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Suggested Citation:"C--Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2014. Force Multiplying Technologies for Logistics Support to Military Operations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18832.


Statement of Task

This study explores capabilities and technologies which can be used to perform distributed operations and meet sustainment requirements in the Army through 2020 and Beyond in support of the Joint Force Commander primarily focused on the Asia-Pacific regions. Using the Multi Level Scenario, Module 2 (MLS 2.0) Corps Scenario describe systems and operational concepts that will reduce the need for logistics support by exploring technologies which reduce or eliminate the challenges of storing, transporting, maintaining, distributing or returning sustainment and transforming or dramatically reducing waste in forward areas or in mature base camps. In requesting this study, the Army asked the National Research Council (NRC) to undertake the following tasks:

• Explore options that could enable support to units operating in a global, complex environment in response to emerging anti-access and area-denial security challenges with a focus on the Asia and Pacific regions, as identified in the Joint Operational Access Concept (v1.0 17 Jan 12), as well as support to dispersed special operations units.

• In the context of the first bullet, describe technology and advanced systems solutions that: reduce drivers for logistics requirements, particularly power and energy, maintenance, fuel and water by fundamentally changing the demand characteristics of the force and increasing capabilities that will allow demand to be satisfied at the point of need; improve intra-theater mobility and distribution; improve near real time visibility of logistics information. Identify S&T initiatives to predict and resolve equipment faults and failures to reduce life cycle sustainment costs.

• Explore options and describe solutions that contribute to the integration and execution of Army logistics capabilities that improve responsiveness, agility, flexibility, and precision within a Joint concept of employment, to include optimization of SOF and Conventional Force interdependence within the areas of strategy, policy and concepts.

• Recommend a logistics-centric R&D investment strategy that includes a framework, specific research objectives and a roadmap to achieve the previously-described objectives.

• Using the sponsor-provided unclassified scenario, develop 2-3 illustrative examples to support and validate the concepts described in the committee’s report; the examples shall provide an operationally-focused assessment of the military value provided through solutions addressed in the concepts.

Suggested Citation:"C--Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2014. Force Multiplying Technologies for Logistics Support to Military Operations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18832.
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The mission of the United States Army is to fight and win our nation's wars by providing prompt, sustained land dominance across the full range of military operations and spectrum of conflict in support of combatant commanders. Accomplishing this mission rests on the ability of the Army to equip and move its forces to the battle and sustain them while they are engaged. Logistics provides the backbone for Army combat operations. Without fuel, ammunition, rations, and other supplies, the Army would grind to a halt. The U.S. military must be prepared to fight anywhere on the globe and, in an era of coalition warfare, to logistically support its allies. While aircraft can move large amounts of supplies, the vast majority must be carried on ocean going vessels and unloaded at ports that may be at a great distance from the battlefield. As the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have shown, the costs of convoying vast quantities of supplies is tallied not only in economic terms but also in terms of lives lost in the movement of the materiel. As the ability of potential enemies to interdict movement to the battlefield and interdict movements in the battlespace increases, the challenge of logistics grows even larger. No matter how the nature of battle develops, logistics will remain a key factor.

Force Multiplying Technologies for Logistics Support to Military Operations explores Army logistics in a global, complex environment that includes the increasing use of antiaccess and area-denial tactics and technologies by potential adversaries. This report describes new technologies and systems that would reduce the demand for logistics and meet the demand at the point of need, make maintenance more efficient, improve inter- and intratheater mobility, and improve near-real-time, in-transit visibility. Force Multiplying Technologies also explores options for the Army to operate with the other services and improve its support of Special Operations Forces. This report provides a logistics-centric research and development investment strategy and illustrative examples of how improved logistics could look in the future.

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