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Joint and Expeditionary Logistics
for a Campaign-Quality Army

The Army must provide regional combatant commanders with a campaign-quality force that has joint and expeditionary capabilities. Such a force requires interdependent, joint logistics capabilities that support the full range of military operations at all levels (strategic, operational, and tactical) consistent with the Joint Operational Concepts. This joint logistics system must include a responsive logistics infrastructure with simultaneous deployment, employment, and sustainment capabilities and a single, integrated, responsive end-to-end distribution system. These logistics structures also must be capable of integrating interagency and multinational capabilities.

The keys to achieving an integrated, networked, end-to-end joint logistics system are the right command and control and the capacity to provide responsive, effective, and efficient support to joint force commanders. The joint interdependencies of all the armed services must be leveraged to provide the regional combatant commander a single, joint logistics command and control capability that is responsive to his area of operations. This organization will serve as the senior joint logistics operational component for the regional combatant commander, allowing him to synchronize priority of support with priority of effort at the theater-strategic level.

In view of these developments, the Army must reconsider how a land component commander is sustained. This review must include the ability of the continental United States (CONUS) national sustainment base to support deployed forces. It also should encompass how the Army is supported, how the Army provides support to sister components once deployed, and how the Army contributes to joint logistics.
Current and future strategic realities reinforce the need to transform the way U.S. forces conduct and sustain joint operations. Military commanders must be able to conduct operations in permissive, uncertain, and hostile environments. Today, they routinely operate in fluid, nonlinear, noncontiguous environments, with highly distributed forces functioning at various tempos and in various phases of military operations. U.S. forces must be able to conduct distributed,

simultaneous, joint operations in multiple theaters and multiple locations across the full range of military operations. These demands require, as never before, flexibility and coherence in the joint force and in working with interagency and coalition partners. Today’s operational realities have a significant impact on Army support concepts, and logisticians must adapt to these conditions to provide the best support.

The Reason for Logistics Change

Today’s logistics structures and concepts of support were developed for a Cold War Army that relied on an extensive support infrastructure; distinct, linear support structures; and predictable requirements. The Army’s need for developed airfields and seaports highlighted to potential adversaries its points of entry and both the origins and the limits of its lines of operations and support.

The support requirements generated by current equipment and a doctrine of linear operations resulted in a logistics tail characterized by stockpiles of materiel at each echelon of support. These requirements often delayed the Army’s ability to transition quickly from deployment to employment of the force.

Current joint doctrine views deployment, employment, and sustainment as separate functions rather than as a continuous, simultaneous joint operating concept. The result is seams between planning and execution systems and challenges in bridging the gap between strategic and theater movement and sustainment operations. These seams and gaps are even more apparent when the support requirements of interagency and multinational partners are considered.

Future organizations and joint doctrine must be designed to overcome these deficiencies. The U.S. military is striving to replace regional, functional, and service perspectives with an adaptive, global perspective. A unifying deployment and sustainment organizational capability must promote joint force flexibility, agility, endurance, protection, and mobility. Teaming with interagency and multinational partners is imperative. Organizational solutions to these challenges include modular, tailored, capabilities-based support organizations that can better meet the
requirements of an end-to-end, joint, distribution-based sustainment system and can be extended quickly and directly into the battlespace of supported units.

Achieving Joint Interdependence

Today’s joint expeditionary operations require the Army to respond rapidly to the joint force commander with forces that can be deployed, employed, and sustained immediately and simultaneously on arrival in distant, austere theaters. Multiple, simultaneous operations over extended distances in a distributed battlespace require synchronization of all combat service support (CSS) assets, from strategic-level national providers to forward units at the tactical level. Logistics organizations must be capable of sustaining joint combat forces and interagency and multinational partners while minimizing the logistics footprint in the area of operations. To do this, all services must seek joint interdependence in logistics. This is especially true for the Army to continue to sustain land combat, which is its core logistics mission.

Joint interdependence relies on all the services and Defense agencies to maximize their complementary capabilities and minimize their vulnerabilities in order to fulfill the mission requirements of the joint force commander. To meet the new challenges that stem from changes in the joint operating environment, the Army must eliminate gaps and seams and transition its sustainment system into a continuous, fully integrated, globally synchronized, end-to-end distribution-based system capable of providing responsive support to tailored expeditionary joint forces conducting simultaneous distributed operations in a dynamic, nonlinear, and noncontiguous environment. A joint logistics command and control capability, operating at the regional combatant command level, could achieve that interdependence and provide the support needed for joint operations.

A Campaign-Quality Expeditionary Army

Supporting joint operations requires a campaign-quality Army. The campaign quality of an Army is its ability to win decisive combat operations and to sustain those operations for as long as necessary while quickly adapting to unpredictable changes in the context and character of the conflict. The Army’s preeminent challenge is to reconcile expeditionary agility and responsiveness with the staying power, durability, and adaptability needed to carry a conflict to a successful conclusion. Army logisticians must ensure that the concepts developed for organizations and systems support the requirement for expeditionary agility and responsiveness—for speed and precision as well as staying power.


Moving to Modularity

Previous logistics organizational designs, going back to Division 86, were developed under resource constraints that required centralization of CSS assets at the division, corps, and theater levels to increase productivity and efficiency. Concepts of support required an echeloned, contiguous, linear battlefield with secure lines of communication (LOCs). These support concepts relied on the continuous cycling of sustainment from higher to lower echelons, using “pooled” CSS resources. While this linear support model worked well in the past, today’s operational realities require the Army to reexamine those concepts.

The Army’s new conceptual framework employs modular combat units and organizations. Modularity is not new to Army logisticians; the CSS force design has been modular since the mid-1990s, providing tailorable support modules to satisfy specific mission requirements. What is changing is where CSS assets are located on the battlefield. Today, the Army needs more self-reliant maneuver organizations that can conduct combat operations without being continuously tethered to logistics support from higher echelons. As a result, CSS assets, once pooled at higher echelons, have been pushed down into maneuver brigade combat teams (BCTs) and support brigades.

Maneuver in an expeditionary, noncontiguous environment will put a premium on both unit agility and unit capacity. While self-sufficiency provides a greater level of operational freedom, the Army needs to ensure that logistics assets do not overburden the commander’s maneuver flexibility. The Army must develop a solution that balances the additional logistics support needed for BCT self-reliance with the brigade commander’s requirement for freedom of action and mobility.

Modular Headquarters

In place of Army service component commands, numbered armies, and corps and division headquarters, the Army will organize units of employment (UEs). There will be two types of UE headquarters, UEx and UEy. The UEx will provide battle command at the tactical and lower levels. The UEy will direct theater support and land component operations. Essentially, the UEx will combine the functions of today’s corps and divisions, while the UEy will pick up the responsibilities of Army service component commands and numbered armies and some roles of the corps. Consequently, logistics organizations must be structured to support this collapse in echelons while supporting an expeditionary and campaign-quality Army.

End-to-End Distribution and Reducing Layers

Theater sustainment commands. To reduce layering of logistics organizations, the Army is developing theater sustainment commands (TSCs) at the operational level (UEy) that, with augmentation, can be capable of supporting joint forces. (See chart above.) The TSC will combine some of the current corps support command (COSCOM) and theater support command functions, thereby effectively eliminating a layer of logistics headquarters. The TSC will be a modular organization tailored to meet mission, enemy, terrain, time, troops available, and civilian (METT–TC) considerations. The command will include modular units specifically tailored to provide theater opening; theater distribution; medical; petroleum, oils, and lubricants; aviation; civil engineering; and multifunctional supply, maintenance, and transportation support.

The TSC commander will serve as the senior Army logistics commander in the UEy. The TSC will provide command and control of assigned, attached, and operationally controlled units executing theater opening, theater distribution, supply, maintenance, medical, field services, contracting, procurement, transportation, personnel, finance, and multinational and interagency sustainment operations. The TSC will maximize throughput sustainment of Army forces and other supported elements and provide support to the operational-level units in the UEy’s area of operations and overall sustainment support to Army forces. The TSC also will execute those lead-service, common-user logistics support requirements that the UEy commander assigns. The TSC will be capable of deploying two command posts into two separate joint operational areas for command and control of sustainment in a widely distributed environment.

In joint operations where the Army is the dominant service, the TSC could provide core elements of a single, joint logistics command and control capability. The TSC design will be capable of integrating joint augmentation into its headquarters and providing command and control of modular sustainment capabilities from the other services.

Theater opening. The opening of a theater of operations is more than just airfield or seaport operations; it is crucial to the success of the entire mission. Theater opening sets the initial conditions for effective support and lays the groundwork for subsequent expansion of the theater distribution network. The critical tasks for theater opening include—

• Operational sustainment command and control, with reach-back capability and in-transit visibility.
• Theater reception, staging, onward movement, and integration operations.
• Life support.
• Force protection.
• Theater sustainment.
In the past, command and control of these operations was conducted by ad hoc organizations that were not specifically structured or trained for that task. Today, a modular theater opening brigade headquarters is being developed that will be able to command and control modular units that are called forward as required to execute theater opening functions.

Theater distribution. Theater distribution is a critical and essential element of multifunctional support that includes air, land, and sea operations. As the Army transitions from a supply-based to a distribution-based logistics system, theater distribution focuses on an end-to-end capability to deliver materiel readiness from source of supply to point of use. The cornerstone of successful theater distribution is the merging of materiel management functions with movement management functions under a theater distribution brigade. This multifunctional brigade will have the mission, responsibility, and authority to conduct theater distribution. It will be assigned functional and multifunctional battalions that will perform transportation, supply, and services missions. Distribution-based logistics will maximize throughput from the theater hub to the user level, bypassing intermediate echelons whenever possible.

Sustainment brigade (UEx). The sustainment brigade (UEx) will be a multifunctional CSS organization that combines functions that formerly resided in the division support command (DISCOM) and COSCOM. Its primary mission will be to plan, coordinate, synchronize, monitor, and control CSS in the UEx area of operations. The sustainment brigade (UEx) commander will serve as the senior logistics commander in the UEx.

The brigade will be a modular, tailorable organization comprised of both functional and multifunctional subordinate CSS units. It will be configured for, distribute to, and retrograde from maneuver BCTs and other support brigades assigned or attached to the UEx. The sustainment brigade (UEx) will be capable (with augmentation) of managing logistics operations in support of joint or multinational operations and forces. With augmentation, it also could provide joint logistics command and control for a joint force commander.

General Concept of Support

The modular design requires a more self-reliant force. The Army will accomplish this by moving required functional assets previously located in the theater support command and COSCOM to the UEy level and by moving other capabilities in the COSCOM and DISCOM main support battalion to the UEx level and down into maneuver BCTs and support brigades to make those units more self-reliant. (See chart on page 5.)

At the UEy level, the Army will collapse and consolidate selected functions (such as the materiel management center and movements control center) in the theater support command and COSCOM into the TSC. This consolidation of materiel and movement management will be possible because of global communication connectivity and advances in logistics information and battle command systems. The Logistics Common Operating Picture (LCOP) now being used in Operation Iraqi Freedom and its successor, the Battle Command
SustainmentSupport System (BCS3), permit users to make single, integrated decisions to meet the joint force commander’s requirements.

Experimentation by the 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized) has shown that some logistics management functions can be consolidated at home station. At the UEx level, the sustainment brigade will assume the remaining functions previously centralized at the COSCOM and DISCOM levels, including water production and distribution, field maintenance, and property book operations.
The new requirements to be performed in the maneuver BCTs include water production and distribution, ammunition holding and accountability, increased transportation, and self-contained two-level maintenance. Maneuver BCTs will have organic logistics organizations: a forward support company (FSC) in each combat arms battalion and a brigade support battalion (BSB) for the maneuver, aviation, maneuver enhancement, and fires brigades.

Arm Concept of Support

Force XXI provided an echelons-above-corps and corps ammunition distribution system that pushed ammunition supply points (ASPs) and ammunition transfer points (ATPs) forward in the division to support echelons-above-brigade customers. (See chart above.) This system required all customers, other than maneuver BCTs and aviation brigades, to return to an ASP or ATP to pick up their ammunition. In contrast, the modular design will provide each brigade (maneuver, fires, aviation, and maneuver enhancement) with an ammunition transfer and holding platoon that allows direct delivery of ammunition and ammunition accountability. Ammunition will be brought into the area of responsibility, where it will be configured to brigade requirements at a theater (UEy) ammunition storage activity and delivered directly forward to the brigades as required.

Fix Concept of Support

Force XXI began the move to a two-level maintenance principle of “replace forward and fix rear.” In the Force XXI design, the organizational and direct support (DS) maintenance functions were consolidated in the forward support battalions (FSBs). The maneuver battalion’s field trains and DS support were consolidated into the FSCs of the FSB, but they operated in the unit’s area. The area support maintenance company of the division support battalion (DSB) provided DS maintenance to supported division troops. For efficiency, repair of radios, special electronic devices, and missiles and welding were consolidated at the DSB.

To meet the modular design’s requirement for greater self-sufficiency, minimum essential maintenance capabilities for welding and radio, special electronic devices, and missile repair have been designed into the BSBs. The modular design also retains the Force XXI use of FSCs for maneuver and engineer battalions, with organic maintenance platoons for field (organizational and DS) maintenance.

Under the modular design, the Army will provide the same type of FSC support structure for the support brigade. The DISCOM and COSCOM elements previously had to establish and push forward logistics elements (FLEs) to provide that support. All component repair will move to the theater (UEy) level, but it may be attached to the UEx or brigades based on the tactical situation.

Fuel Concept of Support

Force XXI fuel operations is an echeloned system of support organizations and stockage levels from the theater through the forward areas—a push system that moves fuel forward and requires on-ground storage and forward delivery in a constant, cyclic manner to the weapons platform. Pipelines and line-haul vehicles are the primary means of moving bulk fuel forward. COSCOM units deliver fuel to the divisional support organizations and directly into the FSBs, resulting in the constant positioning of corps assets in the brigade rear area and a requirement for a sizeable on-ground storage capability. This system supports a linear battlefield with maneuver formations moving forward and reasonably secure rear areas and LOCs.

The modular fuel support concept is significantly different from the sustainment brigade–forward. Three design requirements have dictated changes in UEx fuel operations: unit self-reliance over an extended timeframe; 100-percent mobility for unit assets (including stocks); and security issues stemming from maneuvering in noncontiguous space.

Modular fuel operations will be performed by organizations that are more flexible and capable. Fuel will be throughput directly to forward locations, and additional fuel capacity and mobile storage will be added to the maneuver BCTs and support brigades to reduce the need for on-ground storage.

Sustainment Concept of Support

Sustainment encompasses supplies and services such as Force Provider, field services, aerial delivery, mortuary affairs, and water production. The Force XXI support concept is identical to the Force XXI fuel concept, in that sustainment operations are echeloned and include numerous support organizations and stockage points from the theater through the forward areas. This is a push-pull system that can bypass selected echelons, but constant contact is required among sustainers, the sustainment system, and supported units.

Modular sustainment requirements call for greater BCT self-reliance and mobility. Modular force sustainment operations will be characterized by more flexible and capable sustainment organizations, reduced reliance on selected echelons (which allows for increased throughput directly to forward locations), increased capability forward, and increased mobility. The added water generation capability in the FSC, the reductions in echelons, and mobility improvements will eliminate supply point operations, create a distribution-based sustainment structure, and better integrate sustainment into the operational battle rhythm. Services also have been realigned to the theater (UEy) level, where they may be attached to the UEx and moved forward as required by the mission.

Move Concept of Support

The Force XXI support concept is based on centralizing transportation assets for increased productivity and greater efficiency. Transportation assets were taken out of the maneuver battalions and consolidated at higher echelons (FSB and DSB). This allowed the DISCOM commander to shift transportation assets to meet the logistics requirements of the battle. The echeloned system, however, diminished the advantages of centralization because the required handoffs at each echelon often caused delays.

The modular design places transport back in the maneuver BCT, except for the heavy equipment transporter system (HETS). Under this arrangement, the maneuver brigade commander will have greater control and the BCT will be 100-percent mobile. The design calls for one combat load on the combat platform, one in the FSC, and one in the BSB. The requirement to move loose cargo also will be reduced by using a palletized load system (PLS) or heavy, expanded mobility, tactical truck load handling system (HEMTT LHS) design. Forty-six of the 48 trucks in the heavy maneuver BCT will use the container roll-in-roll-out platform with either the PLS or HEMTT LHS. In the infantry maneuver BCT, mobility will be increased by providing lift for one company in each battalion or one battalion in each brigade.

The reduction in the layers of command will eliminate or reduce the need for intermediate transfer points and maximize throughput directly to forward areas. The maneuver commander’s movement expertise and capability will be enhanced by placing a mobility warrant officer and noncommissioned officer (NCO) in the brigade and an NCO in the battalion.

Logistics Focus Areas

As the Army begins its transformation to execute the concept of support outlined above, it also must improve known shortfalls in its current capabilities. These shortfalls require immediate action and directly affect its transition to an expeditionary force that is agile, versatile, and capable of acting rapidly and effectively. Four major logistics areas that require immediate attention include—

• Connect Army logisticians. Army logisticians must be an integral part of the joint battlefield network. They need satellite-based communications that provide continuous connectivity on demand, enabling them to pass key data from the battlefield to the industrial base. The funding of the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) by the Army G–4 demonstrates commitment to this important capability. [See related article on page 51.] Connecting logisticians will integrate logistics, distribution, and supply chain management through near-real-time matching of requirements with available supplies and transportation.

• Modernize theater distribution. Effective theater sustainment rests solidly on the fundamental concepts of distribution-based logistics. The Army needs to focus on the simple task of guaranteeing delivery—on time, every time—from the source of support to the soldier at the tip of the spear. The Army, in cooperation with the U.S. Transportation Command (the Distribution Process Owner), is working to develop a factory-to-foxhole solution for the joint environment.

• Improve force reception. To improve its ability to deploy rapidly from CONUS platforms, the Army must invest in its ability to receive forces in the theater. However, it is constrained by the lack of an organization that focuses on joint theater-opening tasks. The process of organizing ad hoc organizations to receive forces in theater takes time—a luxury that may not be available as the Army develops an expeditionary structure that can rapidly deploy joint-capable force modules. The Army is designing an integrated theater-opening capability that can rapidly execute critical sustainment tasks and is funding the procurement of the first four theater support vessels.

• Integrate the supply chain. The supply chain must be viewed in a holistic manner to ensure that the impact of actions is understood across the entire chain, not just at a single level or within a single service. The solution is an enterprise view of the supply chain and integration of service and Defense agency processes, information, and responsibilities.

The Army’s logistics transformation strategy must define a clear path to a joint logistics system. Logistics must become a seamless system, both joint and expeditionary, and it must retain its campaign-quality robustness. This requires a cultural change, including the fusion of service logistics capabilities, the establishment of clear lines of command and control throughout the Department of Defense deployment and distribution network, and the removal of seams between the services and Defense agencies.

Clearly, the Army must provide a logistics capability that is responsive to the needs of a joint and expeditionary campaign-quality force. Logistics organizations that can be tailored and scaled and that can sustain simultaneous deployment, employment, and sustainment operations are needed to support the joint force commander. The result will be a logistics force that furnishes the joint force commander with assured, end-to-end distribution and a single joint logistics command and control capability that leverages joint interdependencies. The modular Army will provide both new and improved logistics capabilities that enhance support in a joint, interagency and multinational environment. ALOG

Major General Terry E. Juskowiak is commander of the Army Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee, Virginia. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from The Citadel and an M.S. degree in contract and acquisition management from Florida Institute of Technology. General Juskowiak is a graduate of the Infantry Officer Basic Course, the Quartermaster Officer Advanced Course, the Army Command and General Staff College, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and the Army Logistics Management College’s Logistics Executive Development Course
Colonel John F. Wharton is the Deputy for the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Task Force on Logistics. He has a bachelor’s degree in general engineering from the United States Military Academy and is a graduate of the Naval War College with a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies.