'ROC Drill' explores Army Transportation's future
March 28, 2012
FORT LEE, Va. (March 28, 2012) -- A strategy session here this week will help shape the future of Army transportation or, more specifically, the Joint Logistics Over The Shore operations that supplement the U.S. military's ability to move thousands of personnel and many tons of equipment by sea.
The assembled strategists include representatives of the Army G-4, Forces Command, the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, the Sustainment Battle Lab for CASCOM, a British Army liaison and others. They will analyze a variety of combat and peacekeeping deployment scenarios and suggest better ways of doing business in support of joint operations in the 21st century.
"We are not here to make final decisions but rather, through serious thinking and professional discussion, inform the future decision-makers," read one of the guiding principles of the ROC (Rehearsal of Concept) Drill that's being conducted in the SCoE Battle Lab building near the Army Logistics University.
"Two teams will analyze each scenario, and we anticipate different ideas and answers from each group," explained Col. Garry McClendon, director of the Sustainment Battle Lab here. "That's the nature of this sort of event -- different approaches to the same challenges. It gives us a chance to look at a situation from different angles and areas of expertise, all of which will help shape a future course of action."
The ROC Drill is an opportunity to consider a variety of "influencing factors" as well, like military budget constraints, organizational and command relationships, limitations to current equipment, required training and enemy anti-access operations, McClendon noted.
"It's challenging and exciting at the same time," he said. "We're talking about the future of over-the-shore operations, one of the most dynamic aspects of our business."
U.S. Army Chief of Transportation Brig. Gen. Stephen E. Farmen shed further light on the importance of the ROC Drill during his welcoming remarks Monday. He said the Army is favoring the idea of creating a new brigade that specializes in "intermodal operations" like JLOTS.
"That's the good news because we really need this brigade (for the Army of 2020)," Farmen said. "What I'm really asking all of you to do is to have some great dialogue, some tough dialogue, so we can gather a lot of ideas and the facts we need to put together (a recommendation) for the Army's senior leaders."
Farmen also emphasized the importance of transitioning the Army for 21st century operations.
"I don't think anyone would disagree that the world is vastly different than it was 10 or even five years ago. Now more than ever, our Army needs to transition. We need to think in a different way because the situation is changing rapidly.
"That's really why we're here," Farmen continued. "This is about the relevance of the Army and … more importantly making the (Transportation Corps) a relevant player in any joint mission across the full range of military operations. We have a responsibility here to not just protect turf, but to do what's best for the Army and take this thing to the next level."
One of the most famous examples of Joint Logistics Over The Shore operations is the Normandy Invasion during World War II. Other large-scale operations have occurred throughout the U.S. military's history, to include the Civil War and the more recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. JLOTS is the process of discharging cargo and/or personnel from vessels anchored off-shore, completing transportation to a shore or pier and marshaling the items for movement inland.