tearing down historical barriers between operators and supporters. Successful maneuver sustainment will be based on a continuous flow of information from combat forces to logisticians.


Another key concept behind logistics transformation is deployment--getting to the fight. Achieving maneuver sustainment depends on the Army's ability to project forces and support into any theater, including those with little or no infrastructure. Improved deployment capabilities, of course, will require improved airlift and sealift and greater stocking of pre-positioned materiel. But they also will call for a reduced in-theater sustainment footprint, improved intermodal transfer capabilities (smoothly moving materiel from ships to trucks, for instance), 100-percent total asset visibility (TAV), and better deployment planning tools.

The greatest change in deployment will be a melding of deployment and sustainment. The old conceptual boundaries between moving a force into a theater, sending that force into battle, and bringing in materiel to support the force during the time it is in theater (deployment, employment, and sustainment) will converge into one seamless process. Soldiers and their weapon systems will arrive in a theater ready to fight, and logisticians similarly will arrive ready to provide immediate support, without interrupting or slowing the pace of operations. TAV will become a part of the larger system of command, control, computers, communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) that supports the JTF commander.

Joint Logistics Corporate Enterprise

The connectedness of logisticians with each other and with operators will be based on an increasing integration of information systems.

Maneuver and sustainment will become, more and more, "network-centric." As General Byrnes observed at the AU SA meeting, the Army must get the network right. The fundamental logistics piece of the future network will be the Joint Logistics Corporate Enterprise, a collaborative, integrated, interoperable sustainment architecture that will replace today's duplicative, noninterfacing, stovepipe systems.

The Joint Logistics Corporate Enterprise will be the sustainment architecture component of the Army Knowledge Enterprise Architecture and the Future Force Integrated Enterprise Architecture. It also will support the Business Enterprise Architecture-Logistics (BEA-LOG), which is DOD's concept for transforming logistics over the next 5 to 10 years to ensure end-to-end customer service to the warfighter.

The Joint Logistics Corporate Enterprise is designed to attain the "holy grail" of logistics transformation: a common logistics operating environment. What that means is that knowledge will be integrated both vertically and horizontally--"from the foxhole to the factory"--so that crews in the field, commanders at all levels, and logisticians all will have access to the information they need to make decisions.

Major General Terry E. Juskowiak, the commander of the Army Combined Arms Support Command, noted at the AUSA meeting that the existing Combat Service Support Control System (CSSCS) no longer is sufficient for providing a logistics common operating picture and will be replaced by the Battle Command Sustainment Support System (BCS3). BCS3 will incorporate some features of CSSCS, along with features from the Joint Deployment Logistics Model (JDLM), Integrated Logistics Analysis Program (ILAP), and In-Transit Visibility (ITV). JDLM, ILAP, and ITV constitute the logistics common operating picture currently in use in Kuwait.

Distribution-Based Logistics

Distribution-based logistics will be the fundamental logistics business practice of the future. In essence, it will be an integrated "pipeline" of organizations, physical infrastructure, business processes, and information systems, and that pipeline will extend beyond the Army to include DOD, private industry, and, when needed, coalition partners. As General Juskowiak observed at the AUSA meeting, distribution-based logistics is in agreement with Joint doctrine and is included for the first time in Army doctrine in the new Field Manual 4-0, Combat Service Support.

According to Logistics Transformation distribution based logistics will be based on "fundamental principles ... [of] velocity over mass, centralized management, optimization of the distribution system, maximum throughput, reduced customer wait time, minimum essential stocks, continuous and seamless two-way flow of resources, and time-definite delivery." The result of distribution-based logistics will be a single logistics and decision-support system that will provide warfighters and logisticians with near-real-time visibility of accurate, timely logistics information.

A distribution-based logistics system will include the following characteristics--

* Modular systems design. Most systems and platforms will be designed with modular components, which should simplify sustainment requirements.

* Two-level maintenance system. Modular design of systems, in turn, will reduce maintenance to two levels: field and sustainment. The two-level maintenance system can be summarized as "replace forward and repair rear." Field maintenance will concentrate on returning systems to the fight quickly, as much as possible by removing and replacing systems components. Sustainment maintenance will concentrate on repairing major items and components for return to the supply system.

* Smart distribution. Three hardware subsystems together will facilitate smart distribution. The Modular Platform System will connect with the rails in Air Force airlift planes, will be handled by the load-handling systems on current and future trucks, and will be capable of airdrop and slingload delivery. The Intelligent Load-Handling System will combine a load-handling arm with software for configuring loads. Finally, the Future Tactical Truck System will be a family of trucks designed to keep up with the mobile, dispersed operations of the Future Force.

* Configured loads. The use of supply loads configured to support specific customers will reduce materiel-handling requirements and facilitate precise delivery of supplies to units in the field.

* Direct delivery in the battlespace. Direct delivery of supplies to units in the field will rely on greater use of dedicated aerial delivery platforms and intratheater airlift vehicles. Deliveries will be integrated into the pace of the warfighter's tactical operations.

Demand Reduction

Achieving the speed and agility envisioned under Logistics Transformation will require that the logistics "tail" be reduced. Although information and communication systems, new business practices, and new hardware and organizations can contribute to reducing the "tail," the concept of demand reduction targets the problem directly.

Demand reduction will rely to a considerable degree on the results of scientific research and the application of technological advances. Systems that are more reliable and efficient will result in reduced demand on the logistics system because they will need less maintenance and will consume fewer commodities such as fuel, water, and ammunition. These future systems will be designed and built with such features as highly reliable components, self-reporting prognostics, onboard water generation, lightweight armor, and efficient propulsion systems.

Performance-Based Logistics

The concept of performance-based logistics seeks to ensure that systems provide the capabilities that warfighters need. It does this through the use of measurement (clearly defined metrics) to analyze the performance of systems and assign responsibility and accountability to manufacturers and program managers. As Vice Admiral Gordon S. Holder, the Director for Logistics, J-4, on the Joint Staff, succinctly summarized the basis of performance-based logistics at the AUSA meeting, "It's about the metrics."

According to Logistics. Transformation, performance-based logistics "means that weapons systems are more reliable, can be maintained more efficiently with fewer resources, and can be supported at a reasonable cost." The success of performance-based logistics will rely on the increased use of--

* Logistics modeling, to improve logistics plans and validate logistics requirements.

* Military-industrial partnerships, to leverage the capabilities of private companies.

* Enterprise resource planning, to create a single enterprise that integrates business processes and merges data from logistics, financial, and acquisition transactions.

* Life-cycle management, to design reliability and sustainability into systems, which should reduce life-cycle costs and increase readiness.

Iraqi Freedom Perspectives

The AUSA meeting provided an opportunity for Army and DOD leaders to share some observations on Operation Iraqi Freedom. General Christianson highlighted as successes bulk petroleum supply, the use of ITV with ammunition supply and with ships coming into the theater, and the performance of consolidated command logistics command posts, which helped to create a common logistics operating picture. He also noted several areas that need fixing. In addition to the lack of 24/7 connectivity noted above, General Christianson pointed to the need for better force reception and supply-chain management capabilities. The armed services have concentrated on improving force projection in recent years; now they need to focus on improving the reception and integration of personnel and materiel in the theater. The supply chain must be improved to reduce delays in moving supplies forward from ports of debarkation.

The Army's new Chief of Staff, General Peter J. Schoomaker, in presenting his view of the Army's current situation, said at the AUSA meeting, "We were looking to the future. But now the focus is on the present. We have got to make sure that we are doing the right thing by our Soldiers. I don't think we should put Soldiers in harm's way without doing the very best we can to equip them." So the Army focuses on current demands while continuing its transition to the future. For logisticians, that defines today's reality: "Delivering Logistics Readiness."

Connect Logisticians

* Agile, assured, 24/7 data capability into the enterprise.

* Plug/unplug as required.

* Enable "sense and respond" logistics.

* Include logistics, personnel, medical, and engineer support.

A logistics network for logistics data

Logistics common operating picture (LCOP)

Total asset visibility (TA V)

From factory to foxhole

Modernize Theater Distribution

* Single proponent.

* Enable control with 100-percent visibility.

* Single doctrine, force structure, and training.

Flexible and responsive

Distribution system rapid, precise delivery

Modernize Force Reception

* APOD/SPOD; distribution, life support.

* Strategic connectivity--theater logistics command and control node.

* Embedded sustainment capability.

* Life support equipment.

CONUS infrastructure greatly improved

Focus now on APOD, SPOD, theater opening packages

Integrate Supply Chain

* Single proponent.

* Eliminate stovepipe suboptimization.

Collapse materiel management center structure

Collocate logistics command and control

Structure to support rapid re-task organization

Focus areas for Army Logistics Transformation.

Information Dominance

* First and foremost--Connected.

* Satellite and sensor data--fully interpreted and understood.

* Dramatically increased data storage and processing capabilities.

* Increased capability to transmit information, both wireless and other means.

* Flexible, mobile, easily deployable communications.

* Each soldier will have a personal communications assistant, with computing and communications capabilities integrated into clothing.

* Multifunctional sensors will give new meaning to "situational understanding."

* Information technologies to help identify and track assets rapidly and automatically.

Weapon Systems

* Require less frequent repair.

* Easier to repair.

* Self-healing subsystems.

* Built-in high-reliability feature.

* Easier to deploy.

* Further increases in fuel efficiency.

* Active suspension systems for vehicles.

* Advanced propulsion systems.

* Increased autonomy of operations.

* Renewable, portable power and energy sources.

* Electric drives and power-conditioning systems.

Mental and Physical Performance

* New vaccines and pharmaceuticals return soldiers to healthy status faster.

* Detailed medical status and condition accurately tracked.

* Reduced training injuries.

* Improved alertness and performance for night operations.

Logistics transformation: What it means for the Soldier.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Paulus, Robert D.
Publication:Army Logistician
Date:Jan 1, 2004
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