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Munitions Sustainment in the Modular Force

Army transformation strategy addresses the imperative to change the Army from a Cold War-oriented design to one that is more responsive, agile, and adaptable to present and emerging threats across the spectrum of operations. Transforming logistics and support for the force is an essential part of the transformation effort.

The Army’s transformation to a modular force has changed the munitions sustainment structure significantly. At the tactical level, munitions capabilities have essentially migrated one echelon forward. The functions of the division ammunition office (DAO) now reside in the brigade ammunition office (BAO) of the brigade support battalion (BSB) support operations office (SPO). A larger ammunition transfer and holding point (ATHP) now provides ammunition resupply during major combat operations, and the ATHP now has the capability to perform automated inventory management during stability and reconstruction operations through the use of the Standard Army Ammunition System-Ammunition Supply Point (SAAS–ASP) software in conjunction with the SAAS–ATHP hardware.

At the operational level, changes under the modular force include the elimination of the division support command, corps support group, and corps support command and the transformation of the theater support command. The functions formerly performed by these organizations are now performed by the theater sustainment command (TSC), its forward command post—called the expeditionary sustainment command (ESC)—and the sustainment brigade.

This article provides information on the ammunition Standard Army Management Information System (STAMIS), SAAS Modernization (SAAS–MOD), and the environment in which it is used in the modular force. It addresses munitions operations and interac-tions among the various levels of munitions support. It also explains to combat arms, combat support, and combat service support (CSS) commanders and their staffs how to employ SAAS–MOD to best improve munitions support.

Operational-Level Changes

The Army of Excellence (AOE) force provided for the performance of ammunition materiel management functions at the theater area army, theater army, and corps materiel management centers. Modular force transformation has migrated these functions to the TSC headquarters SPO (in the distribution management center [DMC]), the ESC headquarters SPO (in the DMC), and the Sustainment Brigade headquarters SPO. Each of these organizations is now documented in a table of organization and equipment (TOE) with a munitions branch and resourced with a SAAS-Materiel Management Center (SAAS–MMC) suite. So ammunition materiel management functions are now performed at the TSC, ESC, and sustainment brigade headquarters. These functions involve the overall management of authorizations and requirements and redistribution of ammunition assets within the theater.

For effective munitions sustainment operations, the TSC must be the single authority for establishing and executing the munitions automation support architecture. The TSC headquarters DMC munitions branch, as the senior munitions manager in the theater, is the focal point in the theater architecture. The munitions branch of the DMC must provide subordinate sustainment brigades, modular ammunition companies, and ATHPs throughout the theater with all information required to establish the SAAS–MOD environment. This information includes storage point codes, Training Ammunition Management Information System (TAMIS) installation codes, munitions account codes (Worldwide Ammunition Reporting System, management center, storage point, and Department of Defense Identification Code account codes), authorized stockage levels, reporting structure, communications frequencies, and communications connection details. Some of these functions, such as stockage objective and TAMIS information, require close co-ordination with operational-level G–3 staff elements to ensure a synchronized effort.

A detailed connectivity matrix of all subordinate operating nodes is an effective method for ensuring that communication is established and maintained. Senior materiel managers and CSS automation management office (CSSAMO) staff should consider tracking data elements such as operation location (site name and storage point code), operating unit, unit identification code, Department of Defense Activity Address Code (DODAAC), Internet protocol address, type of network access (for example, Unclassified but Sensitive Internet Protocol Router Network [NI-PRNET], CSS Automated Information Systems Interface [CAISI], or very small aperture terminal [VSAT]), and date of last connection by type (file transfer protocol, secured file transfer protocol, email transfer, or floppy-disk transfer). This matrix can be shared with network architects, information assurance managers, and network operations centers to ensure that the necessary Internet ports and protocols are maintained in an open status across the various network access points.

Each logistics echelon with a munitions branch is resourced with SAAS–MMC and munitions personnel. The Army has established a new military occupational specialty (MOS) for ammunition stock control and accounting specialists (MOS 89A) and will begin training new Soldiers in fiscal year 2008. This management specialist will be the primary operator for SAAS–MMC and will bring greater subject-matter-expert depth to munitions materiel management.

In a mature modular force deployed environment, the TSC headquarters DMC munitions branch focuses on the link to the national-level provider (the Joint Munitions Life Cycle Management Command) and its subordinate national inventory control points. The TSC also maintains authority for the entire theater architecture. If a theater storage area is operating within the theater, the munitions branch provides materiel management for the theater storage area’s ammunition support activity.

When employed, the ESC headquarters DMC munitions branch provides materiel management for subordinate sustainment brigades and for theater storage areas and corps storage areas assigned directly to the ESC. The ESC headquarters generates directives for subordinate sustainment brigades to pass on to assigned ammunition support activities. For example, if a shipping directive crosses a sustainment brigade’s area of responsibility, it should be generated from the ESC headquarters SAAS–MMC system. This process requires constant coordination between the ESC and sustainment brigade munitions staffs.

The sustainment brigade headquarters munitions branch directly manages stocks in assigned ammunition support activities through the SAAS–MMC suite organic to the branch. They generate directives for all movements within their assigned area of operations. Directives that are designated for out-of-sector movements are generated by higher echelon SAAS–MMC operational nodes.

Division Versus Brigade Ammunition Office

The DAO performed munitions management functions for the tactical level in the AOE force. This management function has moved forward one echelon in modular force transformation. The functions of managing brigade ammunition requirements now are performed at the BAO. They include maintaining ammunition requirements and visibility and distributing ammunition within the brigade combat team (BCT). The supported battalion’s S–4 is still the main logistics planner.

The new, robust BSB is a combat multiplier for the brigade commander, who now owns his own support. It is a more robust organization than the forward support battalion it replaced; it has base companies and forward support companies to support all of the brigade combined arms battalions.

One difference between the original Stryker brigade design and the current modular force design is the addition of an ordnance captain to the BSB BAO. This force structure realignment allows for the placement of the ammunition warrant officer in the ATHP. Management functions for the BAO include maintaining ammunition requirements and visibility and distribution within the BCT. The BAO is responsible for distributing ammunition, verifying unit requirements, and tracking ammunition coming into the BCT.

The BAO coordinates munitions sustainment requirements with the first SAAS–MMC operational node within the support chain. The SAAS–DAO system is resourced in the BSB BAO with an MOS 89B sergeant first class as the primary operator. Currently, the only online STAMIS data exchange between SAAS–DAO and SAAS–MMC is the passing of resupply requests (RSR [required supply rate] transaction code) from SAAS–DAO to SAAS–MMC.

Ammunition Transfer Point Versus ATHP

In the AOE force, an ammunition transfer point (ATP) was resourced in each divisional forward support battalion, separate brigade, and armored cavalry regiment. Doctrine stated that an ATP was an event, not a location. Its mission was to transfer munitions from corps-level transportation assets to the vehicles of using unit support platoons without storing the munitions or allowing the munitions to touch the ground. The ATP was manned with MOS 89B noncommissioned officers (NCOs) and Soldiers, who used SAAS–ATP operated by the DAO NCO as an issue and inventory aid.

The modular force ATHP is approximately twice the size of its AOE-equivalent ATP. It is documented with SAAS–ATHP (line item number Z00712) and with an MOS 890A ammunition warrant officer; dur-ing the next TOE revision, an MOS 89A stock control and accounting specialist will be added. The ATHP also is documented with CAISI and radio frequency identification suites to connect the logistician and populate the intransit visibility common operating picture.

The SAAS–ATHP is a new hardware and software configuration derived from Force XXI and Stryker BCT developments. The hardware is the same as the previously modernized SAAS–ATP suite. The soft-ware is the same as SAAS–ASP. The use of the soft-ware at this forward echelon provides for inventory management and national-level visibility of retail stocks at the BCT level. The previous SAAS–ATP software could not provide these doctrinal capabilities in a stability and reconstruction operations environment since it was designed as an inventory and issue aid for high-intensity major combat operations.

The main differences between an ASP and an ATHP are doctrinal employment, capabilities, and capacity. The notional ASP is operated by 1 or more ammunition platoons, while an ATHP is a 12-man section with very limited capabilities and capacity. During major combat operations, the ATHP needs to focus on throughput operations and rapidly transfer munitions to the using unit. During stability and reconstruction operations, the ATHP provides the brigade commander with the capability to centralize munition combat load inventories not needed for immediate combat operations. The ATHP now can report those stocks back to operational-level managers and national-level visibility systems in the same manner that SAAS–ASP does.

The BSB distribution company’s SAAS–ATHP must maintain connectivity with all SAAS–MMC operating locations in the chain of support. The ATHP also maintains communications with the Headquarters, Department of the Army (DA), G–3 TAMIS–Redesigned server when it is operating the SAAS–ASP software variant.

New capability was fielded to SAAS with Software Change Package 08, which provided for a data sharing interface between TAMIS and SAAS. Using units now develop and submit ammunition requests (DA Form 581) in TAMIS. These electronic documents are passed to SAAS platforms operating the ASP software. The SAAS operator can accept or reject the request, with status passing back to the requestor. If the ammunition request is accepted, it is preposted to the SAAS issue process. The SAAS software transmits issue and turn-in transactional data back to TAMIS for posting to using unit accounts. This replaces the old training reporting process in SAAS–ASP, which was transmission of INFI files by the stock control section to TAMIS–R.

Adding Munitions Capabilities to the CSSAMO

Several resources are available to the combat commander and his staff when they use logistics automation. In current deployed operations, automation logistics assistance teams have been established in both the Kuwaiti and Iraqi zones. These organizations provide a ready reach capability for the logistics commander to access logistics automation subject matter expertise.

The Army is institutionalizing this support in the CSSAMO. In future logistics unit TOEs, a SAAS–MOD support structure will be added to the basic CSSAMO capability of lo-gistics automation support. The future CSSAMO will be documented in a TOE with an MOS 89A ammunition stock control and accounting sergeant and a SAAS–DAO suite. This will provide the capability to troubleshoot SAAS–MOD software problems irrespective of the echelon of employment. The addition of an NCO to support SAAS–MOD provides a level of expertise not previously available to the logistics commander.

The sustainment commander and his staff must ensure that the CSSAMO munitions sergeant is trained and has the resources needed to perform his SAAS–MOD support duties. Additional training in systems administration and database management should be considered. This single representative will be the on-site troubleshooter for SAAS–MOD database and connectivity issues. The Army Logistics Management College at Fort Lee, Virginia, provides additional institutional and distributive training for CSSAMO personnel.

The CSSAMO munitions sergeant needs to establish and maintain liaison with SAAS–MOD operating elements within his parent, supported, and supporting organizations. In a deployed environment, he needs to rapidly identify supported organizations, assess support requirements, and coordinate for higher-echelon support. The CSSAMO munitions sergeant must maintain communication with the Project Manager, SAAS–MOD, Customer Assistance Office and with higher echelons of the SAAS–MOD support structure. Coordination for DODAAC information and NIPERNET access should be a primary consideration during the initial stages of any deployed operation. Insights gained from recent operations have shown that connectivity issues are one of the most significant challenges to effective STAMIS operation.

Eventually, SAAS–MOD will be subsumed into the Global Combat Service Support-Army (Field/Tactical) as a component of the Single Army Logistics Enterprise. Until this enterprise solution is fully realized, logistics commanders, staffs, and managers at all levels will need to continue to maintain competence in the automated munitions management process through the use of SAAS–MOD.

Chief Warrant Officer (W–4) Dave Baron, USA (Ret.), serves as a combat developer with the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRA-DOC) Capability Manager for Sustainment Command and Control at the Army Combined Arms Support Command at Fort Lee, Virginia. A graduate of the Warrant Officer Staff Course, he holds an associate’s degree in liberal arts from the University of the State of New York.

Lieutenant Colonel Keith A. Beverley, USA (Ret.), works for Logistics and Environmental Support Services Corporation (LESCO) and serves as a logistics systems analyst for the TRADOC Capability Manager for Sustainment Command and Control at the Army Combined Arms Support Command at Fort Lee, Virginia. A graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College and the Logistics Executive Development Course, he holds a master’s degree in business management from Troy State University.