Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT January-March 2013 Contents SETTING THE TABLE FOR 2013
Logisticians are held to a particularly
high moral standard as the primary
stewards for the Navy of U.S. taxpayers
money. eir "currency" is their decision-
making capability to choose the right
course of action every time. Logisticians
will foster respect up and down the
chain of command by making honest
recommendations to their seniors
and peers, as well as seeking honest
recommendations from junior personnel.
ey should always encourage new ideas
and deliver bad news forthrightly.
As military and civilian logisticians, they
will be the standard by which juniors
measure themselves. Even when they
think no one is watching, when they
think it doesn t matter, that is probably
when their integrity matters most.
Maintain dignity and do what s right.
It is ingenuity, skill, and determination
that will make our future logisticians true
leaders that contemporaries will emulate
and admire. Press on!
U.S. Marine Corps
After over a decade of
sustained ground combat operations, the
operating environment is shifting. As
we maintain vigilance in the USCENT-
COM theater and rebalance our posture
in the Paci c, crisis response and expe-
ditionary operations will require a new
logistics perspective. Supply chains will
not run through heavy, xed, and secure
installations inside an area of operations.
Austerity, leanness, and speed will be
the de ning characteristics of logistics
networks. Our forces will be dispersed
over large areas and separated by vast
distances of open ocean, and logisticians
must approach this challenge from an
Tomorrow s logistician must reexamine
how we integrate air, ground, and naval
logistics capacities to our advantage in
the distributed battlespace. e climate
at the tip of the expeditionary spear is
uncertain, chaotic, and unforgiving.
Expeditionary supply chains are
complex and challenging endeavors,
particularly since the distant destination
is a tactical one, constantly on the move
and frequently under attack. As we
reemphasize the maritime nature of the
global battlespace, logisticians must be
keenly aware of the naval component of
the supply chain.
e next-generation logistician must
take a fresh look at how we structure and
employ our prepositioning capabilities.
Changing the location of inventory
within the expeditionary supply chain
can alleviate both inventory and
distribution stress, thereby allowing
combat forces to remain operationally
mobile yet tactically lethal. Instead of
being burdened with the cost---cube
and weight---of heavier equipment
necessary in some combat environments,
expeditionary forces can draw that
equipment from prepositioned supplies
just prior to employing it.
I also think there are enduring principles
that should continue to guide your actions
in any tactical situation, regardless of how
the supply chain of the future evolves.
Expeditionary is a mindset. Get
comfortable with a thin and stretched
supply chain, one in which supplies and
equipment are limited to operational
necessities only. Be prepared to deploy
on a moment s notice into an austere
operating environment, and redeploy
from there to another.
Flexibility in planning and execution is
vital. Logistics opens and preser ves the
commander s tactical options, extending
his reach across the expeditionary
battlespace and enabling him to exploit
eeting opportunities. Understand your
commander s intent and translate it into
actionable logistics options.
Initiative and innovation are critical
characteristics of the expeditionary
logistician. Ensure that your part of the
supply chain moves with the rhythm of
battle. Don t wait for the perfect solution.
Take initiative, gure things out as
you go, and keep your commander on
Study your craft. To keep pace, it is
paramount that tomorrow s logistician
be a constant and diligent student of
all aspects of warfare, uent in both
tactics and logistics across the range of
Lastly, and most importantly, leadership
always counts. ere is no substitute,
never a stand-in for leadership. No
technological advance or supply chain
innovation can ever replace the need
for leaders on the battle eld, setting the
"GET COMFORTABLE WITH A THIN AND STRETCHED SUPPLY
CHAIN, ONE IN WHICH SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT ARE
LIMITED TO OPERATIONAL NECESSITIES ONLY."
76 Army AL&T Magazine January--March 2013
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