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The Army Logistics University Is Open for Business

On 2 July 2009, the Army celebrated the ribbon cutting for the new Army Logistics University (ALU) education building at Fort Lee, Virginia. Since then, ALU opened its doors, achieved its initial operating capability, and continues to evolve. With the opening of the new facilities, ALU began hosting the first of many Quartermaster and Ordnance Basic Officer Leader Course (BOLC) Phase III classes (soon to become BOLC Basic), and the Quartermaster Warrant Officer and Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Academy courses started operating under the ALU aegis. Many internal movements across the installation and from Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, mark the largest transformation in sustainment education the Army has experienced, and logistics leaders now conduct their professional military education on one campus.

ALU’s Vision and Capabilities

The vision of ALU is to be the premier trainer and educator of sustainment leaders. At ALU’s grand opening event, Representative J. Randy Forbes of the 4th Congressional District of Virginia stated, “This is not just a University. . . . You are sitting right now on the logistics capital of the world! If we don’t realize that, we will come to realize that as each day passes.”

ALU’s new fully furnished, 350,000-square-foot education building sits on a 46-acre walking campus, which also includes Bunker Hall (the Army Logistics Management College [ALMC] building) and the new Simulation Training Center. Civilian and military students will eventually study, eat, sleep, exercise, and recreate on the campus after the addition of a multistory 1,000-room billeting facility (to be operated by the Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation office) and a temporary gymnasium. The ground breaking for these facilities is scheduled for 2010.

The new education building is a four-story L-shaped structure with 167 reconfigurable classrooms, raised flooring that allows for computer network access in any desk configuration, a multipurpose room, state-of-the-art automation, and web-based video teleconferencing education equipment. Twenty computer laboratories house battle command systems, Standard Army Management Information Systems (STAMISs), and personal computers for hands-on training in the Battle Command Sustainment Support System, Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below, Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced, Standard Army Retail Supply System-2AC/B, Standard Army Maintenance System-Enhanced, Command Post of the Future, and Movement Tracking System.

The education building includes a book store, barber shop, snack bar, and food court with Subway and Einstein Brothers bagels restaurants. The education building also houses a new two-story combined Logistics Research and Community Library, which contains 60 individual work stations, the ALMC and Fort Lee library collections, an embedded community reading area, and a world-class research team. Ultimately, the library will have a language and listening laboratory with 15 work centers and the research collections will include the Ordnance School collection (which will be added to the library in late 2009) and the Transportation School collection (joining the library in the summer of 2010).

ALU is also home to Army Sustainment, the Army’s professional bulletin that provides sustainers with a venue for disseminating information on sustainment plans, policies, tactics, techniques, and procedures. As ALMC grew to become ALU, the bulletin evolved from Army Logistician (focused solely on logistics) to Army Sustainment. The magazine’s expanded focus follows the mission of the Sustainment Center of Excellence by including not only traditional logistics articles but also articles about contracting as a logistics enabler, health service support, and personnel services, which are all part of sustainment.

After ALU’s establishment, professional military education for logisticians began migrating to the campus according to the 2005 Defense Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Commission report timelines.

Along with the movement of education locations, curricula and teaching methods for sustainment leaders are being revised to align with the Army’s evolving leader development strategy, Field Manual (FM) 3–0, Operations, and FM 4–0, Sustainment.

Officer Education

Now that ALU has achieved its initial operating capability and the new and expanded facilities are open, relocated officer education courses are underway.

BOLC. ALU began hosting the first of many Quartermaster and Ordnance BOLC III classes. Transportation BOLC III classes will not move to Fort Lee until the summer of 2010. One change to lieutenant education is an initiative being worked in support of Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN). BOLC II (the warrior skills portion of BOLC that is currently taught at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Sill, Oklahoma) is being shortened and moved to the branch schools. ALU will train the three logistics branches’ lieutenants in one common fieldcraft-focused phase before their branch-focused training. This new version of BOLC II and BOLC III, called BOLC Basic (or BOLC B), is projected to begin as early as February 2010 and was not part of the initial student projection figures when the first BRAC decisions were made in 2005.

Combined Logistics Captains Career Course. The common core phase of the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course is transitioning to a new experiential learning model designed to create more realistic adaptive learning scenarios and timelines for decisionmaking. The new common core phase will be implemented in late 2009 and will be followed by preparations for adapting the course’s multifunctional phase to the new teaching method. New blocks of instruction in contract management, property accountability, unit maintenance operations, and deployment preparation are all part of the new common core for all captains, not just logisticians.

Pre-command courses. The Sustainment Center of Excellence runs eight different versions of battalion- and brigade-level pre-command branch or technically focused courses. Five of them are conducted at ALU; of those five, four are specialized by functional-type commands and one is designed for tactical sustainment commanders. The other three are run by the Transportation School and the Soldier Support Institute. In concert with the Combined Arms Center’s review of the Command Team Enterprise and the efficiencies created by relocating the three logistics branch schools to Fort Lee, ALU is exploring several options to make the best use of the time and capabilities available on the installation that will best prepare sustainment leader teams for their new command roles.

NCO Education

The Army’s new Advanced Leader and Senior Leader Courses for many logistics military occupational specialties (MOSs) will ultimately be trained at the consolidated Logistics NCO Academy at ALU. (See chart above for a list of the MOSs that will be taught at ALU.) Currently, all quartermaster MOSs have completed their moves to the ALU education building and initiated classes. The 4-week consolidated Ordnance Senior Leader Course has also moved and began classes in November 2009.

Modularity, forward support companies, and larger support operations sections in support battalions have revealed that Army senior NCOs need multifunctional skill sets. Major portions of the 2-week resident Support Operations Course (with the pre-requisite distributed learning portion) and the Contracting Officer’s Representative Course are now embedded within the Senior Leader Courses. The availability of the STAMIS and battle command laboratories will allow these courses to optimize training opportunities and send more aware and multifunctional NCOs back to their units.

Warrant Officer Education

Education for quartermaster, ordnance, and transportation warrant officers is under the umbrella of ALU’s Technical Logistics College. Warrant officer education will remain inherently branch-focused (versus multifunctional) in nature.

Army warrant officers hold the last vestige of in-depth technical expertise on Army systems. Technical learning will remain the highest priority in the training of warrant officers in the Logistics Corps. To ensure that the warrant officers gain quality technical expertise, each of the logistics branch schools will retain ownership and responsibility for all technical training and certification, and all instructors assigned to the Technical Logistics College will be attached to their respective branch schools to implement that training and education. Warrant officer students will be assigned to ALU under the accountability of the ALU student battalion.

The Technical Logistics College will provide the conduit for the pursuit of higher learning for all warrant officers within the Logistics Corps. Higher learning consists of training for known or unforeseen requirements beyond individual occupational technical training expertise and may not be needed for all warrant officers in the Logistics Corps. The Technical Logistics College will also teach common core subjects.

The Technical Logistics College will retain education records for all logistics warrant officers in the Warrant Officer Education System. As higher learning requirements develop, the Technical Logistics College will analyze requirements with the assistance of the Army Combined Arms Support Command and the ALU education team. Through ALU’s partnerships with civilian institutions of higher learning, the Technical Logistics College will develop programs specifically designed for warrant officers in the Logistics Corps.

Civilian Education

Department of the Army (DA) civilian logistics, acquisition, and operations research programs are all housed within ALMC. Many civilians either come to ALMC for their courses or receive them where they work through on-site courses conducted by ALMC instructors. Civilians in logistics, acquisition, and operations research career programs may attend the following transition courses.

DA Logistics Intern Studies Program. The DA Logistics Intern Studies Program is currently a 16-week program (soon to be a 25-week program) that prepares new supply, maintenance, and transportation interns for developmental and permanent logistics assignments throughout the Department of Defense, including the Army Materiel Command (AMC), Defense Logistics Agency, U.S. Transportation Command, Army Forces Command, Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM), and other agencies.

Operations Research Systems Analysis Military Applications Course. Also geared towards military personnel, the Operations Research Systems Analysis Military Applications Course (ORSA–MAC) is a rigorous 14-week math-focused program in which graduates earn the equivalent of 21 graduate credit hours in operations research. New civilian interns work alongside military officers in the ranks of captain and major who are transitioning into the operations research systems analysis (ORSA) career field (functional area 49). The course culminates with a group study project that requires them to demonstrate multiple analytical and briefing skills to a senior audience.

ORSA–MAC is going joint! Effective in fiscal year 2010, ORSA education for new functional area 49 military personnel and DA civilians in the 1515 (operations research analyst) career program will see more joint examples in their problem sets. Air Force instructors and students will be joining the class.

Army Acquisition Basic Course. Currently undergoing a major revision, the Army Acquisition Basic Course educates the Army’s functional area 51 (acquisition) officers and civilians pursuing program management or contracting career fields. This program is taught at ALMC’s Huntsville, Alabama, site on the University of Alabama-Huntsville campus.

Many other 1- to 4-week functional courses within the above mentioned career fields and others are available both as residence courses at ALU or, by request, as on-site courses for organizations that can fully fill classes of students and show a need for these classes based on the DA G–3 structured manning decision review (SMDR) course reviews that are conducted each fall.

Contracting Instruction for Laymen

ALU has several courses designed to prepare nonacquisition professionals to work with contracts and contractors. Prospective students can request them through their training offices or attend one of ALMC’s scheduled classes.

Performance Work Statements Course. The 3-day Performance Work Statements (PWS) Course teaches requiring activity or organization personnel how to write a PWS so that they get what they want from a contract.

Contracting Officer’s Representative Course. The 5-day Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) Course prepares CORs for their responsibilities. The course provides training required by the Defense Contract Management Agency or the Army Contracting Command, whose contracting officers then certify the CORs for their particular contract work.

Operational Contract Support Course. The 2-week Operational Contract Support Course prepares individuals who are assigned to tactical and operational unit staffs (brigade through theater Army) and will be responsible for assisting in planning and integrating contracted support during deployed operations. This is not a career development course but a “how to” course for preparing acquisition requirements packages and managing a unit’s overall COR responsibilities for basic service and supply contracts. Graduates will learn through practical exercises how to prepare PWSs, independent government cost estimates, and purchase requests and the proper conduct of performance oversight techniques that are necessary to ensure mission success. The additional skill identifier (ASI) 3C is awarded to course graduates.

Other acquisition and contracting courses. The Army Acquisition Basic Contracting Course, Army Intermediate Contracting Course, and Contracting Laboratories are under revision to prepare the Army’s contracting military officers, NCOs with the MOS 51C (acquisition, logistics, and technology contracting NCO), and civilians with the right skill sets to meet requirements established by Gansler Commission findings and the needs of this evolving career field.

More information about these courses is available through our course directors, who can be contacted through the ALU website.

Newly Revised Logistics Courses

Many logistics courses have been revised recently to better serve ALU students’ needs.

Installation Logistics Management Course. The 2-week Installation Logistics Management Course has undergone a complete revision in response to input from the sponsor, IMCOM. The course continues to be dynamic, with the curriculum keeping pace as installation missions and functions transition between IMCOM and AMC. The course’s target audience includes all personnel involved in installation logistics support.

Combat Service Support Automation Management Office Course. The Combat Service Support Automation Management Office (CSSAMO) Course includes a distributed learning phase and an 18-day resident or on-site phase. This course covers setup, operation, and troubleshooting of 10 logistics STAMISs for CSSAMO personnel.

Theater Logistics Studies Program. The Theater Logistics Studies (TLog) Program is an 18-week resident program that trains operational-level logistics planners who will serve in theater sustainment commands and expeditionary sustainment commands and within corps and Army component command G–4 shops. TLog graduates earn 12 graduate credits toward a cooperative degree program for a master’s degree in logistics management from the Florida Institute of Technology. The credits are also accepted by many other institutions of higher learning.

Still to Come

Although the ribbon has been cut and hundreds of Soldiers and civilians have arrived at the university, ALU will not finish its organizational transformation until the final BRAC moves are complete in fiscal year 2011. In late 2010, ALU will begin receiving and integrating leader education elements of the Army Transportation Center and School, including warrant officer and NCO professional military education courses and the Transportation BOLC. By the fall of 2010, the 71st Transportation Battalion will be integrated with ALU’s current provisional student battalion.

ALU’s newly formed Directorate of Education and Outreach is aggressively pursuing partnerships with civilian academic institutions to provide continuing or degree-granting education to our newest students. Partnerships associated with the National Logistics Curriculum (an agreed-upon series of programs that have military logistics applicability and lead to advanced degrees from civilian and military institutions) have been established with the University of Tennessee, University of Texas-Dallas, Florida Institute of Technology, University of Kansas, University of North Dakota, LOGTECH at the University of North Carolina, Wright State University, and Pennsylvania State University.

Other institutions, including Webster University, Virginia State University, Longwood University, the College of William and Mary, and Virginia Commonwealth University, may also become partners. In the long term, ALU will pursue degree-granting status and, as courses are better aligned with deployment timelines and ARFORGEN, the option of elective courses as follow-on training and education to prescribed professional military education.

All of these changes are happening with an ongoing mission to educate, mentor, certify, and train the sustainment leaders of today and the future. As such, ALU is expanding its role in the development of our professional staff through a robust Staff and Faculty Training Division. This internal staff of professional educators will ensure that the most current methods in adult education are explored and made available to each of the four colleges’ instructors and professors. We view this effort as the front line of our institution as we ensure that ALU instructors are relevant, current in their knowledge of the latest techniques, and professional.

As an institution, ALU is supremely conscious that our instructors and students support an Army at war. In an era of persistent conflict, the need is greater than ever for a single institution for educating and researching the methods that will enable sustainment success and ensure the Army’s logistics leaders know how to support, survive, and win. The Army Logistics University will be that place.

Colonel Shelley A. Richardson is the President of the Army Logistics University. She has a B.S. degree from the United States Military Academy, an M.S. degree in industrial engineering from the University of Minnesota, and an M.S. degree in strategic studies from the Marine Corps War College.

Lieutenant Colonel Tim Gilhool is the commander of the provisional Army Logistics University Student Battalion. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in history from the University of Richmond, and a master’s degree in theater operations from the Army Command and General Staff College School of Advanced Military Studies.

 
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