Huntsville, AL -- Senior leaders from across the Army and industry are looking at the future force and the role logistics and sustainment will play in campaigning, crisis and conflicts in the Indo-Pacific region.
“Army readiness requires modernization on a sustainable path that develops, implements and deploys new technologies and deters and defeats current and emerging threats,” Gen. Charles Hamilton, Army Materiel Command commander, said during opening remarks for the Contemporary Military Forum on “Sustaining the Army of 2040” at the Association of the U.S. Army Global Force Symposium, March 29 in Huntsville. “Among those threats, we need to prioritize the pacing challenge from the People’s Republic of China by strengthening our deterrence posture in the Indo-Pacific.”
Hamilton underlined how AMC is planning for warfighting in 2040 in terms of speed, range and convergence, saying Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth had challenged the Army to “think big.”
“Sustainment has to be bad for the adversary,” Hamilton said. “This effort has brought the Army sustainment enterprise together with the joint force, our industry partners and our academic partners to look at the many requirements in the Indo-Pacific. We are currently applying lessons learned as we leverage experimentation, wargames, and exercises to identify critical capability gaps and shortfalls.”
Hamilton highlighted some of the sustainment enterprise’s “must do’s,” to provide future readiness in the region including:
- Leveraging data analytics and investing in predictive logistics capabilities;
- Use of autonomous technology to extend operational reach, prolong endurance and ensure freedom of action;
- Reducing the Army’s logistics tail;
- Electrifying platforms and using alternative fuel sources; and
- Developing an Army watercraft strategy.
One way the Army is working to achieve these goals is through a holistic focus on contested logistics, including standing up a Contested Logistics Cross-Functional Team, which was announced by Army Futures Command’s Commander Gen. James Rainey during his keynote address at AUSA GFS.
“The team will be focused on the division and below aspect of all things that have to do with contested logistics,” Rainey said. “We know we’ve got to get better at (addressing) this problem.”
The participants of the sustainment CMF highlighted the effects the Contested Logistics CFT would work to achieve at the tactical level, while AMC will remain focused on contested logistics at the operational and strategic level.
“The Pacific poses a very interesting set of challenges, and some would say they’re different than other theaters to the means of distribution … the very nature of the environment drives us to seek new ways to get to the ‘how’ verses the ‘what,’” Miles Miyamasu, AMC acting deputy chief of staff for operations, G-3, said. “Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are still going to need the same classes of supply and commodities; the quantities may be different, but the how we get to it to them – that is going to require collective, innovative approaches to get the right stuff, to the right place, at the right time.”
Miyamasu called contested logistics a team effort across the four Army commands to better understand the future battlefield.
“There are some aspects that the CFT will probably be asked to work on which are generally narrow in terms of the problem set. That is so that they can get after the most impactful, game-changing characteristics of contested logistics,” Miyamasu said.
The other panelists echoed Miyamasu’s comments about the Contested Logistics CFT, including Maj. Gen. Mark Simerly, commander of the Combined Arms Support Command, who said it had tremendous implications for the Army.
“This creation of a cross functional team is offering us powerful opportunities to maintain the pace of modernization and transformation across the Army, and I think every sustainer is happy to be a part of that effort,” Simerly said.
The CMF was moderated by retired Gen. Dennis Via and other panelists included Maj. Gen. Heidi Hoyle, director of operations in the Army G-4; retired Lt. Gen. Mitchell Stevenson, Leidos senior vice president, logistics and mission support; and Michael Flanagan, KBR vice president, operations LOGCAP.