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Quadrennial Defense Review sets vision for future.

The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) released by the Department of Defense (DOD) in February calls for DOD and the armed services to continue the transformation of military capabilities and forces that has been unfolding since 2001. The 2006 QDR--the first of the congressionally mandated studies to be performed in wartime--serves as a blueprint for setting DOD's direction for the next 20 years.

The QDR is based on the National Defense Strategy published in March 2005. The strategy requires DOD to continue to adjust its capabilities to meet a wider range of challenges while maintaining its dominance in traditional warfare. These new challenges include irregular warfare waged by nonstate combatants; terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction; and nontraditional, asymmetric challenges to U.S. military dominance and power-projection capabilities.

The QDR defines "two fundamental imperatives for the Department of Defense--

* Continuing to reorient the Department's capabilities and forces to be more agile in this time of war, to prepare for wider asymmetric challenges and to hedge against uncertainty over the next 20 years.

* Implementing enterprise-wide changes to ensure that organizational structures, processes and procedures effectively support its strategic direction."

In reorienting U.S. forces and capabilities, the QDR calls for continuing the evolutionary progress of recent years toward improved joint warfighting capabilities; forces that are lighter, more agile, and more expeditionary; and increased capabilities to project forces quickly around the world. The QDR emphasizes the need to adjust the overseas U.S. military posture to reflect post-Cold War strategic realities; to increase use of Special Operations Forces and multilateral and bilateral partnerships; and to foster and improve information management and connectivity, precision weaponry, and intelligence use.

The QDR vision for ground forces states that the Army and Marine Corps "will continue to take on more of the tasks performed by today's special operations forces. The result will be a new breed of warrior able to move more easily between disparate mission sets while preserving their depth of skill in primary specialties. Future warriors will be as proficient in irregular operations, including counterinsurgency and stabilization operations, as they are today in high-intensity combat. They will be modular in structure at all levels, largely self-sustaining, and capable of operating both in traditional formations as well as disaggregating into smaller, autonomous units." The QDR endorses the Army's transformation of units and headquarters into modular designs and the incorporation of Future Combat Systems technologies into modular units through a spiral development approach.

A key effort in implementing Defense business transformation is DOD's move to a capabilities-based logistics system. The QDR stresses the need to achieve greater visibility of the costs and performance of supply chain logistics, find ways to measure improvements in performance, and develop "realistic and defendable strategic performance targets for focused logistics capabilities to guide both capital investment and process improvement." Important initiatives in improving logistics include the designation of a single deployment process owner (the U.S. Transportation Command), the use of active and passive radio frequency identification technologies, and "the implementation of continuous process improvement tools like Lean, Six Sigma and Performance Based Logistics."
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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:ALOG NEWS
Publication:Army Logistician
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2006
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