Because of the dependence of the Army on joint enablers – notably joint lift, joint information operations planning systems, and joint deployment and distribution processes – the Army GF alone lacks the capability to substantively improve the strategic responsiveness of the Army.
a. This chapter addresses the ways and means by which the Army can employ GF capabilities to improve the strategic responsiveness of the operational Army. It considers lessons learned during the course of recent operations, recognizes the shortfalls and gaps that currently exist which hinder strategic responsiveness, takes note of initiatives that GF organizations have already undertaken to improve strategic responsiveness, and identifies additional improvements that appear to be feasible and desirable.
b. One of the three fundamental categories of GF support to operations as presented in FM 1-01 is enabling strategic reach. The FM defines strategic reach as the "… distance and duration across which the nation can project military power." Thus, the overall idea of strategic reach centers on force projection, which is further separated into projection of forces, force packages, capabilities, and the stocks and supplies required to sustain those forces and capabilities. The converse of force projection is redeployment and retrograde operations as the means of returning forces and capabilities to start points where they are reset, re-equipped, retrained, and made ready and available for future operational requirements.
c. In the U.S. Army, the concept of force projection has matured over time beyond simply the idea of moving forces and stocks to distant locations, to the realization that it is best viewed as a complex operation, focused rigorously on meeting joint force requirements, in which operators, transporters, and logisticians play critical, integrated roles. The complexity of force projection can be simplified by thinking within the framework of strategic and operational lift, infrastructure, processes, and the organizations required to execute force projection.
(1) Lift encompasses the materiel assets required to move physically forces from points of origin to the JOA. The critical elements for strategic force projection are strategic airlift and sealift capabilities, complemented by intratheater lift assets that can be used to complete strategic force projection from intermediate staging bases, when used, or for forces located in regions adjacent to the joint operational area. Lift also includes Army watercraft and over-the-shore capabilities, as well as APS and equipment afloat.
(2) Infrastructure encompasses the nodes from point of origin through air and sea ports of debarkation through intermediate staging bases or forward operating bases to air and sea ports of debarkation. For the purposes of this study, it does not include the surface transportation networks used to move from installations to the ports of embarkation or from ports of debarkation to operational areas.
(3) Processes cover the joint planning process, the joint deployment process, and the joint distribution process, along with the materiel and information enablers required for them and for supporting functions, such as in-transit visibility, data management, automated decision aids, and others.
(4) The Army is the only service that, with the exception of certain aviation assets, depends entirely on joint capabilities to project its forces, stocks, and supplies. The Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps all possess organic capabilities to deploy all or most of their capabilities required to support joint force commanders. For this reason, most of the significant initiatives to improve the strategic responsiveness of the Army depend on action taken by the other services to provide improved capabilities.
5-3. Study constraints
a. Lift capacity, as well as the development of advanced lift capabilities, fall outside the scope of this chapter for two reasons. First, ARCIC and HQDA have already completed work analyzing and justifying the need for advanced air and sea platforms. If developed, the consequences of this work would create a leap forward in the strategic responsiveness of the Army and its ability to meet the deployment goals established for it in future concepts and the Army's Power Projection Program Management Plan.113
b. Second, decisions regarding air and sea lift, as well as the composition and positioning of APS-afloat, are OSD-level policy decisions that often take years to implement, particularly with respect to new capabilities. This chapter also does not include the reception, staging, onward movement, and integration process in-theater, since those processes largely fall under the purview of the joint force commander. Consequently, this chapter constrains its discussions to infrastructure, processes, and organizations relevant to force deployment and redeployment.
c. Known shortfalls in the joint deployment and redeployment process. The experience of recent conflicts richly informs a multitude of areas in which improvement is desirable and achievable with respect to deployment infrastructure, processes, and organizations. Additional demands to enable no-notice or short-notice crisis response must also be considered.
(a) Army installations vary significantly with respect to standardized processes, owing in part to variations in the surface means that they use to move forces to PODs, as well as in capacity with respect to force flow.
(b) Installation infrastructure optimized in the past for deployment of active Army forces needs improvement to accommodate the increased force flow of USAR and ARNG forces.
(c) Joint and Army port opening and port clearing capabilities do not have the capacity needed for major force deployments.
(d) DOD has not invested fully in the sea port of debarkation and intermediate staging base infrastructure that the joint force will likely be using in future contingency operations.
(a) Despite years of effort, both the joint deployment and joint distribution processes have not been integrated fully into a joint deployment and distribution enterprise (JDDE).
(b) The automated knowledge and management systems required for greater integration are not fully interoperable.
(c) In-transit visibility of both forces and stocks continues to fall short of the level of quality desired.
(d) Data standards to support interoperability across planning, deployment, distribution, and redeployment information systems have not been fully established or implemented. Noncommon data standards create a wide variety of hindrances that normally require deliberate and time-consuming efforts to deconflict.
(e) Overall, deployment and distribution software, automated systems, and architectures lag behind those developed to meet operational needs.
(f) Redeployment and retrograde operations have not adequately supported the ARFORGEN reset process. Despite recent improvements and initiatives, the timelines remain challenging. For example, deployment planning data used for redeployment operations have often been in error, because data had not been properly scrubbed to reflect an accurate accounting for equipment actually on the ground.
d. Joint and Army initiatives to improve strategic responsiveness of operating forces. The initiatives described below originate primarily from joint organizations, for the reasons stated earlier. The ones selected for discussion here are those for which the Army is involved through SDDC (the Army service component command within TRANSCOM) and through Army collaboration with Joint Forces Command (JFCOM).
(1) Infrastructure improvement and support.
(a) The Deployment Process Modernization Office, established under TRADOC's CASCOM, is currently developing a set of standardized templates for installation support functions, exploiting a "best practices process and expressed in terms of resources, training, and procedures. Intended benefits include the establishment of a clear set of responsibilities for installation deployment support, empirical data to clarify work load, matched against required resources, and a higher level of standardization on a worldwide basis."114
(b) In an action to improve joint and Army port opening capabilities, SDDC led the development of a transportation theater port opening element (TTOE) to fill a gap in that area. HQDA resourcing decisions project the creation of one active, five USAR, and one ARNG TTOE unit(s). The active Army unit is the 382d TTOE, assigned to the 7th Sustainment Brigade. The mission of the TTOE is to facilitate rapid theater opening and to sustain expeditionary force flow.
(c) TRANSCOM–JTF-PO. The JTF-PO, described in chapter 2, is another initiative to address the gap in port opening and clearance operations. This organization enhances the capability of joint and Army forces to maintain better visibility of initial force and distribution flows into theater and to ensure the proper synchronization of logistics capabilities in order to optimize force flows through ports of debarkation. SDDC is directly involved in any follow-on staffing of the JTF-PO construct.
(2) Improving processes. The two joint organizations charged with executive agent and proponent responsibilities for joint deployment and distribution processes are JFCOM and TRANSCOM. The Secretary of Defense designated JFCOM as the joint deployment process owner (JDPO) on 12 November 2001, to improve "… effectiveness and efficiency of the joint deployment and redeployment processes." Two years later, on 16 September 2003, he designated the commander of TRANSCOM as the distribution process owner and charged the commander with responsibility to "… direct and supervise strategic distribution and synchronize all participants in the end-to-end supply, transportation, and distribution pipeline." JFCOM and TRANSCOM have developed a shared vision of the JDDE to synchronize and rationalize their respective responsibilities.
(a) JFCOM JDPO initiatives.115
Deployment information integration. Deployment information integration supports deployment data quality and integration initiatives, including single load planning capability and a data quality strategy for DOD automatic identification technology.
Single load planning capability. This initiative is a comprehensive, JDDE-integrated load planning capability for air, sea, rail, and road movement. It provides an enterprise-wide capability that uses an integrated data source for load plan development, execution, and sharing of data.
Automatic identification technology. This initiative is designed to help create clearly defined data standards that give joint forces reliable and authoritative deployment information. It includes visualization and decision support tools to maintain visibility of shipment status and provide combat closure information.
Coalition deployment planning tool. This tool provides visibility of coalition deployment information in U.S. command and control systems.
Joint capabilities requirements manager (JCRM). See chapter 7 for an in-depth discussion of this initiative and its beneficial effects on improved aggregation of force sourcing requirements, integrating planning data with the deployment process.
Unified view experimentation. The JFCOM JDPO conducts a continuous experimentation process intended to identify joint deployment process challenges and recommend solutions through an aggressive application of the JCIDS process.
OIF deployment planning and execution lessons learned. This initiative represents JDPO's deliberate action to collect lessons learned from operational experience and to identify required deployment and redeployment improvements for long-term action.
(b) TRANSCOM initiatives.116
Transportation tracking numbers. In collaboration with JFCOM JDPO, TRANSCOM is working with the services and defense agencies to resolve differences that exist within the Joint Operations Planning and Execution System (JOPES) and the Defense Transportation System regarding planning, movement data, carrier data, and shipment data through the use of transportation tracking numbers. TTNs are intended to provide accurate reporting on shipment closure, aid synchronization of movements from strategic to theater points, compare what was actually moved against what was planned, and provide multi-modal visibility on force movements on commercial assets.
Transportation priority 4. This is an initiative that increases the use of unused airlift capacity for retrograde of materiel. It is proving to be a low-cost approach that creates additional capacity for retrograde requirements.
Node management enhancements. As a result of the node management and deployable depot advanced concept technology demonstration, TRANSCOM incorporated the use of commercial, off-the-shelf applications to provide the warfighter with improved node management visibility data and support tools. This capability can complement JTF-PO operations, service-specific expeditionary theater opening forces, and the enduring presence of Army sustainment commands (expeditionary) mission in-theater, as directed by the joint force commander (JFC).
(c) AMC Initiatives – responsible reset TF. AMC executes on behalf of the Army a responsible reset using the full power of the Materiel Enterprise. This program ensures rapid return, repair, redistribution, and combat power regeneration for the Army in coordination with CENTCOM, ARCENT, and USF-I in–theater, HQDA, and the core enterprises in CONUS. The TF is an organization that was designed to synchronize theater and Materiel Enterprise processes in order to efficiently and effectively reset the Army as combat forces draw down from the theater. It is manned by resources from the materiel enterprise, giving it the capability to right-size based on requirements. It is a split-based operation (CONUS, OCONUS) designed to bridge the gap between theater operations geared toward combat and materiel enterprise processes geared toward Army reset. The TF ensures property accountability, total asset visibility, equipment triage forward, and timely disposition for equipment and materiel. It is constructed to leverage the full spectrum capability and capacity of the materiel enterprise to enable the rapid rebuild of Army combat power.
(a) TRANSCOM. TRANSCOM helped to create the CENTCOM Distribution and Deployment Operations Center. This center links strategic deployment and distribution processes to operational and tactical functions in support of the warfighter, with the ultimate goal of improving logistics from the point of origin to the point of consumption. In order to do this, the center is staffed with members from TRANSCOM, JFCOM JDPO, DLA, AMC, Joint Munitions Command, ASC, and the other services.
(b) SDDC. SDDC dispatches deployment support teams from its deployment support brigades (sourced from the RC) into theater to augment theater capabilities. Similarly, it sends unit movement teams to support redeployment operations. The unit movement teams verify dimensional data on cargo that is heading to port before it is received to ensure accurate loading manifests. SDDC has also established Transportation Coordinators' Automated Information for Movement System processing stations throughout the Iraq theater to help meet the decreased redeployment timelines that have been established to speed up the return movement of equipment needed in ARFORGEN reset cycles.
(c) DLA. DLA created the Deployable Distribution Center as a rapidly deployable capability to provide near real-time decision support in the early days of a contingency. This center is an option to the JFC to establish an in-theater supply depot capability. More study is necessary to determine how the deployable distribution center is planned for, deploys with, and integrates into the theater logistics footprint. This should include command and control deployment, movement and inventory planning, parts inventory, movement of inventory, and how the center is synchronized with other sources of supply to meet the materiel requirements of the JFC.
(d) AMC and ACC. AMC developed a concept plan consolidating the Army Contracting Agency with AMC assets in order to create the ACC as a separate command able to serve as the Army's single contracting command. It developed and staffed an FDU adding 256 Soldiers to the Total Army MTOE contracting force structure. AMC developed and staffed a concept plan to add 594 TDA civilian contract administration and support civilian authorizations to the ACC to expand reachback contracting support to deployed operating forces, and established the Expeditionary Contracting Command under the ACC to provide adaptable, deployable operating force capabilities to conduct contracting support to forces in-theater.