The Future of Warfare: Issues from the 1999 Army After Next Study Cycle


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Strategic logistics includes planning for and deploying personnel, equipment, and supplies to the theaters of operations and returning them to the United States. Operational logistics take place within the theater of operations but are not directly related to combat operations.

Operational logistics includes the reception, storage, and distribution of supplies and personnel. It also includes processing casualties, maintaining equipment, and providing and maintaining in-theater transportation systems. Tactical logistics are conducted by units in combat, usually at the division level or Tower. Some units engaged in direct combat have minimal logistics components, but most rely on separate Togistics-oriented units to provide support. The purpose of tactical logistics is to enable combat units to conduct continuous military operations.

Trench warfare involved limited penetra- tions of the opponent's lines. Although logistics support was important in World War I, it did not have to cover great distances. Once mechanized armored vehicles were intro- duced, the logistics requirements for fuel, ammunition, and battlefield maintenance became apparent. The distance between Europe and the U. World War IT was in many ways a contest of strategic logistics systems.

When the United States declared war on the Axis powers, the country did not have the capability to field, deploy, or equip a substantial fighting force. Over a period of two years, "the Arsenal of Democracy" grew in size and gave the United States and its allies a war-fighting capability never before seen. By , personnel, supplies, and equipment were flowing to both the Pacific and European theaters of operation. Even with the massive buildup before the Normandy invasion, however, the campaigns on the continent were soon restrained by the inability of the Allies to move adequate supplies from logistics bases in England to advancing armies.

Patton's Third Army ran out of fuel and had to interrupt its thrust into Germany. Earlier in the war, at the tactical level, General Rommel's efforts to defeat the British had been hampered by the lengthy supply lines and the logistics required to support the units moving supplies.

Because the war was not expected, the United States was unable to deploy adequate forces immediately to the battle area and required time to build up its strategic logistics system. After the Tnchon invasion, the challenge became one of operational and tactical logistics as U. However, prior to the initial movement of forces to the theater and throughout the buildup phase, U.

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Even though new ports were constructed at several locations, the deployment of forces was con- strained by the overall paucity of facilities. In Vietnam, logistics support at the tactical level was made easier by the new-found capability to use fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft to move supplies from base camps to forces in the field. When the Persian Gulf War began, the United States was fortunate that Saudi Arabia possessed a significant port and airfield infrastructure developed over the pre- ceding 20 years by the U.


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Army Corps of Engineers for the Saudis , but the bases were not equipped to support extended military operations. Although troops could be moved to the theater quickly by air, the strategic transport of their equipment by sea was slow. The logistics requirements were enormous. The Saudis provided U.

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Medical personnel constituted 5 percent of the total force. A combined contractor and military transportation organization worked around the clock to move supplies and equipment from the ports to positions near the battle areas. About 25, containers with unidentified contents were returned.

More than , rounds of artillery, tank, and aircraft ammunition were returned, in large part because outdated consumption rate estimates were used. In World War lI, an average of 14 rounds were required to kill an enemy tank in tank-on-tank engagements. With the advent of the Abrams tank, the average in the Persian Gulf War dropped to 1. Military interventions and operations in Bosnia, Rwanda, and post-Gulf War Kuwait have been characterized by ad hoc organizations, buildups, and the use of stocks of materiel propositioned in depots at forward locations or ships in the United States or at sea.

Nevertheless, the United States was unable to move equipment rapidly to the mission areas. In the case of Rwanda, the ability to respond was severely hampered by the total lack of infrastructure in the mission area and by the distance between Rwanda and previously used U.

Fortunately, the tactical logistics problems were solvable because of the short duration of these operations. In Joint Vision , the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff JCS , the senior military officer in the defense structure, has defined a vision of warfare in the first decades of the twenty-first century see Figure According to the ICS, focused logistics represents ". Focused logistics will provide forces in the battlefield area with command-and- control systems that closely link operations with logistics, enabling logisticians to provide combat commanders with whatever they need, whenever and wherever they need it.

Focused logistics will be truly "joint" logistics: Information will give the logistician "total asset visibility," the ability to determine seamiessly what equipment and supplies are available in the operational theater or in the United States and where they are. During the Persian Gulf War, the U. The logistics force of the future is expected to operate with an "agile infrastructure" that will permit combat forces to take with them only what they are sure to need right-sized, "just-enough" inventories and enable logisticians to supplement this support whenever and wherever necessary.

The RAIL will involve a shift towards distribution-based systems rather than the accumulation of supplies , real-time situational understanding, new organizational designs, and proven commercial business practices. In developing the logistics structure for Army XXI, logistics planners are incorporating the RML concepts into force structures and reducing the need for forward logistics units. Logistics Concepts for the Army After Next Although few specifics have been defined for the AAN, the committee was able to derive logistics support requirements for an ideal AAN battle force from the operational concept described in Arrny briefings.

The characteristics of the ideal battle force are listed below: The battle force will establish a logistics support base battle unit support element at the forward staging area. The battle force will use Army resources to move to the battle area. Once its mission has been accomplished, the battle force will be rapidly withdrawn. Logistics Burdens for the Battle Force Combat commanders have long understood that their operational flexibility is limited by logistics and that plans for combat operations must be matched to the availability of logistics support.

Any materiels or organization that does not contribute directly to combat effectiveness is considered a logistics burden.

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This study focuses on reducing logistics demand by reducing logistics burdens. The principal logistics burdens are the fuel, ammunition, food, water, and spare parts necessary to sustain the force during operations. But the logistics burdens also include logistics personnel and equipment in combat support and combat service support organizations providing supplies, maintenance, transportation, medical services, and other support for the combat units and the supplies and support required to keep these logistics organizations in operation.

Reductions in the logistics demand for fuel, ammunition, water, food, and spare parts consumed during an operation can lead to even greater reductions in logistics burdens. Therefore, one significant way to reduce the logistics burden of a battle force is to reduce the number of logistics units both personnel and equipment. Because of the considerable uncertainties about the logistics requirements of combat forces and whether this support will in fact be available when needed, the military has always planned to have "more than enough, just in case.

A light infantry division of 11, troops, for example, is deployed with a weight of 18, tonsil This includes the weight of the soldiers, their personal gear, and all equipment. It also includes one day of ammunition; five days of rations, construction materials, and personal items; and 15 days of clothing, petroleum products, medical supplies, and spare parts.

Although the deployment weight includes combat and support units in the division organization, it does not include the weight of the combat and support units external to the division that are needed to support the division. This so- called "light division" deploys with 3, vehicles and 83 aircraft.

To move this force requires C sorties or 61 C sorties. Presentation on 4th Generation Warfare in the 21st Century. Will open as a Powerpoint presentation. The Rise of Hybrid Wars Lt. Proceedings , November Parameters , Summer Testimony before the U. Posted on the RAND website. Swarming and the Future of Warfare Sean J.

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Transformation and the Changing Character of War? Transformation Trends, 17 June Trends in Security Competition Arthur K. Office of Force Transformation, 15 June Air War College, May The War Next Time: Schneider and Jim A. Air War College, April Iraq and the Future of Warfare: Strategic Studies Institute, U.

Army War College, 18 August Posted on the Globalsecurity. From Kadesh to Kandahar Michael Evans. Naval War College Review, Summer Posted on the Find Articles website. Trends in Future Warfare Christopher J. Joint Force Quarterly , Issue 35, Summer Future Directions in Warfare: Posted on the Claremont Graduate University website. Northrop Grumman Analysis Center, January Center for Defense Information, February Afghanistan and the Future Of Warfare: The Lessons of Afghanistan Anthony H.

Center for Strategic and International Studies, October The Lessons of Afghanistan: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 12 August Sorting Apples from Oranges James M. Institute of Landwarfare, July Conflict in a Changing World: Conflict Studies Research Centre, February National Defense Magazine, February New York Times, 21 Jan Posted on the Rowan University website. Center for Army Lessons Learned, Posted on the Strategy Page website.

The Future of Warfare: Rand Corporation, September

The Future of Warfare:  Issues from the 1999 Army After Next Study Cycle The Future of Warfare: Issues from the 1999 Army After Next Study Cycle
The Future of Warfare:  Issues from the 1999 Army After Next Study Cycle The Future of Warfare: Issues from the 1999 Army After Next Study Cycle
The Future of Warfare:  Issues from the 1999 Army After Next Study Cycle The Future of Warfare: Issues from the 1999 Army After Next Study Cycle
The Future of Warfare:  Issues from the 1999 Army After Next Study Cycle The Future of Warfare: Issues from the 1999 Army After Next Study Cycle
The Future of Warfare:  Issues from the 1999 Army After Next Study Cycle The Future of Warfare: Issues from the 1999 Army After Next Study Cycle

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