|Joint and Expeditionary Logistics
for a Campaign-Quality Army
|by Major General Terry E. Juskowiak and
Colonel John F. Wharton
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
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
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
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
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.
|A 3d Infantry Division soldier adjusts
outriggers on a VSAT satellite system at the National
Training Center at Fort Irwin, California.
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
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
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.
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
End-to-End Distribution and Reducing Layers
Theater sustainment commands. To reduce layering
of logistics organizations, the Army is developing theater
(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,
eliminating a layer of logistics headquarters. The TSC
will be a modular organization tailored to meet mission,
terrain, time, troops available, and civilian (METT–TC)
considerations. The command will include modular units
specifically tailored to provide theater opening; theater
medical; petroleum, oils, and lubricants; aviation; civil
engineering; and multifunctional supply, maintenance, and
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,
field services, contracting, procurement, transportation,
personnel, finance, and multinational and interagency sustainment
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
posts into two separate joint operational areas for command
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
the initial conditions for effective support and lays the
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.
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
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
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
in a constant, cyclic manner to the weapons platform. Pipelines and line-haul
are the primary means of moving bulk fuel forward. COSCOM units deliver
fuel to the divisional support organizations and directly into the FSBs,
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
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;
mobility for unit assets (including stocks); and security issues stemming
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
The reduction in the layers of command will eliminate or reduce the need
for intermediate transfer points and maximize throughput directly to
The maneuver commander’s movement expertise and capability will
be enhanced by placing a mobility warrant officer and noncommissioned
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
expeditionary force that is agile, versatile, and capable of acting rapidly
and effectively. Four major logistics areas that require immediate attention
• Connect Army logisticians. Army
logisticians must be an integral part of the joint battlefield network.
They need satellite-based
provide continuous connectivity on demand, enabling them to pass key
data from the battlefield to the industrial base. The funding of the
Terminal (VSAT) by the Army G–4 demonstrates commitment to this
important capability. [See related article on page 51.] Connecting logisticians
integrate logistics, distribution, and supply chain management through
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
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
to receive forces in theater takes time—a luxury that may not be
available as the Army develops an expeditionary structure that can rapidly
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,
and expeditionary, and it must retain its campaign-quality robustness.
This requires a cultural change, including the fusion of service logistics
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
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.