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U.S. Army and Marine Corps Maritime Prepositioning: The Right Course For The 21st Century?
Research rept. Aug 93-Apr 94,
INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
Forty years before the United States participated in the Gulf War and experienced an enduring lesson in the value of forward prepositioning, Rear Admiral Henry E. Eccles championed the future utility of advance floating bases in 1950 to support forward deployed forces where the supplies, services and replacement of equipment......are provided from auxiliary ships and craft based within an anchorage Eccles, Operational Naval Logistics 87. Despite the fact that Admiral Eccles and other leading logisticians from the World War II era proclaimed the importance of strategic logistics reach through advance positioning and forward floating bases, the defense establishment paid little attention to such concepts until decades later. In support of the Gulf War, the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force wrote a new chapter in the effective use of strategic logistics reach through the successful employment of advance floating bases in the form of Maritime Prepositioning Ships MPS. This combined seabased and airlifted forward projected force provided an early, balanced air and ground combat capability that was fully interoperable with afloat Naval aviation as well as deploying Army and Air Force elements. The successes enjoyed by the employment of MPS during the rapid closure and initial buildup phases in Desert Shield served in stark contrast to the slower, dribbling theater delivery of other war materiel aboard Ready Reserve Fleet shipping. In the aftermath of the war, the rapid response of MPS moved Congress and the Department of Defense DOD to examine the future strategic mobility requirements of the nations armed forces with particular emphasis on the value of maritime prepositioning.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE