By Maj. Gen. Duane A. GambleMarch 1, 2018
The Army Power Projection Program enables force projection through processes, capabilities, and infrastructure that are all designed to meet geographic combatant commander requirements across the full range of military operations. Through the Army Sustainment Command (ASC), the Army Materiel Command (AMC) synchronizes and integrates the materiel enterprise capabilities that support force projection from Army power projection platforms and mobilization force generation installations (MFGIs).
In addition to synchronizing AMC capabilities in support of force projection operations, ASC operates logistics readiness centers (LRCs) in support of installation and garrison commanders. LRCs execute many tasks that support deploying units. These tasks are synchronized by the garrison commander and prioritized by the installation commander.
AMC's other major subordinate organizations also play important roles in meeting force projection requirements. AMC leverages the Army Contracting Command, the Joint Munitions Command (JMC), and the life cycle management commands to provide the Army and the joint force with ready, reliable support to sustain global operations.
LRCS: ASC'S FACE TO THE FIELD
ASC's Army field support brigades (AFSBs) build readiness and enable force projection, reception, and garrison operations in accordance with the installation commander's priorities.
Four U.S. and three overseas AFSBs provide logistics support at approximately 78 sites globally to meet installation and unit readiness demands that are generated in support of force projection and theater opening operations. LRCs integrate deployment activities by providing the critical link between installations and the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC).
The installation and garrison commanders are responsible for deploying units from home station to theaters of operation. They do so by leveraging the LRC's core logistics capabilities.
LRC directors are dual-hatted; they lead the LRC while serving as the garrison commanders' senior logisticians. As the senior logisticians, they advise the garrison commanders in the application of supply, maintenance, transportation, mobilization, and deployment support.
The LRCs execute these capabilities by establishing an arrival/departure airfield control group at each port of embarkation and debarkation, supporting installation marshaling, staging areas, and alert holding areas, and coordinating and facilitating inter- and intra-theater rail and ground transportation.
In addition to performing force projection tasks, overseas AFSBs execute the Army pre-positioned stocks (APS) program to enable rapid force projection. AFSBs also leverage the Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) to provide contractors to fill critical capability gaps in support of mobilization, force generation, and force projection operations.
LRCs, APS, and LOGCAP are frequently exercised during deployments, emergency deployment readiness exercises, and combat training center rotations. These events allow AMC to rehearse, execute, and review these critical services and to build competency in support of Army power projection operations.
THE APS PROGRAM
The APS program positions critical combat, combat support, and sustainment unit sets, equipment, and supplies at strategic locations across the globe to enable the rapid deployment of forces in support of combatant commander requirements. Pre-positioned stocks demonstrate our nation's commitment to our allies while also deterring potential adversaries.
AFSBs execute APS operations through regional Army field support battalions (AFSBns). AFSBns establish, maintain, and prepare for issue unit equipment sets ranging from sets for full armored brigade combat teams to individual companies. In addition to unit sets of equipment, AFSBns establish, maintain, and configure for issue contingency supplies and equipment to meet combatant commander requirements.
Combat readiness and speed of issue are two key focus areas for ASC, AFSBs, and AFSBns. Under Gen. Gus Perna's leadership, AMC is pushing the Army to fully enable the equipment sets in APS with command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets to ensure that equipment sets are fully configured for combat and "ready to fight" when deploying units arrive. The APS program continues to adapt to meet the demands of a dynamic global environment. An example of this adaptation is the addition of an APS set programmed for 2025.
SUPPORT FROM LOGCAP
LOGCAP provides Army service component commands with the strategic capability to set the theater by providing contracted capabilities to meet theater opening, theater distribution, and theater sustainment requirements in phase zero and ahead of the flow of time-phased force deployment units. Since 2015, LOGCAP IV has featured regionally aligned task orders that have enabled the rapid response of contracted capabilities for training and contingency operations.
Since the first quarter of fiscal year 2016, U.S. Army Europe has employed LOGCAP contracts to support the deployments and sustainment of regionally aligned forces. U.S. Army Europe and the 21st Theater Sustainment Command used contracts to meet the reception, staging, onward movement, and integration requirements associated with a regionally aligned armored brigade combat team, combat aviation brigade, and sustainment task force.
In the U.S. Northern Command, LOGCAP support was employed in response to Hurricane Maria. LOGCAP support began to arrive within 96 hours of notice to proceed. The LOGCAP contractor established two 1,500-person life support areas, and both sites were fully operational within 26 days in a very austere environment with severely damaged infrastructure.
Like APS, LOGCAP continues to evolve to meet Army and combatant commander requirements. The next evolution of LOGCAP will occur in late fiscal year 2018 with the transition from LOGCAP IV to LOGCAP V. LOGCAP V will preserve the regional task order construct of LOGCAP IV but will add dedicated theater planning capabilities to better enable phase zero "set the theater" planning for Army service component commands.
DEPLOYMENT SUPPORT FROM JMC
JMC's support in mobilizing and deploying units is critical to providing trained and ready forces in support of contingency operations. JMC receives, stores, issues, distributes, and provides safety assistance for ammunition to enable outload support and power projection of munitions in support of combatant commands, contingencies, training, operation plans, and our allies.
JMC manages nine plants that annually produce more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition ranging from small-arms ammunition to bunker-busting bombs. Concurrently, JMC synchronizes the flow of training ammunition and to-accompany-troops ammunition to LRCs that issue ammunition to deploying units at power projection platforms and MFGIs. JMC also deploys and pre-positions combat load ammunition for ground reaction and quick reaction forces as required by the Forces Command, the National Guard Bureau, and the Department of the Army headquarters.
JMC also is responsible for the distribution of ammunition on a call-forward basis to theaters of operations. JMC installations prepare the ammunition for transport by rail to one of two continental United States sea ports of embarkation for onward movement to the requesting theater of operation.
ASC RESOURCES IN ACTION
ASC capabilities supported multiple deployments and missions to include humanitarian aid and disaster relief efforts, combat training center rotations, and deployments in support of readiness. One recent deployment ASC supported was the deployment of the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT), 1st Infantry Division (1st ID), from Fort Riley, Kansas, to the U.S. European Command area of responsibility in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
LRC-Riley, 407th AFSB, in concert with and in support of U.S. Army Garrison Fort Riley and 1st ID leaders, provided installation deployment capabilities to enable the deployment of the ABCT to Europe. Support from the LRC and SDDC was critical in the movement of over 2,200 pieces of equipment by rail and line-haul to the seaport of embarkation and the movement of over 4,000 Soldiers to the aerial port of embarkation. The LRC facilitated the accomplishment of these tasks through continuous interaction with the 1st ID division transportation office and close coordination with the 2nd ABCT.
The 407th AFSB commander said that the 1st ID approached the deployment as a division-level operation driven by commanders with logistics as a supporting effort. The AMC team ensured seamless support between stateside and overseas AFSBs and incorporated deliberate planning and rehearsals that included SDDC early in the deployment timeline. The mission was led by the 1st ID and the LRC's installation transportation office and was well-resourced.
RESERVE COMPONENT SUPPORT
ASC currently provides support at two active MFGIs: Fort Bliss and Fort Hood, Texas. However, additional capacity may be required to support force projection and contingency operations. If additional capacity is required to support a major contingency operation, ASC would work with the Forces Command, the Installation Management Command, and other stakeholders to determine the required resources to support the deployment of Army Reserve and National Guard units in support of large-scale operations. ASC is prepared to leverage contracted capabilities to rapidly expand core logistics functions at MFGI locations.
With the growing importance of Army power projection platforms and the setting of theaters, AMC, through ASC, synchronizes and integrates the materiel enterprise outputs in support of garrison and senior mission commander priorities. AMC plays a critical role in synchronizing the allocation of resources through its major subordinate commands in order to project forces across the globe.
As AMC's operational link to the field, ASC synchronizes AMC's life cycle management command and leverages its AFSBs, LRCs, and contracted capabilities to provide core logistics functions that enhance readiness, rapidly set the theater, and support Army power projection.
Maj. Gen. Duane A. Gamble is the commanding general of ASC. He holds a bachelor's degree from Western Maryland College and master's degrees from the Florida Institute of Technology and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Col. William Cain, Joi McIntosh, and Jacob Addy contributed to this article.
This article was published in the March-April 2018 issue of Army Sustainment magazine.