Title 10 of the U.S. Code defines the Army's responsibilities to the Nation and establishes the requirement that the Army "be organized, trained, and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained combat incident to operations on land." In support of this mandate, the Army must be able to operate in joint, combined, and interagency environments. There are certain capabilities that only the Army can provide, which means that the other services, our allies, Government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations will require Army support in certain situations. In order for the Army to meet its potential responsibilities, its logistics doctrine must be flexible and comprehensive. Army logistics doctrine should apply to all areas that fall under the Army's responsibility and should link the foxhole to the industrial base.
|LEVELS OF WAR||LEVELS OF LOGISTICS|
|A nation determines national or multinational strategic security objectives and guidance and develops and uses national resources to accomplish these objectives.||Industrial base
Mobilization Strategic lift (air & sea)
Procurement Material readiness
Deployment Permanent ports & bases Support Strategic
|Links the tactical employment of forces to the strategic objectives.
|Reception Sustainment Staging Redeployment Onward movement Host nation Integration of forces support Theater distribution Intermediate Intratheater airlift staging base Reconstitution|
|The employment of units in combat. The ordered arrangement and maneuver of units in relation to each other and/or to the enemy in order to use their full potential.||Arming Manning Fixing Transporting Sustaining soldiers Fueling and their systems|
|The three levels of war and some of the logistics functions performed at each level are defined above.|
Joint and combined logistics doctrine, as found in Joint Publication (JP) 4.0, Doctrine for Logistic Support of Joint Operations, is useful, but it does not specifically address the Army's mission of "prompt and sustained" land combat. There is a void between joint and Army logistics doctrine. I believe that we need to examine the different levels of wartactical, operational, and strategicas they apply to logistics and make changes to existing Army doctrine to improve operational-level logistics. Specifically, we need to examine current logistics doctrine found in Field Manual (FM) 100-5, Operations, and in JP 4.0 and evaluate it against the criteria established in Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Pamphlet 525-5, Force XXI Operations: A Concept for the Evolution of Full Dimensional Operations for the Strategic Army of the Early Twenty-First Century.
Levels of War and Logistics
The levels of war are separate yet intertwined. The Joint Doctrine Encyclopedia defines them as "doctrinal perspectives that clarify the links between strategic objectives and tactical actions. Although there are no finite limits or boundaries between them, the three levels . . . apply to . . . war and operations other than war." A definition of each level and a discussion of its relevance is important to Army doctrine development because of the void linking tactical and strategic logistics. The levels of war are shown in the chart at left.
|The development of Army doctrine is determined by the Army's operational concept, which is formed by historical experience, military theory, and the political, economic, and other factors that influence the National Security and Military Strategies. Doctrine in turn governs the Army's requirements (what tasks it must do) and capabilities (how it will do those tasks).|
Joint doctrine directs that the "Services and the subordinate commander, down to their battlefield logisticians at the unit and ship level, deal with operational and tactical logistic responsibilities, including developing procedures, doctrine, and training for supplying personnel with all necessary materiel to do their jobs." The levels of logistics are identical to the levels of war; joint doctrine does not differentiate. The effective support of Army operations requires the successful conduct and integration of logistics activities at all three levels. The chart at left shows some of the tasks performed at each level. Logistics doctrine at the operational level must provide Army forces with principles that can be applied to the tasks in this chart and that can be adapted to any situation the Army might face.
Developing Logistics Doctrine
The Army's FM's explain how the Army intends to conduct war. While the manuals are prescriptive, they remain flexible enough to apply to every situation. If the conduct of war is the Army's primary raison d'Ítre, then war should be the focus of doctrine. However, the Army must contend with a plethora of secondary missions, many of which do not even approach the common definition of war. The international situation is ever changing, and the Army must be able to adapt to many different events.
The chart above explains the development of Army doctrine. The three inputs to the left guide the creation of operational concepts. The National Security Strategy and National Military Strategy are influenced by such factors as politics, history, economics, and stated national objectives. Military theorists contribute to how the Army understands land conflict. From this understanding, the operational concept for land warfare is derived. This operational concept is translated into doctrine, and doctrine provides the fundamental principles that guide the missions and actions of the Army.
Doctrine also dictates the Army's requirements and capabilities. The requirements become operational tasks that the Army can expect to encounter in preparing for, executing, and concluding an operation. In turn, these requirements, driven by doctrine, guide the building of the Army's capabilities. The capabilities of the Army revolve around the three pillars of organization, training, and equipment. The building and management of these pillars are the responsibility of the Army service component commander (ASCC). He provides organized, trained, and equipped land forces to the commander in chief (CINC) of a unified command or to an Army Forces (ARFOR) commander. This whole system is vital to maintaining an effective Army.
TRADOC Pamphlet 525-5 establishes the guidelines for the Army land force of the 21st century. It serves as the baseline for future concepts and provides criteria for evaluating doctrine for inclusion in FM 100-5. Its wording strongly implies that the precepts of FM 100-5 are its purpose.
Other documents guide the development of the operational logistics portion of FM 100-5. JP 4.0 provides the basic logistics doctrine for joint operations. Army logistics doctrine must mesh with joint doctrine because the Army will almost never conduct operations exclusively. FM 100-1, The Army, ". . . expresses the Army's fundamental purpose, roles, responsibilities, and functions, as established by the Constitution, Congress, and the Department of Defense." As the Army's cornerstone document, it defines the broad and enduring purposes for which the Army was established and the qualities, values, and traditions that guide the Army in protecting and serving the Nation. Finally, Title 10 of the U. S. Code provides broad guidance on the responsibilities and functions of the Army and requires the Army to furnish sustained land force support to the other Services in specific areas.
Doctrine is based on the operational concept gained from the National Security Strategy and National Military Strategy, from theories, and from experiences and history. Doctrine drives the requirements (tasks) and building (capabilities) of the Army. The ASCC uses the concepts of training, organizing, and equipping to provide the ARFOR commander with a viable fighting force. Doctrine should provide broad principles for evaluating operational-level logistics. Therefore, FM 100-5 should be written to provide operational logistics doctrine for the ARFOR commander and his staff.
Current Logistics Doctrine
Doctrine for Army logistics is found in chapter 12 of FM 100-5. It provides a firm foundation on which a logistician can make logistics estimates and evaluate different courses of action during the military decision-making process. Having that foundation of logistics doctrine is a combat multiplier for the ARFOR commander and his staff, offering them a systematic way of ensuring that the requirements of the warfighter are matched with the capabilities of the logistician. When required, the logistician then can identify any shortfalls in support for the commander.
Arguably, the most important logistics doctrine revolves around the five logistics characteristics of anticipation, integration, continuity, responsiveness, and improvisation. By applying these characteristics to the six tactical logistics functions of manning, arming, fueling, fixing, moving, and sustaining, the logistician can determine if a course of action is feasible, acceptable, and suitable from a logistics standpoint and make recommendations to the commander.
The only two documents that provide a basis for analyzing Army operational logistics doctrine are the current edition of FM 100-5 and JP 4.0. Doctrine, by joint definition, must include "fundamental principles." While "authoritative," doctrine "requires judgment in application." Therefore, the analysis of what should be Army operational logistics doctrine should focus on principles or characteristics of logistics and the logistics functions.
Characteristics of the 21st Century Army
As noted above, TRADOC Pamphlet 525-5 lays out the characteristics of the force of the next century. At this point, it is useful to keep in mind the effects that the Army's mix of legacy and digitized forces has on logistics doctrine. Doctrine will be influenced by information-age technologies that will be available to the digitized force. However, doctrine must apply to the transitional legacy force as well as to the emerging digitized force. Legacy forces are the Army's forces as they are currently organized, trained, and equipped and include current systems that are vastly inefficient consumers of ammunition, fuel, and maintenance. Legacy forces train and organize around the division and brigade. This will remain the case until resources become available to allow the force to transition, in total, to a new organizational structure. Logistics doctrine needs to take this into account.
TRADOC Pamphlet 525-5 states that the characteristics of the 21st century force are doctrinal flexibility; strategic mobility; tailorability and mobility; joint, multinational, and interagency connectivity; and versatility in war and military operations other than war (MOOTW). The evaluation criteria for designing doctrine that meets these five characteristics are as follows
These characteristics can be used to evaluate the current logistics doctrine in FM 100-5 and JP 4.0.
FM 100-5 Logistics Characteristics and Functions
The current edition of FM 100-5 contains the traditional logistics characteristics of anticipation, integration, continuity, responsiveness, and improvisation. As FM 100-5 concludes, these characteristics of logistics "enable operational success. They apply to war and operations other than war."
According to FM 100-5, the tactical logistics functions are manning, arming, fueling, fixing, moving, and sustaining soldiers and their systems
JP 4.0 Logistics Principles and Functional Areas
JP 4.0 provides several principles of logistics that are a "guide for analytical thinking and prudent planning" by the combatant commander
JP 4.0 also provides a doctrinal framework based on six broad logistics support requirement functional areas that the combatant commander must consider (similar to the tactical functions of FM 100-5)
The TRADOC Pamphlet 525-5 characteristic of doctrinal flexibility is critical to performing all of the above functions. Operational logistics functions must be adaptable to any logistics situation the ARFOR commander might face. The ARFOR commander in the theater will have various responsibilities that can be organized many different ways. Appendix A of FM 100-7, Decisive Force: The Army in Theater Operations, describes the different relationships that he might have with the ASCC, the CINC, and others.
Operational Logistics Functions
Sustaining soldiers and their systems
Operational Principles of Logistics
|This chart shows the operational logistics functions and principles that must be included in FM 100-5.|
Evaluating Logistics Doctrine
The traditional tactical logistics functions are inadequate doctrinal guidance for the ARFOR commander. They do not provide the doctrinal flexibility necessary to address the breadth of situations that he might face. JP 4.0 functional areas mirror those of FM 100-5 in the functions of supply systems (sustaining soldiers and their systems), maintenance (fixing), transportation (moving), health services (manning), and miscellaneous services (sustaining soldiers and their systems). An important key function that the ARFOR commander might have to conduct is general engineering. Of particular importance to the land component's fighting ability are the tactical logistics functions of manning (meaning personnel replacement operations) and arming. The functional logistics areas of JP 4.0 do not address the land fighters' concerns about personnel service support, quality of life, and general supply support.
For the principles of logistics, FM 100-5 mirrors JP 4.0 in several areas. The definitions of responsiveness, continuity, and improvisation in the current version of FM 100-5 closely parallel the JP 4.0 principles of responsiveness, sustainability, and flexibility. If the Army is going to meet the TRADOC Pamphlet 525-5 criteria of strategic mobility and tailorability and modularity, it must provide minimum amounts of supplies, services, and personnel to execute an operation. In other words, the ARFOR commander must receive enough logistics support at the right time and place to be effective and in a manner that costs the least resources.
Integration is still key to the ARFOR commander's operational logistics. Integration will ensure that the logistics plan is synchronized with the operational plan. Additionally, the FM 100-5 definition of anticipation closely resembles the JP 4.0 definition of simplicity. Simplicity, economy, and attainability, while not defined in FM 100-5, are needed if the ARFOR commander is to be effective in evaluating the operational logistics concept. Finally, survivability is vital to operational logistics: the ARFOR commander must consider what is needed to make operational logistics survivable when deciding on active and passive measures in war and MOOTW.
The TRADOC Pamphlet 525-5 characteristics of tailorability and modularity, strategic mobility, and versatility in war and MOOTW are appropriate for evaluating the principles of logistics. Flexibility is the key. If the ARFOR commander's plan is not flexible enough to respond to every conceivable situation, he needs to know the risks inherent in that course of action. That is the crux of the operational logistician's responsibilities, to advise the commander on the consequences and costs of the planned course of action. Planning for and subsequent execution of operational logistics involves foresight and anticipation. This means thinking through the logistics functional areas and advising the ARFOR commander on where there may be difficulties that ultimately will force him to make choices or set support priorities. It is imperative that the principles of logistics be useful to the staff in the military decision-making process. They must be well defined in doctrine while at the same time pertinent to the ARFOR commander and planners.
A successful operational-level logistics plan must adhere to the fundamental principles of the logistics characteristics of Army and joint doctrine. There must be changes in the definitions of the logistics characteristics, and logisticians must use those changes to leverage the technology of the information age. The principles embodied in doctrine are sound. However, they need to be redefined for the mixed force of the 21st century.
Operational logistics in the next century will offer challenging opportunities. Problems that have plagued modern armies from World War II to the Persian Gulf War might be solved. The logistician finally might have the tools that he has needed to operate like an efficient late 20th century business: the availability of near-real-time information and the ability to influence operations. However, as long as a single tank or artillery piece requires enormous quantities of fuel and ammunition, and as long as soldiers execute the National Security and Military Strategies, the "fog and friction" of war will require logistics doctrine that is comprehensive and flexible.
Future operational methods will require that operational logistics doctrine blend old principles with new challenges and new capabilities. The new FM 100-5 needs to focus on principles that are never changing. Broad guidelines must lend themselves to campaigns of highly integrated air, land, sea, space, special operations forces (SOF), and information operations. Future campaigns will require operational maneuver from strategic distances by highly integrated joint and combined expeditionary forces. The operational campaigns of the future will see a new level of precision offensives and highly deterrent defensives, plus stability and support operations.
The next edition of FM 100-5 must contain operational-level logistics doctrine that supports the many logistics missions required of the Army. This logistics doctrine should include principles and functions of logistics that enable an operational commander and his staff to construct and evaluate courses of action during the military decision-making process. The logistics principles will enable the commander and staff to test a given course of action for feasibility, acceptability, and suitability. The logistics functions will ensure that all areas of operational logistics receive proper consideration and planning.
The tactical logistics functions and characteristics of FM 100-7 do not serve the operational commander and his staff fully. The logistics characteristics and principles of logistics in JP 4.0 do not cover all of the areas that concern the Army. Based upon the evaluation criteria offered by TRADOC Pamphlet 525-5, the logistics chapter of the next FM 100-5 must contain the operational logistics functions and operational principles of logistics shown in the chart at left. This chapter should address doctrine that supports the Army and should be entitled "Logistics." The operational logistics doctrine in this chapter should be called "Logistics Functional Areas and Logistics Principles" to ensure that the chapter meshes with joint doctrine.
These fundamental functions and principles are dynamic and can apply to any situation that the Army might face. When applied at the theater level, they ensure that the Army commander and his staff have weighed all operational-level logistics requirements against their capabilities and can measure and plan for the shortfalls. Because these functions and principles mesh with joint doctrine, they will ensure that the requirements of sister services, allies, and other agencies are met. ALOG
Major Kent S. Marquardt is a planner for III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University, the Army Command and General Staff College, and the School of Advanced Military Studies.