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Logistics history: Baffled by DAFL: Directive Authority History for Logistics.

Until foundational issues are resolved and solutions fully tested and vetted, DoD will continue to treat the symptoms of our Joint logistics ills. If it does so, the same logistical failures and missed opportunities to properly support our combat forces which have plagued Joint operations throughout our recent history will be observed again in the next conflict.

Most observers of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom agree that the conduct of major combat operations was successful. However, when experts analyze the logistical performance of United States Central Command and other components of the US armed forces, many critiques arise. Numerous anecdotes of less-than-satisfactory support given to combat units can be found, from the lack of spare parts experienced by ground forces driving into the heart of Iraq to the inability to more effectively coordinate intratheater distribution, that clearly indicate room for improvement. The fact that some of these same criticisms were made in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm in 1991 suggests that, while we may have learned from our mistakes in the past, we have not made the necessary changes in our logistics operations to avoid repeating them.

In "Baffled by DAFL: Directive Authority History for Logistics" the author explores this topic first by addressing the various sources of guidance--doctrinal, directive, Joint, and Service--that stipulate how Joint logistics is to be conducted. Then, three main areas of Joint logistics operations are discussed--visibility, distribution, and communications and information technology capabilities. For these, a brief historical analysis of their effectiveness in Operations Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom is provided. Lastly, conclusions for each aspect are drawn and recommendations offered for improving shortcomings in the future.
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Title Annotation:Directive Authority for Logistics
Publication:Air Force Journal of Logistics
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2006
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