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LOG NOTES

It’s a Transportation Movement “Release”

I have noticed after searching through several back issues of Army Logistician that a certain term has been incorrectly stated (or spelled out) on multiple occasions in your magazine.

The term transportation movement release (TMR) is defined in Field Manual 4–01.30, Movement Control. It is used correctly in “Movement Control in Europe” by Captain John D. Kaylor, Jr. (July–August 1998). However, in several recent articles over the last few years, incorrect usage has gone unnoticed. (See “Using Central Receiving and Shipping Points to Manage Transportation” in the November–December 2007 issue as an example.)

For obvious reasons, many logisticians mistakenly refer to TMRs as “transportation movement requests.” One reason why this error is so pervasive (even amongst my fellow transporters) is because the incor­rect term has appeared in automated systems like BCS3. It would be unfortunate for the logistician’s magazine of record to perpetuate this mistake.

MAJ Lowell E. Howard, Jr.
1st Sustainment Brigade
Fort Riley, KS

Sustainment Commands Need Improved MTOEs

While I was attending the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, from 2006 to 2007, I received orders to return to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I was to be assigned to the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater), formerly the 1st Corps Support Command (COSCOM). I had been with the 1st COSCOM before, from 1999 to 2002, and thought I was familiar with the units and mission. Upon my return in July 2007, I immediately deployed to Kuwait to join my unit. I recognized faces and the unit patch, but the task organization and mission had changed.

In the past, the unit was led by a brigadier general and had a corps support mission aligned with a linear battlefield. But in today’s fight, the unit is authorized a major general and has a full-spectrum operations mission that encompasses the entire U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of operations (AO)—quite a difference in scope and scale. Initially, the unit was an Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) unit on deployment orders for a specific time. However—no real surprise to Army personnel—things changed, and our mission became an enduring mission, just like Third Army’s.

The Army as a whole has changed very rapidly during the last 9 years in order to meet the require­ments of a modular force. Logistics has been no different; we, too, have had to change with the times into a modular force. The COSCOMs of the past are now split into sustainment command (expeditionary) (ESC) and sustainment command (theater) (TSC) forces. The ESCs are commanded by a brigadier general and the TSCs by a major general.

Changes are still ongoing, but one, in particular, needs more attention. The modification table of organization and equipment (MTOE) for a TSC is still set up like a FORSCOM unit. It is designed for a deployment for a specific mission and a specific time period. With the change to an enduring mission, rotation of active forces in and out of theater for an indefinite time period is presenting itself to be an extremely cumbersome endeavor. Dwell time for logisticians is an issue. Soldiers on permanent change of station orders into the TSC are coming from units that just got back from a deployment.

Coupled with the ever-changing scope and scale of areas to cover within the CENTCOM AO, the TSC MTOE is not set up to adequately execute the mis­sion. Third Army has a derivative unit identification code (UIC) in its MTOE for its operational command post here in theater to cover its mission. This derivative UIC is recognized by Headquarters, Department of the Army, as an enduring mission and is sourced accordingly. The TSC MTOE needs this same setup.

The Army Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM), at Fort Lee, Virginia, has been working on the changes from a COSCOM to an ESC and TSC for years and has made enormous strides in advancing the logistics forces into the current modular force structure. However, we still need attention in the MTOE evolution of not just the 1st TSC but every TSC that is assigned an enduring mission for future operations. Perhaps the answer lies in providing an enduring MTOE that is only activated and sourced upon the TSC’s assignment as an enduring logistics force, as the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) is involved in presently.

MAJ Aaron P. Fitzsimmons
1st Sustainment Command (Theater)
Camp Arifjan, Kuwait

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