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Contemporary Issues presents two analytical articles in this edition--"Logistics for the 21stCentury: Deployment Distribution Operations Center, Quick Fix or Long-Term Solution" and "Operational-Level Analysis: DoD's Strategic Mobility and Logistics Support to the Homeland Security Architecture".
In the first article, the authors examine the question of whether the implementation of the Deployment Distribution Operations Center into US Central Command's theater of operations substantially changed the Joint logistical process, or was it simply the application of logistical expertise focused on key problem areas. The research finds the latter to be more likely. It is to some degree a fundamental change as to how the deployment and distribution system is focused on warfighter priorities. It is, however, more the application of strategic logisticians brought together to form a physical enterprise resource planning to bring a common operating picture to the entire distribution community.
In the second article the authors provide a comprehensive analysis of Department of Defense (DoD) logistics support to the Department of Homeland Security. The research includes analysis of the homeland security architecture and the national legal framework that govern the Department of Homeland Security and the DoD during homeland security operations and the challenges inherent in this relationship. The article includes a practical analysis of the logistics efforts during hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami relief efforts. The authors conclude that there is a demarcation of two concentric logistics mobility missions at the tactical and operational levels; and mobility management for the latter should fall under the purview of US Transportation Command because of its inherent logistics organizational management design. The article ends with recommendations to develop a more formalized and structured architecture for coordinating all federal, state, and private airlift and mobility requirements for relief support and to enhance DoD's critical role in the homeland security.
Our logistics professionals' achievements in OIF [Operation Iraqi Freedom] were especially spectacular in light of the fact that we supported a 21st century battlefield with a mid-20th century logistics structure.
--Lt Gen C.V. Christianson, Baghram, February 2002
February 11, 2002 was a cold night in Baghram, Afghanistan as Lieutenant Colonel Ken Rozelsky recalls. (1) He had just stepped off an Air Force C130 cargo plane with his eight-man advance team from the 682nd Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS), which he commanded. Lieutenant Colonel Rozelsky's squadron, a combat communications support unit, had been requested by the 10th Mountain Division and 3rd Army in support of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Headquarters for Operation Enduring Freedom. His flight into Baghram was the end of a 7 hour flight and the last leg of a long journey which had started several days earlier at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. For most, this would mark the end of a journey and the start of combat operations, but for Lieutenant Colonel Rozelsky it was just the beginning of many challenges with the Joint military logistics system.
Colonel Rozelsky's first obstacle was trying to get approval for his advance team to begin movement towards the Afghanistan theater. The United States Army had requested his unit be deployed into theater due to its unique communications capability and a valid requirement to support the JTF Headquarters. However, as the request for forces (RFF) made its way through the approval system, it was repeatedly denied at the Air Staff level. With little time left to meet the required delivery date, Colonel Rozelsky was ordered to use unit funds and move into theater by any means possible. Ironically, the first leg of the journey to Afghanistan for the 682nd ASOS was supported by the German airline company Lufthansa. Once on the ground in Kuwait, Colonel Rozelsky was able to schedule further movement into Baghram on an Air Force C-130. Three weeks later the RFF was approved.
Colonel Rozelsky began setting up operations as the rest of his team filtered into theater. With little infrastructure and no established supply lines or procedures, Colonel Rozelsky was forced to become self sufficient. He quickly created his own supply line, consisting of a team of airmen positioned in Kuwait, to purchase much needed operating supplies for the squadron. His supply team consisted of five Airmen-one with an Impact card to make the purchase and four to package, ship, and guard the supplies enroute to Baghram.
Lieutenant Colonel Rozelsky's story highlights a military logistics system that was unable to respond rapidly to unit movement and sustainment requirements. Ultimately, it left Colonel Rozelsky, a supply chain customer and combat squadron commander, thinking that there had to be a better way of doing business.
Who lin 'd himself with hope, Eating the air on promise of supply.
--William Shakespeare's King Henry IV Part I (2)
Since the dawn of warfare, the ability to execute a successful campaign has rested squarely on the foundation of military logistics. It is from a well established logistical foundation, one capable of rapid response, flexibility, and ability to meet demand, that combatant commanders have the capacity to execute freedom of maneuver and strike at the enemy with continuous force. It is in the role of meeting the warfighter's logistical requirements that one begins to realize that tacticians are responsible for fighting the battle; but it is the logistician that ensures the battle can be fought. An appreciation for the importance and complexity of the relationship between warfighter and logistician is reflected in the remarks by United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) commander, General John Handy, "Good warfighters always want to know where their logistic experts are well before the battle starts and during the battle." (3) However, the US military's most recent combat and peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have highlighted the need for improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of the strategic distribution process. Improvements to the strategic distribution process will require a systematic approach that tackles issues from the supply point of origin to the final destination point in-theater, and the retrograde of both parts and equipment back to the US mainland. The deployment distribution operations center (DDOC), a Joint logistics initiative by the distribution process owner USTRANSCOM, is a relatively new initiative aimed at improving Joint logistics for the combatant commander.
This article investigates the impact of United States Central Command's (USCENTCOM) DDOC on the military's deployment and distribution system. First, the study will focus the discussion by defining both the players and the processes supporting today's supply chain management as it relates to both deployment and distribution. Second, it will propose a strategic road map for the 21st century Joint logistics system in the form of a balanced scorecard. Third, it will examine the development of the current DDOC concept by defining the DDOC's current mission and organizational structure and how the DDOC concept fits into the balanced scorecard. Finally, by studying key metrics provided by the DDOC's after-action reviews (AAR) and the Logistical Support Agency (LOGSA), it will determine what improvements, if any, were made to the Joint logistics system. Ultimately, this article will answer the question as to whether the implementation of the DDOC into USCENTCOM's theater substantially changed the Joint logistical process or whether the application of logistical expertise simply focused on key problem areas.
Defining Today's Supply Chain and its Members
When broaching the subject of supply chain management …