By Sharon Mulligan, Combined Arms Support CommandMarch 19, 2013
FORT LEE, Va. -- The Combined Arms Support Command hosted the Global Logistics 2020 Rehearsal of Concept Drill at the Army Logistics University March 11-14, to gather feedback on adapting the sustainment community to support the Army of 2020 and beyond.
CASCOM, a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, is responsible for training over 185,000 students annually through more than 500 courses taught by the Ordnance, Quartermaster and Transportation schools, Soldier Support Institute and the Army Logistics University.
Maj. Gen. Larry D. Wyche, CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general, kicked off the ROC drill by encouraging participants to let their voices be heard. He also stressed the importance of asking questions and sharing experiences to help shape the future of the sustainment community.
As the Army's sustainment think tank, CASCOM has been capturing lessons learned, best practices and recommended solutions with the intent of refining sustainment capabilities for the force. By hosting the GL2020 ROC Drill, the command hopes to develop potential solutions to support future Army sustainment operations.
CASCOM's Capabilities, Development and Integration Directorate took a deliberate approach to developing the vignettes, from Army approved scenarios, and topics for discussion to examine Army sustainment formations from the battalion back through the industrial base. Also, the exercise would identify the roles, missions and capabilities supporting the Army of 2020; identify gaps and redundancies in the logistics force; identify Reserve component capabilities for increased integration; understand logistics integration within the operational force; and identify the mission command and support relationships required to provide seamless support to the warfighter.
The GL2020 ROC Drill provided a forum to "examine and dissect our formations from factory to foxhole - from the tip of the spear, where Special Forces operate, all the way back to industry," Wyche said. "It's important to account for the lessons learned, over the last 10 years of conflict, as we refocus our force and shape how it will operate in the future."
Due to fiscal limitations, participants could not all be on site. Instead of viewing this as a challenge, CASCOM embraced the opportunity to expand participation to an even wider audience.
Personnel at almost 500 remote sites let their voices be heard, virtually, by connecting to the exercise through the Defense Connect Online system. Participating organizations from across the Army and the joint community included: the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command; Army Materiel Command; Army G-4; Special Operations Command; Forces Command; U.S. Army Europe; the National Guard Bureau; Office of the Chief of Army Reserve; Defense Logistics Agency; and Army logistics units from around the world. These sustainment professionals were able to actively participate in the vignette discussion and provide their insights on a variety of topics.
CASCOM and the Army Materiel Command have led an effort to examine the global logistics enterprise. The GL2020 ROC Drill was a supporting effort, which will help describe the missions, roles and responsibilities of sustainment formations supporting the future operating environment.
This is the first time, "we've brought together all these experts, who have experience at all levels of command," said Lt. Col. Douglas M. Vallejo, director, Office of the Chief of Transportation, Transportation School. "There was open, free flow discussion on how to develop the sustainment structure -- everything was on the table and that really helped create opportunities for dialogue."
Several volumes of comments were received from units stationed around the world.
"The analysis from the GL2020 ROC Drill will help to identify the right end-to-end sustainment structure, with the right mission command, to support the Army of 2020 in the future operating environment," said Col. Robert Hatcher, director, CASCOM Force Development. It will also help to identify issues, which require additional DOTMLPF (doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel and facilities) analysis for resolution.
Hatcher explained that analyzing and refining capabilities, is "not a revolution in military efforts but it is part of a continuing evolution. We're looking from top to bottom, with a focus on the integrated nature of support."
Throughout the ROC drill, emphasis was placed on the value of input from the sustainment community in the field and the units they support.
"We wanted participants to feel they were contributing to something significant for the Army," said Col. Rodney D. Fogg, CASCOM G3 (operations). "Their opinions are valued and will help us as we shape the way ahead for sustaining the future of the Army."
After listening to the discussion, Col. Bobby Ray Pinkston, chief, Logistics Division, USAREUR, said the participants all had strategically grasped what needed to be done. "The challenge becomes developing recommendations on how to get to where we need to be," he said.
Observing the changes that have taken place in the Army during his 30 year career, Pinkston said sustainment operations have continued to improve. "The point of delivery has not changed that much but the force structure is clearly different. We have continued to improve over the years to get more efficient and effective at supporting the warfighter."
To continue providing effective and efficient support, CASCOM's CDI will analyze and develop recommendations for the priority of effort.
"As logisticians and sustainers, we have performed tremendously over the last 11 years, but we cannot rest on our laurels," Wyche said. "There is work to be done. I am confident that the sustainment strategy we are developing and employing will yield the dividends to support and sustain our great Army.
"At the end of the day, this is about our ability to sustain and support the future fight," Wyche said. "And, as sustainers we will never say no, as long as we have one bullet to give or one gallon of gas to give."
The maps and discussion boards for the GL2020 ROC Drill have all been put away, but the dialogue with the field Army continues. CASCOM will take the prioritized issues and solutions developed and work them into "game-changing" capabilities for the Army of 2020 and beyond.