The Afloat Prepositioning Program: Do Service Mission Differences Preclude Total Jointness?
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Success in regional and major theater wars hinges on the ability to rapidly deploy and employ sufficient military power to overwhelm any adversary. Central to the U. S. militarys ability to deploy forces is the collection of equipment, material and munitions prepositioned aboard ships throughout the world. As the leadership seeks opportunities to merge systems and resources under the guise of jointness, commonalities in missions and cargoes of the Afloat Prepositioning Force APF make it a prime target for integration. Ranging from tanks and trucks to food and fuel, the prepositioning load lists provide a flexible range of deterrent and combat options to the Combatant Commander. While similar items are prepositioned by all of the services, there is enough difference in quantity or mission to bar centralized control. Removing critical items such as food and fuel from the prepositioning kits effectively obliterates the stand-alone nature of these equipment sets. Certain management functions e.g. stock rotation, equipment and ship maintenance, and weapons system upgrades which are common to all portions of the APF have also been targeted for joint control. The fiscal savings of these efforts would be far outweighed by the costs in security and clear lines of command and control.
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies