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Employment of Joint Maritime Logistics Capability During the Korean War

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Technical Report,25 Jun 2018,23 May 2019

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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Todays complex operational environment requires the joint force to rapidly respond to crises and contingencies abroad. The joint force must think expeditionary and master force projection by leveraging its joint maritime logistics capability. Force projection provides the strategic advantages of surprise, tempo, basing, prolonged endurance, and operational reach. To obtain these strategic advantages, the joint force must be proficient in joint maritime logistics operations. Joint maritime logistics operations include the combined employment of sealift and terminal capability to execute sea movement, terminal loading and unloading, and forward distribution of troops, cargo, and supplies. History is replete with campaigns where the victor was significantly aided by the ability to rapidly project forces and sustain the flow of troops, supplies, and materials into theater. The inherent challenges with rapidly deploying and sustaining forces encountered during the Korean War remain, by and large, the same as those of the modern joint force. As such, the Korean War reminds strategic and operational planners of the vital role joint maritime logistics operations play in the rapid movement of troops, supplies, and materials from the point of embarkation to the point of debarkation and on to the forward lines. This monograph examines the employment of joint maritime logistics capability during the initial stages of the Korean War, specifically, the defense of the Pusan perimeter. The correlation between joint maritime logistics efforts and the Far East Commands success in achieving its strategic and operational objectives are inextricable. The examination reveals that strategic and operational planners integrated Naval sealift and Army marine terminal operations to provide depleted combat divisions a steady flow of reinforcements, materials, and equipment to defend the Pusan perimeter and drive the North Korean Peoples Army north of the 38th Parallel.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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