Development of the Joint Logistician
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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Since the war on terror began on September 11, 2001, the Armed Forces have deployed around the world, conducting operations in Afghanistan, Africa, the Balkans, Iraq, the Philippines, and South Korea. Operation Iraqi Freedom, in particular, has tested the concept of maneuver warfare, which focuses on the weaknesses of the enemy and uses speed as a primary weapon. Throughout this operation, units moved faster than planners could anticipate, so critical preparation lagged behind the troops thus, an operational pause was required to allow supplies to catch up. In addition to rapid tempo, combat information systems failed to integrate logistic planners into the real-time information used by operators, leading to uncoordinated and ineffective logistic planning. Although logistic systems have evolved over the years, logisticians must be educated and professionally developed to manipulate the various logistic systems the Armed Forces use and to take advantage of corporate business practices. Considering the movement of material to Iraq before major combat operations began, logistic systems used during Operation Iraqi Freedom have been effective. Logisticians moved 1.2 million tons of equipment over 8,000 miles and drove over 2,000 trucks a day to transport supplies from Kuwait to northern Iraq. Additionally, these systems provided over 2.1 million gallons of water to 307,000 troops and delivered enough meals-ready-to-eat to feed the population of Spokane, Washington, for over a year. But these successes have been overshadowed by the realities of supporting a large organization that stretched the logistic system to the limit and exposed many deficiencies including a large backlog of supplies throughout the supply chain, wasted funds paid to owners of the containers holding the nonmoving supplies, a 1.2 billion discrepancy between material received and material shipped, and cannibalization of vehicles because parts were not available.
- Information Science
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics