(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Army senior leaders have consistently emphasized that we will not fight the next war alone; we will fight with a joint, multinational force in a multi-domain operational environment. Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James McConville said at the recent AUSA Global Force Next, “Overmatch will belong to the side that can make better decisions faster. To meet emerging challenges, the Army is boldly transforming to provide the joint force with speed, range, and convergence with cutting-edge technologies that will be needed to provide decision dominance.”

Department of Defense doctrine designates the Army as the executive agent for sustainment in a joint environment, requiring sufficient capacity and capability to execute globally-integrated logistics in support of other services, allies, and partners. Joint Publication 3-0, Joint Operations, further prescribes that sustainment determines the depth to which the joint force can conduct decisive operations. The joint concept for contested logistics in support of the joint warfighting concept aligns our focus for the future, converging our capabilities to deploy, and sustain the joint force from the strategic support area to the tactical edge of the battlespace in support of national objectives.

For the sustainment enterprise, we must continue to be an enabler across competition, crisis, and conflict in all domains and continue to drive change through support of Army modernization priorities. The sustainment warfighting function provides the joint force the means to ensure freedom of action, prolonged endurance, and extended operational reach anywhere in the world. We must continue developing and improving Army sustainment capabilities at the strategic, operational, and tactical level to execute our responsibilities as the lead service for logistics for the joint force.

At the strategic level, we are investing in power projection platforms and mobilization force generation installations to rapidly project forces and equipment globally. We are advancing means and capabilities to increase velocity across lines of communication and harden and protect key assets from threats across any domain, including cyber. And we are modernizing our depots, arsenals, and ammunition plants through transformational changes in the Army’s organic industrial base to assure capabilities for production, manufacturing, and maintenance.

Operationally, agile basing and bolstering our forward presence assures the U.S. position with allies and partners while deterring adversaries. We are setting theaters with sustainment and commodities and employing a 21st century Army prepositioned stocks strategy that ensures the right equipment is postured in the right regions for rapid employment. We must continue building partner capacity, increasing collaboration, and enabling interoperability with both the joint force and allies and partners. Key to achieving this is improving airlift, sealift, and ship-to-shore logistics capabilities.

In the tactical battlespace, efforts are focused on reducing the logistics tail, enabling speed and freedom of movement, and sustaining combat power forward at the tactical points of contact. This starts by reducing the demand for Class III petroleum, oil, and lubricants through electrification of platforms and alternate fuel sources. We are also progressing several initiatives to improve platform prognostics and predictive maintenance to further build combat power on the battlefield. Advanced manufacturing capabilities, at a minimum down to the corps and division levels, will keep equipment in the fight, and through advancements in fully autonomous air and ground resupply systems, we will reduce risk while reinforcing the U.S. Army’s logistics and sustainment advantage. Finally, through force design updates and adjustments to the sustainment organizational structure, we are reducing large-scale combat operations capabilities gaps in battlefield fuel distribution (Gap 4), tactical mobility with leader-follower implementation (Gap 10), and materiel management and maintenance support (Gap 17).

As our Army undertakes the largest transformation in more than 40 years, we must look ahead to ensure the sustainment warfighting function modernizes alongside combat platforms. Key to our support to the future joint force is the sustainment enterprise’s role in Project Convergence, not just in 2021, but in 2022 and 2023 which address joint and multinational operations, as well. Project Convergence allows the Army to work across services and with partners and allies to digitally connect and tactically coordinate capabilities. Incorporating joint mission threads specific to sustainment ensures we understand requirements and develop capabilities needed for the Aim Point 2035 force.

Conclusion

The U.S. Army enables combatant commanders, and the Army’s sustainment enterprise maintains the joint forces’ strategic advantage. While we cannot and will not risk current readiness, we are also evolving sustainment in lock-step with Army modernization. Sustainment warfighting function capabilities are aligned to provide the joint force the speed, range and convergence required to win in competition, crisis, and conflict—in any theater across the globe.

-------------------

Gen. Ed Daly serves as the commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. He served three years as the deputy commanding general of AMC in his previous assignment. He managed the day-to-day operations of the Army’s logistics enterprise, and also served as the senior commander of Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. He served as the commanding general of Army Sustainment Command at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, and as AMC's deputy chief of staff, overseeing the roles and functions of the headquarters staff.

-------------------

This article was published in the April-June 2021 issue of Army Sustainment.

RELATED LINKS

Army Sustainment homepage

The Current issue of Army Sustainment in pdf format

Current Army Sustainment Online Articles

Connect with Army Sustainment on LinkedIn

Connect with Army Sustainment on Facebook