This book outlines some logistical maneuvers and their doctrinal relationship to the operation, and provides some new ideas. The lessons are formatted in a fashion that offers the reader the doctrinal concept that the operation or function is based on, and then presents new theories on how to better execute the logistical function or capability as it relates to tactical operations.
Even though combat maneuver may be more exciting to discuss, logistical maneuver is just as effective in its results to maintain combat power. And isn’t that the real key to successfully sustaining any decisive action operations—to maintain combat power across the battlefield? And the only way to achieve this effect is to understand the different ways to execute logistical maneuver to support the mission.
As I have pointed out on more than one occasion, “you cannot have one without the other.”
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Lesson 1: Sustaining Decisive Action
What is Decisive Action?
"Decisive action is the continuous, simultaneous combinations of offensive, defensive, and stability or defense support of civil authorities' tasks (ADRP 3-0). In unified land operations, commanders seek to seize, retain, and exploit the initiative while synchronizing their actions to achieve the best effects possible. Sustainment, through mission command, enables decisive action. Sustainment provides the operational commander with operational reach, freedom of action and endurance."
Therefore, sustainment determines the depth and duration of combat operations when conducting offensive and defensive tasks. To best support the combatant commander with effective sustainment, the techniques utilized to sustain the fighting force consists of operational reach, freedom of action, and endurance.
How does Operational Reach Support Decisive Action?
"Operational reach is a necessity in order to conduct decisive action. Operational reach is the distance and duration across which a unit can successfully employ military capabilities (JP 3-0). The limit of a unit's operational reach is its culminating point."
How does Freedom of Action Support Decisive Action?
"Freedom of action enables commanders with the will to act, to achieve operational initiative and control, and maintain operational tempo. Enabling freedom of action requires that the sustainment commanders synchronize the sustainment plan with the operation plan to ensure supported commanders can operate freely and unencumbered due to limited resources. Sustainment commanders can enable freedom of action through preparing and putting in place sustainment activities."
How does Endurance Support Decisive Action?
"Endurance refers to the ability to employ combat power anywhere for protracted periods. Endurance stems from the ability to create, protect, and sustain a force, regardless of the distance from its base and the austerity of the environment (ADRP 3-0). Endurance involves anticipating requirements and continuity of integrated networks of interdependent sustainment organizations. Prolonged endurance is enabled by an effective distribution system and the ability to track sustainment from strategic to tactical level."
Sustaining Offensive Operations
The primary purpose of sustainment in the offense is to support maneuver elements in maintaining the momentum of the attack. Commanders and staffs must plan for increased sustainment demands during offensive operations, and can facilitate freedom of action by planning for, as well as preparing and placing sustainment capabilities as far forward as possible. The Army Doctrine Publication Sustainment (ADP 4-0, FM 4-0) describes the process of sustaining offensive tasks as:
"An offensive task is a task conducted to defeat and destroy enemy forces and seize terrain, resources, and population centers (ADRP 3-0). Sustainment operations in support of offensive tasks are high in intensity. Commanders and staffs plan for increased requirements and demands, anticipate where the greatest need might occur, and develop a priority of support. Sustainment planners may consider positioning sustainment units in close proximity to operations to reduce response times for critical support."
To assist in explaining some of the concepts utilized when sustaining offensive operations, I have used the components of the warfighting function (WFF) Sustainment (Man/Medical, Sustain, Arm, Fuel, Fix, and Move), to help in the organization of the descriptions of the characteristics of offensive operations, and some of the LOG Maneuver tasks, procedures, and techniques used in supporting the function.
Higher casualty rates and increased distances.
During offense operations, unit's emphasis is on casualty reporting and personnel accountability.
Increase casualty care forward.
Forward deploy ground and air evacuation resources forward on the battlefield.
Use tailgate treatment to maintain mobility of medical units.
Attach treatment and evacuation elements directly under combat units.
Supporting the advance of combat forces, during offensive operations, can increase the requirements for additional standard medical evacuation assets, causing the unit to augment support with nonstandard casualty evacuation transportation (CASEVAC) support (HUMVEE, MTV, and/or LMTV) from their subordinate units to relieve the backlog of casualties. Having the subordinate units submit a 12 or 24-hour Common User Land Transportation (CULT) report can easily identify available vehicles/crews for tasking in support of CASEVAC requirements. See "Lesson 9: Unit CULT Report" for more detailed and analysis.
Medical logistics resupply forward is conducted utilizing backhaul of medical evacuation assets returning to the forward aid stations.
During the offense, the most important commodities typically are fuel (Class III Bulk), ammunition (Class V), and major end items (Class VII).
High Op-tempo can cause limited time for resupply operations.
Suspension of Field Services functions except Airdrop and Mortuary Affairs (MA).
Chemical decontamination may be likely.
Maximize use of throughput.
Preplanned push packages or Combat Configured Loads (CCLs) of essential items are required. CCLs can be of any one type or combination of classes of supply. They can consist of Class I - meals-ready-to- eat (MRE) and bottle water, Class IX - repair parts and Class III package petroleum, oils and lubricants (POL) products, Class IV barrier material and V mines, as well as Class V items configured by weapon system. Flat racks are interchangeable between the PLS and the LHS. Dimensions: 240" long x 96" wide x 72" high.
Combat Configured Loads (CCL) should match a scheduled requirement or projected (decision or trigger point) need on the sustainment synchronization matrix.
Brigades/Battalions need to coordinate and task for transportation support (HUMVEE, MTV, and/or LMTV) from their subordinate units to support Mortuary Affairs (MA) evacuation requirements. Having the subordinate units submit a 12 or 24-hour Common User Land Transportation (CULT) report can easily identify available vehicles/crews for tasking in support of Mortuary Affairs Collection Point (MACP) backhaul requirements. See "Lesson 9: Unit CULT Report" for more detailed and analysis.
The brigade support battalion (BSB) needs to develop contingency plans and coordinate with the supporting combat sustainment support battalion (CSSB) for bulk water to support decontamination requirements. There is not an easy answer/solution to solve decontamination water requirements. The fact of the matter they will be large, as well as equipment/manpower extensive. Example to decontaminate just one M1 TANK the requirement is 550 gallons. This will require the corps/theater level commands to acquire additional assets.
Statistics show that ammunition expenditures are lower during offensive operations.
Responsive resupply either planned or emergency is critical.
Maximize use of throughput.
Plan for and coordinate with BSB/Brigade combat team (BCT) to pre-position/push necessary Class IV/V (barrier material/mines) supplies and Class V items configured by weapon system to the brigade.
The intent of CCLs is to; increase throughput, minimize handling, decrease resources forward, and simply get the required supplies to the forward units faster. Have forward support companies (FSCs) push CCLs forward as required. Configured loads should match a scheduled requirement or projected (decision or trigger point) need on the sustainment synchronization matrix, making it easy for leaders to identify and react to the forward unit's requirements. This can happen at any time, but usually happens toward the end of offensive operations when forces are transitioning to the defense. See section: Transition from Offense to Defense below.
Monitor Class V consumption data to ensure there is no issues with the Required Supply Rates (RSRs) and Controlled Supply Rates (CSRs). Combat commanders use CSRs to allocate or prioritize the flow of ammunition to their subordinate units. CSRs can also be established when there is a shortage of a particular type of ammunition within the area of operation (AO). The corps commander (CDR) is responsible for establishing the CSR.
Arrange to stockpile ammunition forward by configuring mobile distribution points as low as company level. Doctrinally called Ammunition Transfer Holding Point (ATHP), and described as, "a designated site operated by a brigade support battalion distribution company where ammunition is received, transferred or temporarily stored to supported units within a brigade combat team."
High fuel consumption.
Increased distances for maneuver units to travel to reach their attack positions can cause the FSC/BSB to use their replenishment supplies in support of the tactical road march, rather than resupplying prior to combat operations.
Maximize use of throughput.
Plan for refueling operations as far forward as possible in covered and concealed locations.
Plan for the supporting CSSB to conduct a refuel on the move (ROM) operations in support of the tactical road marches, to alleviate the FSC/BSB the task so they can continue the road march and resupply the force before the attack. Below are some examples of ROM operations.
When supporting aviation and a Forward Arming and Refueling Point (FARP) planners should plan on a combination of aerial and ground resupply. For the initial establishment, of the FARP, plan for aerial employment with additional aerial resupply as required, while ground resupply assets move to the FARP location to reinforce the operation. To establish the aerial lift two UH-60 are required. The first UH-60 can carry up to two 500-gallon collapsible fuel drums and part of the FARP crew. The second UH60 transports the rest of the FARP and sling loads the forward area refueling equipment (FARE) or the advanced aviation forward area refueling system (AAFARS), and some ammunition to ensure that the FARP has some ammunition, as well as fuel at the scheduled time. As required, the two UH-60s can conduct a second lift transporting the remaining ammunition and additional fuel as required until the ground LOGPACs can arrive.
High maintenance requirement throughout the fleet.
Increased distances for units conducting recovery operations.
Maintenance priorities focusing on major weapon systems.
Fix inoperable equipment at the point of malfunction or damage. Some methods of support consist of the following:
() Forward Support
* Quick turnaround time to user
* Repair end items as far forward as possible (Fix Forward)
() Area Support
* Defined area of support
* Focus on units passing through or assigned to a specific area
() Backup Support
* Designed for supported units with excessive maintenance requirements
* Usually provided by Corps maintenance units
() Pass Back Support
* EVAC maintenance requirements to a higher level of maintenance
* Located above the BCT
* Repairs components and end items
* Job shop/bay or production line operations
Maintenance and recovery elements operate as far forward on the battlefield as possible.
Forward placement of Maintenance Support Teams (MSTs) and Maintenance Collection Points (UMCPs) can be collocated with Ambulance Exchange Points (AXPs) and Mortuary Affairs Collection Points (MACPs) to support security and be in line with flow of recovery.
Provide MSTs with an adequate stockage levels for repair parts to support repairs forward on the battlefield.
Maintenance Collection Points (MCPs) maximizes Battle Damage Assessment and Repair (BDAR) authorizing controlled exchange and lowering cannibalization authorization level
Consider the use of air to bring critical repair parts forward.
Transportation shortfalls can occur during the offense.
Extended lines of communication (LOC).
Sustainment units are accessible to bypassed enemy forces.
Anticipate poor trafficability for sustainment vehicles forward on the battlefield.
Planners factor time and distance when developing offensive sustainment plans.
Units plan to provide their own convoy security.
At the Sustainment Brigade (SUS BDE) level of command, plan for a combination of ground and aerial delivery in support of distribution operation. Point to note, when scheduling an air movement request (AMR), also submit a ground transportation movement request (TMR) in case the air is canceled the supplies are still in the system to move and can go by ground with no delays.
Upload as much as possible, never travel half empty/empty, and backhaul when possible.
Transition from Offense to Defense
Sustainment requirements in the defense depend on the type of defense.
BCT sustainment planners should consider cross leveling classes of supply and sustainment assets upon transition from the offense to the defense.
Some units may move into battle positions before the entire unit terminates its offensive actions to start preparing for ensuing defensive tasks.
Plan for and coordinate with BSB/BCT to pre-position and push necessary Class IV/V (barrier material/mines) supplies, or combat configured loads (CCL) to the brigade. Have FSCs push CCLs forward as required. A great example of this would be the supporting unit needs to block or turn the opposing force and needs a configured load of Class IV and V that supports an area of approximately 500m. The BSB SPO is anticipating the decision or trigger point and the matrix identifies a push of two CCL = 250m Block / Turn Minefields each to support the mission. The BSB SPO tasks the supporting FSC to push two each CCLs = 250m Block / Turn Minefields on the next scheduled push cycle.
Sustaining Defensive Operations
The primary purpose of sustainment in the defense is to support the development of conditions to posture the force for future operations. The Army Doctrine Publication Sustainment (ADP 4-0, FM 4-0) describes the process of sustaining offensive tasks as:
"A defensive task is conducted to defeat an enemy attack, gain time, economize forces, and develop conditions favorable for offensive or stability tasks (ADRP 3-0). For sustainment, the movement of materiel and troops within the area of operation has to be closely and continuously coordinated, controlled, and monitored. Distribution managers direct forecasted sustainment to designated units. Army Health System Support assets should be placed within supporting distance of maneuver forces but not close enough to impede ongoing operations."
To assist in explaining some of the concepts utilized when sustaining defensive operations I have used the elements of the warfighting function Sustainment (Man/Medical, Sustain, Arm, Fuel, Fix, and Move), to help in the organization of the descriptions of the characteristics of defensive operations, and some of the LOG Maneuver tasks, procedures, and techniques used in supporting the function.
Excerpted from "Logistics Maneuver Made Easy"
Copyright © 2017 LTC James H. Henderson "Cotton", USA (Ret.).
Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Table of Contents
LESSON 1: SUSTAINING DECISIVE ACTION, 1,
LESSON 2: MODULAR BATTLEFIELD STRUCTURE, 20,
LESSON 3: TASK FORCE TRAINS CONCEPT, 36,
LESSON 4: TECHNIQUES OF LOG MANEUVER, 47,
LESSON 5: REPLENISHMENT OPERATIONS, 56,
LESSON 6: LOGISTIC PACKAGE OPERATIONS, 68,
LESSON 7: HEALTH SERVICE SUPPORT, 74,
LESSON 8: REPORTING COMBAT POWER, 79,
LESSON 9: UNIT COMMON USAGE LAND TRANSPORTATION (CULT) REPORT, 82,
LESSON 10: TASK ORGANIZATION RELATIONSHIPS, 85,
LESSON 11: RUNNING ESTIMATES, 90,
LESSON 12: CONCEPT OF SUPPORT DIAGRAM/SKETCH, 100,
LESSON 13: WAR-GAMING A SUSTAINMENT CYCLE, 111,
LESSON 14: BATTLE RHYTHM, 131,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, 151,