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Net-Centric Sustainment and Operational Reach on the Modern Battlefield
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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In 1996, Joint Vision 2010 JV2010 established a template for transforming the armed forces that continues to define sustainment transformation within the U.S. Army, while the publication of Network Centric Warfare in 1999 provided the theoretical framework for applying the concept of information superiority within the realm of warfare. The theory of network centric warfare NCW arose from the study of complexity, and promised the ability to achieve JV2010s concept of focused logistics by building a network of information systems and people to leverage the power of information in complex environments. While the effort to revolutionize Army sustainment has led to greater efficiency, current efforts face the problem of utilizing a lean network to support forces operating on a distributed and uncertain battlefield. Because sustainment prolongs the endurance of Army operations, this study analyzes sustainment transformation to determine if its logistics structure possesses the ability to provide effective distribution support outside of steady-state environments. The study demonstrates that the Armys current net-centric sustainment concept fails to adhere to the principles of complexity theory and lacks evidence of objective historical analysis, resulting in a logistics system that risks early culmination after transitions during major combat operations. The elimination of distribution management from the division and corps headquarters has separated the sustainment and operational systems in a way that current technology alone cannot overcome, and has coupled the brigade to the strategic distribution system.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE