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.”1 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. This is Army logistics.
Technology has enabled military forces to become far more effective and lethal than they ever were in the past, but these improvements have come at a cost. Much of the equipment is heavier and more complex and requires more support than similar systems in the past. The pace of battle has dramatically accelerated, and deployment times for the engaged forces have been reduced. 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 oceangoing 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.
For the past 13 years, the Army has been engaged in a hybrid warfare scenario. In Iraq, the conflict began with near-conventional warfare, moved to fierce fighting in an urban environment, and then engaged in efforts to provide stability to a nation in turmoil. In Afghanistan, conventional conflict was mostly bypassed as entering forces began warfare in urban environments and then took on stability operations. In both cases, logistics began with support of frontline military operations and transitioned over time to a logistics structure that closely paralleled, in many respects, the massive system that existed to support U.S. forces in Europe during the Cold War and coalition forces during the war in Vietnam. A significant part of U.S. and coalition forces was committed to supporting logistics and those who were providing logistics.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been unlike those that occurred under more conventional circumstances. While the initial phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom was more conventional (i.e., units in formations engaging other military units over several weeks), the remainder of the war became a mix of asymmetrical unconventional war and short periods of conventional urban warfare. The war in Afghanistan has been unconventional since its beginning and provided few opportunities for formations to engage in combat of the kind that has occurred in the past. Over time, the sustainment for U.S. forces fighting these exceptionally long wars came to reflect the logistics support conditions, and their support bases were structured much like those, found in the United States or a partner country outside combat zones. In both cases, the lines of supply, both air and land, were extensive and involved heavy support from contractor personnel.
U.S. forces were used in roles they were not equipped or trained for in both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (e.g., artillery and other units were carrying out transportation security missions), and the nature of the operations over time involved individual battles, each battle having a different supply character. It is difficult to develop insight into what future logistics burdens
might be based on what has occurred over the past 13 years. It is clear that there was a continuous, heavy logistics burden on the system in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but whether the demands from these wars will be seen again in future wars in other geographic locations is hard to say.
As a result, in 2008 the Combined Arms Support Command conducted a Computer Assisted Map Experiment (CAMEX 2008) using a scenario developed for the purpose of testing future operational and sustainment concepts and equipment (CASCOM, 2008). CAMEX 2008 represented the Combined Arms Support Command’s assessment of the operational challenges of routine sustainment for the force in 2016 and identified daily resupply needs for a heavy brigade combat team (HBCT) and a fires brigade (FIB). The distribution lines of communications in CAMEX 2008 ran from the aerial port of debarkation to the brigade support area and then to the forward support company in the HBCT and FIB. Of the projected major requirements for the combination of the HBCT and FIB, 90 percent of the demand by tonnage was for fuel, ammunition, and water. Although repair parts and batteries were of great importance for operational assurance, they constituted less than 0.1 percent of the demand. These data are presented for illustrative purposes in Table S-1. Any variations from the conditions set out in the planning scenario used in CAMEX 2008 would result in different data. For instance, since CAMEX 2008, the HBCT has been reorganized to include an additional maneuver battalion. This will affect the sustainment requirements. The committee does not believe, however, that the fact that fuel, water, and ammunition dominate the logistics demands would change.
As the Army moves into the next decades, it will likely be dealing with conflicts different from those it has fought since 9/11 and those considered in CAMEX. Both the Marine Corps and the Army now speak in terms of expeditionary missions and expeditionary forces. Getting to the battle site as
|Clothing and textile
|Delivered by GLOC, class IIIB, class I (water) and ice
|Delivered by air
NOTE: CAMEX, Computer Assisted Map Experiment; FIB, fires brigade; GLOC, ground lines of communication; HBCT, heavy brigade combat team.
SOURCE: CASCOM (2008).
quickly as possible and concluding whatever mission is assigned to the Army as fast as possible is paramount. This new approach is made all the more difficult by the global nature of the conflicts and potential conflicts that have emerged. The distances involved in Pacific operations are extraordinary and will stress every facet of logistics for all services. At the same time, force structure and resources are being reduced, and there is little certainty as to how far the tightening and resource reductions will go. It is a matter of having to do more with less. But no matter how the nature of battle develops, logistics will remain a key factor.
EXAMINING ARMY LOGISTICS
This report responds to a request from the U.S. Army G-4, Logistics, which asked the National Research Council (NRC) to explore Army logistics in a global, complex environment that includes the increasing use of anti-access and area-denial tactics and technologies by potential adversaries. The NRC was asked to describe new technologies and systems that would reduce the demand for logistics—the tonnages referred to above—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. The NRC was also asked to explore options for the Army to operate with the other Services and improve its support of Special Operations Forces (SOF). Finally, the NRC was to provide a logistics-centric research and development (R&D) investment strategy and illustrative examples of how improved logistics could look in the future. In response to this request, the NRC Board on Army Science and Technology established the Committee on Force Multiplying Technologies for Logistics Support to Military Operations.
The committee examined the technologies, the organizational efficiencies, and adjustments in human capital that potentially would have the most impact on logistics operations. It met with members of the R&D community and civilian and military operational and logistics practitioners from the Services, joint organizations, and industry.
ENHANCING ARMY LOGISTICS
The Army is moving into a new, more austere and more joint environment and must develop its equipment and prepare its personnel, force structure, decision making, and concepts of operation for a more expeditionary approach, one with a reduced logistics footprint. Unfortunately, there is no single solution to the logistics challenge. Reducing the footprint will require efforts in every area in which the Army is engaged, and success will result from full engagement with this challenge across the Army, not just in the logistics community.
This engagement will begin efforts to reduce the bulk and weight of Army logistics (e.g., ammunition, fuel, and water). It will seek methods to increase the reliability and reduce the maintenance requirements of equipment in the hands of our soldiers. It will require more efficient management approaches and permit those in the field to be part of logistics processes. It will seek to let soldiers in the field know where their supplies and repair parts are in the pipeline. It will address the need to link operational requirements for new systems with the logistics loads they create and the life-cycle costs they must pay. Recognizing that every new burden added to the system adds force structure and the requirement for logistics to support that structure, it will consider the personnel and system risks that develop from such actions.
The committee provides recommendations on areas in which burden-reducing R&D efforts should be focused, identifies areas in which logistics efficiencies could be obtained, and reviews the status of the Army’s role within the joint logistics effort. Although Table S-2 lists items related to reducing the burden, other science and technology (S&T) or R&D work may be needed to address areas like decision support, cultural changes, etc.
|Technology Development Area
|High Priority—High Return and Recognized Feasibility
Adaptive Engine Technology Development
|Accelerate the Improved Turbine Engine Program
|Fuel and Power
|Reduce fuel requirements
Alternative engine for the Ml Abrams tank
|Investigate alternative engines or techniques to improve efficiency
|Fuel and Power
|Reduce fuel requirements
Autonomous re-supply convoys
|Refine technologies to provide reasonable cost autonomous leader-follower convoy vehicles for non-tactical movement
|Reduce troop and equipment risk and burden in convoy operations
Small unit water supply
|Accelerate R&D and fielding of platoon and squad water sets
|Provide point of need water supply
Micro-grids and smart-grids
|Accelerate R&D and fielding
|Fuel and Power
|Maximize energy efficiency
Low Ammo Demand Weapon System
|Accelerate R&D and fielding of High Energy Laser-Mobile Demonstrator (HEL-MD).
|Reduce Ammunition Demand
Unmanned aircraft and precision parachute resupply
|Refine technologies to support cost efficient aerial supply operations
|Remove dependency on ground vehicles in critical areas
Improved sea mobility
|Complete and deploy Maneuver Support Vessel (MSV)-Light; develop MSV-Medium and Heavy concurrently
|Improve sea-borne Army logistics support
|High Priority—High Return, but Requires R&D or Feasibility of Immediate Use in Question
Water from Diesel Exhaust
|Explore technologies to obtain potable or non-potable water from diesel exhaust with small impact to weight, power, and cost of systems incorporating the technology; taste is a major barrier to acceptance
|Develop alternative water sources
|Monitor industry; continue Army field evaluation
|Improve supply of critical items
Radionuclide power sources
|Sponsor R&D in the development of small radionuclide power sources
|Fuel and Power
|Reduce battery weight
|Medium Priority—Large Return; Longer Time to Fielding
Hybrid technology to power vehicles
|Investigate existing commercial hybrid and electric technology
|Fuel and Power
|Reduce fuel requirements
Base area power generation small modular reactors
|Monitor Department of Energy and research for power production
|Fuel and Power
|Reduce fuel requirements (generators);provide significant base camp power source
Alternative battery types that produce more power and are rechargeable
|Investigate lithium-air batteries for application in the Army
|Fuel and Power
|Reduce battery weight
State of charge indicators to batteries so soldiers do not discard usable batteries because they do not know how much charge remains
|Integration of small, rugged, reliable state of charge indicators on batteries soldiers carry
|Fuel and Power
|Reduce battery weight
|Improve ammunition lethality and effectiveness
|Increase small caliber ammunition effectiveness
Reduce ammunition weight
|Investigate caseless, polymer cased, or case telescoped small-caliber ammunition
|Decrease weight of small caliber ammunition
Innovative packing to reduce volume and weight
|Investigate replacing conventional packing materials
|Investigate converting existing tanker for providing desalination of seawater to produce bulk potable water
|Develop alternative water sources
On-board auxiliary power units (APUs) to produce electricity
|Determine if fuel cell based systems are technically feasible to operate as APUs
|Fuel and Power
|Reduce fuel requirements
KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The committee’s overall priorities are set out in the Key Recommendations, which represent the committee’s identification of the actions that it believes need to be taken to reduce the logistics burden and improve the efficiency of Army logistics. The first Key Recommendation carries the highest priority. The subsequent Key Recommendations follow the structure of the report and are essentially equally important. They address technologies, operating procedures to include resourcing, decision-making, education, joint and special operations support. If there is going to be substantive improvement in the logistics system the Army relies on for its sustainment, all of the Key Findings accompanying these recommendations must be recognized and all of the Key Recommendations addressed. They are substantively intertwined.
Key Findings and Recommendations either rest on one or more underlying findings and recommendations in the report body or represent a finding and recommendation drawn from the substance of the report or a section as a whole. Where the former is the case, the pertinent findings and recommendations are noted in brackets.
The committee’s priorities for R&D investments are given in Tables S-2 and 9-1 and represent the professional judgment of the committee in assessing the technologies behind the technology-based recommendations in the report. High-priority investment areas represent a coalescence of a promise of a substantial reduction in logistics burden and/or a reduction in resource demands and a committee judgment that the programs are achievable within the next decade or sooner and meet an immediate operational need identified by the Army. However, these priorities are closely tied to the force structure the Army chooses or is directed to implement.
Key Finding 1. Logistics activities within the Army do not receive the attention necessary to ensure the effective sustainment of operational forces on the battlefield over the long term. This is because, unlike things that directly affect combat effectiveness, it is difficult to understand the ultimate impact of logistics activities on Army capability. In R&D, analyses, exercises, and planning, logistics challenges are often minimized or postponed to be addressed another day. As a result, when systems are developed or plans are executed, the logistics enterprise is placed in a catch-up position, significantly reducing its ability to support the ongoing operations. Capability requirements, along with off-the-shelf solutions that create logistics burdens, are outpacing the development and fielding of burden-reducing logistics and logistics-related technologies.
Key Recommendation 1. Senior Army leadership should ensure that adequate resources and priorities are given to logistics activities across the spectrum of Army activities, including research and development, analytical support, force structure, military education, and operational planning.
Key Finding 2. As a matter of doctrine, bottled water is used in the initial stages of operations until the bulk purification, storage, and distribution of water can be established. The use of bottled water weighs heavily on the logistics systems, puts soldiers and civilians at risk to deliver it, and generates a significant waste burden. Because of the availability of contractor-provided bottled water in Iraq and Afghanistan, earlier peacekeeping missions, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, the Army reduced its organic active force capability to provide water at the point of need and is now heavily reliant on the use of bottled water.
Key Recommendation 2. The Army should rely on its existing water technologies, and adopt or develop appropriate additional technologies, to satisfy water demand at the point of need and limit the use of bottled water except where the situation dictates its use e.g. for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.
Fuel and Energy
Key Finding 3. Emerging technologies such as the improved turbine engine program and high-efficiency drive systems would provide significant reductions in fuel demand for aircraft, the M1 Abrams, and the M2 Bradley and increases in system efficiencies. Selective use of hybrid and electric vehicles in rear areas would reduce fuel demands. Use of high-efficiency auxiliary power units could not only reduce fuel demands but could also enable use of electric systems in vehicle design. Advancements in fuel cell design, micro- and smart-grid employment, and battery efficiency would similarly reduce the demand for fuel. Use of small modular nuclear reactors in rear areas could provide large-scale power sources. [This is based on Findings 3-12, 3-14, 3-15, 3-16, 3-17, 3-19, and 3-22.]
Key Recommendation 3. The Army should strongly support continued development and fielding of a portfolio of promising technologies to reduce fuel and energy demand, including acceleration of the improved turbine engine program and more fuel-efficient engines for the M1 Abrams and the M2 Bradley or their replacements, recognizing that it will take success in several areas to reduce the overall demand. [This is based on Recommendations 3-12 and 3-14.]
Key Finding 4. Precision munitions potentially offer significant reductions in required munition expenditures and qualitative improvements in effectiveness, thereby reducing ammunition demand and its logistics burden. The additional costs of precision munitions must be weighed against the total costs of employing nonprecision munitions in the aggregate, from the ammunition plant to the target. Similarly, initial tests of directed energy weapons have indicated both their effectiveness and the reduction in logistics support required for their employment. [This is based on Findings 3-25 and 3-27.]
Key Recommendation 4. The Army should adopt the use of precision munitions as widely as practical within mission requirements, and should use directed-energy weapons systems if ongoing tests are successful. [This is based on Recommendations 3-21 and 3-23.]
Key Finding 5. The planning of Army production, transportation, maintenance, storage, and expenditure of ammunition are carried out as relatively independent activities that have successfully supported military operations and has improved the efficiency of several elements of the ammunition supply chain. However, there is no indication that the Army is taking advantage of usage data from the past 25 years, experience from changes in weapons technology over past decades, or future opportunities that may exist to lessen the ammunition burden. There has been no significant effort to examine ammunition as a system or which ammunition mixes will provide the optimum combination of fires effectiveness and logistics burden minimization. The recent “Improve/Lean & Control Phases (Combined) Gate Review” by the Program Executive Office Ammunition could provide the baseline for the development of the optimum mix of weapons system effectiveness and logistics burden reduction.2
2 Improve/Lean & Control Phases (Combined) Gate Review, September 12, 2012. Provided by Chris J. Grassano, Deputy Program Executive Officer Ammunition to Leon Salomon, committee member, by e-mail on May 16, 2014.
Key Recommendation 5. As one of the largest logistics burdens faced by the Army, it is imperative that the Army maintain cognizance over all aspects of the ammunition supply chain and identify steps that could be taken to ensure the effectiveness of the support provided to combat units and the potential for reductions in the ammunition tonnages that needs to be moved in battle situations. The Army should conduct a comprehensive analysis of the ammunition system with a view toward linking analysis of battlefield experience with the operations of the system as a whole.
Key Finding 6. Over the past decade, the effectiveness of the individual soldier has been increased by on-person combat support systems. However, at the same time, the weight the soldier must carry has increased. Technologies for effectively meeting power demands for individual soldiers are emerging and offer the potential to reduce soldier load and increase soldier trust in the power reliability of carried systems. [This is based on Findings 3-28, 3-29, 3-30, 3-31, 3-32, 3-34, and 3-35.]
Key Recommendation 6. The portfolio of projects under way to reduce the weight of power supplies for an individual soldier should be given emphasis, and the resulting equipment should be fielded as soon as possible. [This is based on Recommendations 3-25, 3-26, 3-27, 3-29, and 3-30.]
Key Finding 7. The Army will be dependent on its organic watercraft capabilities for much of its intratheater transportation in many areas of the world. The age and capabilities of the watercraft currently in the inventory will limit such support. They are slow, have insufficient capacity, are too few in number, are highly sensitive to sea state, and could be impediments to efficient and effective logistics in the Asia-Pacific theater. [This is based on Findings 4-2 and 4-4.]
Key Recommendation 7. The Army should maintain priority support for the acquisition of the Maneuver Support Vessel (MSV) (Light) and concurrent development of the MSV (Medium) and the MSV (Heavy). It should also consider the acquisition of the Ship-to-Shore Connector vessel under the Navy program. [This is based on Recommendations 4-2 and 4-3.]
Key Finding 8. Autonomous vehicle technologies offer a significant opportunity to automate military operations in an effort to improve logistics operations. Unmanned and remote-controlled helicopters and precision air drop systems can significantly reduce the demand for ground-based resupply of forward areas in high-risk or limited-access situations. Resupply operations over the last tactical mile could be efficiently performed by autonomous vehicles to reduce the risks to supply vehicle operators and lighten the load that small units currently must carry. Autonomous vehicles are ready to be deployed in constrained settings with limited obstacles and established routes. They are not yet ready to deploy in operational settings with rough terrain or unpredictable routes. Unmanned and remote-controlled helicopters have been effectively employed by the Marine Corps for resupply in Afghanistan on a test basis, and development continues. [This is based on Findings 4-9, 4-11, 4-12, and 4-13.]
Key Recommendation 8. Autonomous vehicle technologies should be implemented in phases, starting with what is possible now using semiautonomous technologies, such as leader-follower, so that incremental improvements to logistics can be realized as the technology matures. Research and development should be continued to develop these technologies for use in challenging, unpredictable environments that are currently beyond the capabilities of these technologies. The Army should work
with the Marine Corps to combine research and development efforts to develop a common autonomous aerial support capability for logistics. The Army should continue to support rapid development and fielding of precision airdrop for sustainment to forward areas and pursue a helicopter-borne Joint Precision Airdrop System capability to expand its overall sustainment options and capabilities. [This is based on Recommendations 4-7, 4-10, and 4-11.]
Key Finding 9. Additive manufacturing provides an emerging capability to produce components in support of Army logistics system needs at the point of need and to improve the responsiveness of the Army maintenance system. Present additive manufacturing efforts are ongoing across the Army and are close to the state of the art. However, additional development is required to (1) fully realize the benefits of additive manufacturing and (2) make it widely useful forward of fixed facilities, such as depots, given the current heavy power demands and challenges in base material management and standard setting. [This is based on Findings 5-1 and 5-2.]
Key Recommendation 9. The Army should leverage the industry investments in additive manufacturing and support technology areas that map to the Army’s specific needs and implementation constraints. The Army should support standards development that would form the basis for qualifying components produced by additive manufacturing. [This is based on Recommendations 5-1 and 5-2.]
Logistics Enterprise Information System
Key Finding 10. The Army Logistics Enterprise System, which includes the Army Enterprise Systems Integration Program Hub, the Global Combat Support System-Army (GCSS-A), and the Logistics Modernization Program (LMP), is a viable approach to support efficient and effective logistics for the Army. The Army has expended considerable resources on implementing what may be the largest enterprise resource planning system ever. The other Services have a mixed record of success in implementing such systems. Successful implementation of the program will require strong and continuous support and an understanding by Army leadership of the challenges and opportunities that the continuously evolving systems will face. In addition to the ever-present technical issues that will develop, there will be a need to develop new decision support tools and applications that can utilize GCSS-A and LMP data and to pay attention to cybersecurity issues as the threats evolve. [This is based on Findings 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, and 6-4.]
Key Recommendation 10. To ensure that the Army Logistics Enterprise Systems is fully implemented and operated efficiently over its life, the Army should provide constant resource and organizational support for the Army Enterprise Systems Integration Program, the Global Combat Support System-Army, and the Logistics Modernization Program, even after full implementation of the initial systems and related tools and applications. Without such support, the overall system will rapidly atrophy. [This is based on Recommendation 6-2.]
Key Finding 11. The U.S. Army logistics network has made considerable progress in improving in-transit visibility to the supply support activity and the unit motor pool. Estimated shipping dates and advanced shipping notices are routinely provided, which has improved availability and readiness. More confidence in the system might be realized by also letting the end user/soldier know about the availability of the item he or she requested from the supply system. The benefit of this would be a reduction in the current practice of placing redundant orders due to a lack of confidence in the supply system.
Key Recommendation 11. Using the capabilities of Global Combat Support System-Army and the Logistics Modernization Program, the Army, in conjunction with industry, should compare the costs and benefits of extending the in-transit visibility to the end user/individual soldier to those of the current systems. [This is based on Recommendation 6-5.]
Logistics Decision Support
Key Finding 12. Modeling and simulation and systems analysis capabilities in support of Army logistics are insufficient to evaluate, compare, and contrast various S&T initiatives and their respective impacts on both the force structure alternatives currently under consideration and the outcomes across the spectrum of operations. (This same condition was identified in the 1999 NRC report Reducing the Logistics Burden for the Army After Next. (NRC, 1999)) When systems are being developed, the results of logistics analyses are not quantified in terms of warfighting effects or the impact they might have on the logistics system as a whole (e.g., adding fuel capacity to a vehicle family may result in a need for additional fuel transport vehicles, with the accompanying additions to force structure). As a result, logistics systems and logistics requirements do not fare well when competing with other types of systems or subsystems. Because logistics decisions are complex and often mostly subjective and because they have great impacts on life-cycle cost, investment in decision support systems for logistics could result in significant savings over a system’s life cycle. The Army’s ability to perform informed logistic studies and analyses has eroded over the past two decades to the point where there is little intrinsic capability left to conduct these analyses. [This is based on Findings 6-15, 6-16, 6-17, 6-18, and 6-19.]
Key Recommendation 12. The Army should revitalize its logistics analysis capability by acquiring the necessary tools and qualified military and civilian analysts in quantities commensurate with the number and impact of logistics decisions that need to be made. Modeling, simulation, and analysis tools need to be improved to explicitly include logistics factors. [This is based on Recommendations 6-14 and 6-16.]
Use of Contractors and the Army Reserve
Key Finding 13. Contractors and the Army Reserve represent important elements of the Army and joint logistics team and, given the reductions in active military force structure, must be considered an essential component in the planning and execution of operations. They possess unique knowledge of the functions they may be called on to carry out and, in the case of contractors, on-the-ground experience in potential areas of operations. At present, they are excluded from participation in contingency planning until contracted or invited to do so. [This is based on Findings 7-1, 7-2, and 7-4.]
Key Recommendation 13. Both Army and combatant command leaders should integrate contractors and the Army Reserve into their contingency planning process from the beginning and on a continuous basis. Planners in both the Army and combatant commands should be schooled in the capabilities of contractor organizations and the Army Reserve to assist in contingency planning. For contractors, this may require establishing ongoing contracts for the support of specific combatant commands or regions so they can engage in planning processes within the combatant commands. [This is based on Recommendations 7-1, 7-2, and 7-4.]
Key Finding 14. Guidelines for support of military operations over time by contractors are frequently formulated on the fly as operations evolve. This results in inconsistencies in the provision of services, competition among units and services, and a lack of attention to both potential support costs and the logistical burdens that are created. The necessity for these guidelines prior to the start of operations was a lesson learned in Vietnam. [This is based on Finding 7-3.]
Key Recommendation 14. Army leadership, in coordination with its sister Services, the Joint Staff, and combatant commanders, should establish guidelines for the support to be provided for contingency operations over time as the mission and needs develop. [This is based on Recommendation 7-3.]
Key Finding 15. Given the resource constraints that face today’s armed forces and the necessity to develop an effective joint fighting force, jointness in logistics is an imperative. The committee recognizes that transformation takes time and that moving to joint logistics represents a significant change in culture. However, it has been over a decade since the military community began serious discussions of joint logistics and nearly 5 years since the Joint Staff articulated a vision for integrated logistics, and signs of progress are limited. The committee, during its review and its interviews with senior logistics personnel, both retired and active, could not find strong evidence that the Army and the joint community were actively involved in implementing a joint logistics effort. There remains a strong belief among the leadership of the Services that their Title X responsibilities trump the authorities of the Secretary of Defense and the combatant commanders to require the conduct of joint logistics operations. There was clear articulation that, absent directives from the Secretary of Defense, the services will not move rapidly to embrace joint logistics activities or aspects of joint operational activities. It is this committee’s opinion that the trump card for jointness should be held by the combatant commander since the execution of the strategy is the combatant commander’s responsibility.
Key Recommendation 15. Wherever possible and appropriate, the Army should strongly support and become a part of joint logistics and related research and development activities. As a starting point, the Army should review the status of implementation of Appendix B of the Joint Concept, Key Indicators of the Military Problem, along with the operational issues described in 2011 by the G-4 of the Army.
Logistics Support of Special Operations
Key Finding 16. Based on lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, the Army’s new thrust to become more expeditionary, and the additional focus on geopolitical areas beyond the Middle East, an extraordinary opportunity has arisen for the Army and Special Operations Command to jointly revisit and redefine their working relationships in the areas of logistics and sustainment for their mutual benefit. [This is based on Findings 8-1 and 8-3.]
Key Recommendation 16. The Army G-4 should initiate discussions with Special Operations Command (SOCOM) to revisit existing logistics and sustainment support policies, agreements, and capabilities (including linked databases) with the stated objective of revising them for their mutual benefit. In parallel, the Army G-4, working in conjunction with the individual geographic combatant commands and SOCOM, should determine the feasibility and acceptability of designating each Theater Army as the primary logistics and sustainment support organization for special operations forces in each geographic combatant command’s area of responsibility. [This is based on Recommendations 8-1, 8-3, and 8-4.]
Taking Advantage of Technology Innovation
Key Finding 17. Joint, interagency, intergovernmental, multinational, nongovernmental, and commercial organizations remain heavily involved in material development and technology innovation in areas directly relevant to Army logistics operations and sustainment goals. (1) Continuous monitoring of these
efforts outside the Army and (2) collaborative efforts with other organizations offer opportunities for reductions in military expenditures for needed technologies and the early acquisition of systems that have been proven in the private sector. [This is based on Finding 8-4.]
Key Recommendation 17. In carrying out its material development programs, the Army should continue and, where appropriate, increase close collaboration with joint, interagency, intergovernmental, multinational, nongovernmental, and commercial organizations in science and technology areas where these organizations are pursuing programs similar to those required by the Army. The Army should avoid duplication of efforts underway in other sectors wherever possible. [This is based on Recommendation 8-5.]
Logistics Science and Technology and R&D Strategy
Key Finding 18. There is no explicit strategy for Army investment in logistics and related goals, such as a 25 percent reduction in fuel consumption for a given system. Such a strategy is needed to guide efforts to reduce logistics requirements and to guide the non-logistics material development efforts that increase the logistics burden of the Army in the field. Without such a strategy and goals, the Army G-4 and the Army sustainment community are unable to effectively influence critical decisions in S&T and R&D. In addition, there is no explicit effort by the Army logistics community to closely monitor the S&T and R&D activities of the other elements of the Department of Defense or the defense industry to capitalize on S&T and R&D successes in those organizations and to integrate their new capabilities into consideration of a future joint logistics environment. [This is based on Findings 9-1 and 9-2.]
Key Recommendation 18. The Army, through the G-4 and with the support of the Combined Arms Support Command, should develop, staff, publish, and annually update an Army Logistics Science and Technology (S&T) and Research and Development (R&D) Strategy that clearly defines the long-range objectives for Army logistics, the programs that influence the attainment of these objectives, and the actions that will be taken to ensure the close integration of Army logistics enhancement activities with those of the joint and Department of Defense community and related industry. The Army Logistics S&T and R&D Strategy should include specific burden reduction goals, such as a 25 percent reduction in fuel consumption for a given system. Development of the Army Logistics S&T and R&D Strategy should be followed by development within the entire R&D community of a roadmap specifying the responsibilities and actions that need to be taken to ensure accomplishment of the objectives of the strategy. [This is based on Recommendations 9-1 and 9-2.]
CASCOM (Combined Arms Support Command). 2008. Air-Ground Distribution Computer Assisted Map Exercise (CAMEX) Experiment Report. Fort Lee, Va.: U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command.
NRC (National Research Council). 1999. Reducing the Logistics Burden for the Army After Next: Doing More with Less. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.