Class IX Supply Operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom is the U.S. Army's Doctrine Adequate?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Despite the overall success of U.S. Army forces during the major combat operations phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom OIF, there is a widely held perception that the logistics system was far less effective than it should have been during OIF. The Class IX repair parts supply system, in particular, seems to have been almost completely ineffective within the theater of operations. This paper examines whether the Armys doctrine for Class IX supply operations needs to be revised in light of the Armys OIF experience. It first examines the Armys Class IX supply doctrine at the time of OIF, to include the changes implemented over the past decade due to the shift from a supply-based to a distribution-based logistics system. It then examines the OIF experience, and demonstrates that a late deployment of CSS units to the theater, a significant shortage of transportation and other CSS units, an inadequate tactical communications infrastructure, and insufficient Automated Identification Technology AIT and In-transit Visibility ITV systems all had major negative impacts on the Class IX supply system. It also examines OIF units experiences, both positive and negative, with their Authorized Stockage List ASL and Prescribed Load List PLL repair parts stockpiles. Finally, this paper compares the OIF experience to doctrine, using as a framework the principles of distribution from Joint Publication 4-01.4, Joint Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Joint Theater Distribution, and Field Manual 100-10-1, Theater Distribution. This comparison revealed that the failure of the Class IX supply system during Operation Iraqi Freedom did not result from flaws in the Armys doctrine, and therefore, the doctrine itself does not need revision. Rather, the breakdown of the Class IX theater distribution system resulted from two main causes outside of doctrine. The first
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics