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Sustaining expeditionary joint forces.

Evidence from current operations, including joint and service wargaming exercises, clearly shows that the operational environment has changed. Joint, interagency, and multinational (JIM) operations are now the norm. New organizational structures and mobility and distribution platforms provide new opportunities for deploying, employing, and sustaining operational capabilities. Tactical, operational, and strategic lines have long been blurred in the sustainment arena, and now joint and service planners can contemplate a similar blurring of the functional lines of deployment, employment, and sustainment. Effects-based sustainment will complement the emerging Effects-Based Operations concept of the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM).

Operation Iraqi Freedom confirms that future operations will be jointly executed, with each service component lending its unique and important capabilities to the joint battle plan. Army warfighting and sustainment concepts must be developed within a JIM environment.

This new environment requires different sustainment command mid contcol (C2) organizations and continuing improvements to critical sustainment enablers. Joint sustainment C2 organizations for regional combatant commanders and a joint national logistics command also will be required. Further technological enhancements, an increased logistics common operating picture capability, and improved mobility and distribution assets will he needed to achieve a more rapid and agile joint distribution network.

This spring, the Army and JFCOM cosponsored a wargame, Unified Quest 2003, that provided glimpses of future conflict and military requirements. Evidence from the wargame clearly shows that joint sustainment C2 and enhanced technologies that lead to improved distribution management processes are critical to supporting future joint operations. This article addresses issues emanating from Unified Quest 2003.

Unified Quest

Unified Quest 2003 (UQ 03) was conducted at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, from 27 April to 2 May. The theme was "Expanding the Power of Coherent, Joint Operations." It was the first of a series of transformational wargames cosponsored by JFCOM and the Army. UQ 03 employed a demanding scenario--major contingency operation in a total JIM environment--that allowed joint and service planners to work in the environment envisioned for future operational-level warfare. Army sustainment concepts were played in support of JFCOM's Joint Operations Concepts (JOpsC).

Joint and Army sustainers were involved in operational planning, exercise assessment, and game and information systems analysis. Participating Army personnel came from the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G--4, Headquarters, Department of the Army (DA); the Army Materiel Command; the Army Forces Command; the Army Special Operations Command; and the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Each partieipent brought unique and valuable experience to the exercise. Broad Army participation will help ensure that sustainment insights and issues captured during the wargame will be integrated into ongoing development of Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM) and Army Objective Force sustainment concepts and doctrine.

Two overarching themes surfaced during the game. First, we observed that what had been three distinct functions--deployment, employment, and sustainment--are merging into one continuous operation across a distributed bartlespece. Second, we identified critical components needed to achieve successful joint sustainment: a logistics common operating picture; distribution and sustainment enablers; and joint distribution management.

These emerging themes give rise to two questions

* Within the JIM environment, what is the best joint sustainment management process?

* Under an appropriate joint sustainment management process, what are the requirements for a logistics common operating picture, physical enablers, and distribution management?

The JIM environment and the evolving operational concepts will determine potential solutions to the first question. It therefore is important to understand the operational frmnework before trying to frame an appropriate joint sustainment management process.

Future Operational Framework

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (in Chairman Directive CM 907-93) tasked JFCOM to develop a coherent joint process and operational structure that captures the complexities, opportunities, and realities that the joint commander and his service components will encounter in futttre conflicts. The operational requirements and the resulting supporting concepts developed during UQ 03 provide a clear understanding of what will be required from joint force sustainers.

The Deployment, Employment and Sustainment (D), E&S) operational framework is a maturing JFCOM concept that recognizes the changing complexity and interdependence of what had been three separate and distinct operational actions. Coherent operations are chieved when the functions of deployment, employment, and sustainment are coupled into one operational process and not developed as distinct individual actions or separate phases of an operation. In the end, D, E&S will result in a coherent joint process.

The conflict in lraq and the wargame experience in UQ 03 demonstrate that the future battlefield will be characterized by multiple and ximultaneous operations across the full spectrum of missions. Operations over extended distances and the fi'equent absence of secure lines of communication throughout a distributed battlespace will be the norm. Rapid, decisive operations, coupled with simultaneous stability and support operations capability and humanitarian operations, will challenge joint sustainers. Extended joint operational areas and multiple task forces will challenge existing dep]oyment and sustainment systems.

The nature of future conflict makes the current approach of conducting distinct deployment, employmeat, and sustainment operations unacceptable. The history of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm demonstrated that logistics processes do not have distinct strategic, operational, and tactical levels. Early indications are that the same change is occurring for the functions of deployment, employment, and sustainment in current and future operations.

Army Objective Force and joint operational concepts are based on the concepts of operational maneuver from strategic distances (through multiple unimproved points of entry) and simultaneous and disparate operations. CASCOM's early Objective Force concept work determined that operational maneuver from strategic distances means deployment equals employment. D, E&S takes this concept to the next level, where sustainment occurs simultaneously with deployment and employment throughout the operational spectrum. This evolving operational framework requires a different joint sustainment management process and C2.

Sustainment Management Command and Control

To achieve tiffs end state, joint sustainment C2 organizations will be required to synchronize, prioritize, integrate, coordinate, and direct sustainment operations across all JIM capabilities available to the joint force commander.

Joint sttstainment C2 should create joint sustainment effects from separate service component and JIM capabilities. During UQ 03, current sustainment C2 was not adequate to support the full range of joint operational plans. Sustainers were challenged to integrate unique component capabilities to craft functional plans that produced jolat sustainment. While initial operational planning produced coherent force packages, sustainment challenges surfaced after operations began that required a more functional C2 organization than a single staff element could provide. Simultaneous multiple task-force operations required a unified sustainment effort to a much greater degree than in previous wargames. Component support and sustainment organizations, when appropriately integrated, can provide synergistic, effeetive, and efficient support to the regional combatant commander (RCC) and the joint task force commander.

Combatant commanders have suites of operational concepts, systems, and capabilities they can use to integrate component warfighting capabilities to conduct successful operations. Perhaps the best example is the air tasking order (ATO) developed by the joint force air component commander. The ATO integrates all air capabilities that are available from the service components and multinational sources. The ATO ensures "air" unity of effort. However, there is no similar joint or service process that allows sustainers to generate a similar level of joint sustainment to support joint operations.

Combatant corarnanders also have directive authority for logistics and exercise that authority through the J--4, and joint boards and staff elements. While individual service sustainment and support planning is effective for each service component, there is no evidence that these individual plans and operations are generating the most effective and efficient joint sustainment effects for the jotht force commander.

To meet joint force sustainment requirements, the services and civilian agencies provide a wealth of capabilities and resources. However, they operate with service-centric and stovepiped organizational structures--a condition that in some cases fosters duplication of effort, competition for the same resources, and waste of materiel and manpower. It is difficult to achieve either effectiveness or efficiency under current organizational arrangements.

Providing joint sustainment requires a centralized management process, under a single command or activity, that has oversight of both requirements and assets and provides the combatant commander with a single point of focus for sustainment. This process begins with service functions and organizations designed for joint operations. An effective joint sustainment process can remove seams and gaps between the services and their strategic systems and integrate warfighters, component support, and logistics capabilities with national support elements such as the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and the U.S. Transportation Conamand (TRANSCOM).

Joint sustainment management does not require a single sustainment corps, but it does imply a more direct and centralized approach. Joint sustainment management, by including the services, civilian organizations, and contractors working within a joint structure, will enhance effectiveness and facilitate efficiencies in generating sustainment for simultaneous operations. At the joint force level, the same dynamics are occurring in the design of and relationships among service support structures. Working closely with JFCOM, we agree that a requirement exists for a joint-level functional component support command. A joint support component command (JSCC) on a par with land, air, and sea components supporting across the JIM force is required. The JSCC, working for the RCC, would be in a position to leverage the full range of sustainment and support capabilities across all JIM partners to support all maneuver operations. The establishment of a JSCC organization would facilitate the setting of priorities for strategic and operational support across all components, similar to what the JFACC accomplishes with the ATO today.

Within the Army, significant changes are required in sustainment C2. TRADOC and CASCOM are developing new organizations and refining existing structures as part of a DA-directed Echelonment Study. An important part of this effort is redesigning the theater support command (TSC).

The current TSC has served the Army well, but it is not deliberately organized for joint and multinational support and multiple simultaneous operations throughout the RCC's area of responsibility (AOR). By design, the TSC is an Army- and ground-centric organization. The JOpsC calls for the full integration of joint, interagency, and multinational partners, and the concept of focused logistics requires the same integration of joint sustainment capabilities. This means that the Objective Force TSC must be a joint organization capable of supporting from strategic distances across the services. While the TSC is designed to accept joint liaisons, it does not have joint billets and therefore is ad hoc by nature, which is insufficient to support JIM operations. From the joint perspective, the current TSC also does not have the integrated information systems needed to interface routinely across the JIM environment. Specifically lacking is visibility of the entire, end-to-end joint distribution system. Finally. today's TSC design does not accommodate flexible C2 arrangements. The TSC needs greater C2 capability and flexibility to support the Army service component commander in executing the spectrum of operations, meeting administrative control and Army support to other services responsibilities, and integrating JIM capabilities.

Generating joint sustainment centers on leveraging support and sustainment capabilities across the components and JIM partners. At the strategic level, we envision continuing an unbroken joint sustainment chain, starting with an enhanced TSC, with providers such as DLA and TRANSCOM executing strategic responsibilities and component organizations such as the Army Materiel Command and the Air Force's Air Logistics Command executing traditional Title 10 responsibilities. This support continuum will be joint, integrated, and linked from the national level to tactical formations.

Logistics Common Operating Picture

An effective joint sustainment management process addresses the first question for the UQ 03. The second question--under an appropriate joint sustainment management process, what are the requirements for a logistics common operating picture, physical enablers, and distribution management?---concerns the specific means of generating sustainment. Joint sustainment is developed by means of logistics information and data, physical assets to accomplish sustainment operations, and a distribution management process and system that plan for and oversee distribution execution.

A logistics common operating picture (LCOP) is a joint requirement that can provide visibility of data and decision-support tools needed to manage an end-to-end joint distribution system. Significant progress has been made in the past few years in achieving joint total asset visibility (TAV). However, visibility alone does not provide all that is needed to execute sustainment operations at the component level or, even more critically, at the jonit level. Actionable information and data must be coupled with sound operational understanding and integrated architectures to provide joint and component sustainers with solid information. Component management systems cannot provide the data required for joint sustainment.

The Battle Command Sustainment Support System (BCS3) is the foundation for the Army LCOP. The Global Combat Service Support-Army (GCSS-Army) integrated into the joint GCSS provides joint interfaces. The right information presented and analyzed in the right operational context (LCOP) can bring predictability, speed, and precision to sustainment. This information and data structure, with decision-support aids, can provide the tools for effective joint sustainment C2. Satellite-based communications systems, with single-entry data points and multiple users and purposes and that are not limited by geography or distance, are required. For example, this capability can provide for dynamic rerouting and retasking vital to sustainment operations across the future battlefield.

Sustainment Assets

Also critical to sustainment are physical resources. During UQ 03, technological enablers, especially deployment systems and advanced mobility and distribution capabilities, suggested new warfighting opportunities. Increasing the speed of deployment, and thus employment, at multiple entry points reduced force vulnerability. Joint force planners and commanders also saw the opportunity to enter into decisive operations earlier than in the traditional deploy-and-employ framework. The D, E&S operational framework focused on this issue.

However, mobility and deployment enablers required for early, rapid operational employment also are required for early-on and continuous sustainment. The challenge is complicated by the fact that operations are conducted simultaneously. This leads to what can be described as the "enabler paradox:" while enhanced enablers provide improved operational opportunities and capability, an improved operational capability will demand even more enablers. Generating sustainment will require dual-capability mobility and distribution platforms, a much greater integration of operations and sustainment than ever before across the joint force, and, finally, a process that can sense and react to dynamic battlefield conditions and the natural tension between operations and sustainment requirements.

Joint Distribution Management Process

Joint distribution management must blend transportation and supply functions successfully into an end-to-end distribution system. The Objective Force distribution system encompasses both force and sustainment requirements within a seandess, end-to-end distribution system.

Distribution management is a circular, not a linear, concept that begins when requirements are generated and ends when requirements are satisfied. It is based on prediction, speed, and precision; relies on various service, national, and multinational assets and capabilities; and is controlled by a joint process that seeks the greatest efficiency practical.

The distribution management system's design has to overcome the tyranny of time and distance and, when properly organized, must manage scarce resources, eliminate excess, and generate efficiencies in support of operational effectiveness.

The Army's sustainment organizations and capabilities must be designed and built to operate in support of joint operations across the JIM environment and within the D, E&S operational framework. The current TSC, with modifications, can provide the Army service component commander with robust and capable sustainment C2; when appropriately restructured, it can provide the RCC with joint sustainment C2. Joint capability at one echelon and not another will not work. RCCs need an unbroken joint sustainment C2 structure throughout the AOR and back into the strategic base. It is time to start developing a National Logistics Provider.

Enabling information and data technologies and mobility and distribution platforms will continue to support new joint operational and sustainment concepts. A common operating picture is a fundamental requirement for an effective joint sustainment management process on a distributed, noncontiguous battlefield. However, a common operating picture is only relevant if the physical means are available to execute sustainment at the right place and time. A delicate and very difficult balance will be required in developing and fielding both operational and sustainment capabilities so that neither is marginalized by a shortfall, or an enhanced capability, in the other.

Army sustainers are joint sustainers. The Army, while inherently joint, is the sustainment force of choice for combatant commanders. Army organizations, units, and capabilities are designed for sustained land combat. Army capabilities, combined with those of other components, can generate joint sustainment. As concepts mature and operational ideas crystallize, Army sustainers will continue to lead joint sustainment efforts.



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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Juskowiak, Terry E.; Williams, Michael (British actor)
Publication:Army Logistician
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2003
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