|An AOE CSS Command Post
in a Modular Army
|by Major J.A. Moritz
The 1st Armored Division Support Command reengineered
its command post around processes, off-the-shelf technology,
and improved use of systems
to create a logistics command post that can function in many
What does an organization do when the Army has
decided to modularize and the organization is still structured
under the Army of Excellence (AOE)? First, it must assess who
or what the enemy really is. For a combat service support (CSS)
unit, the enemy is more than an opposing combatant; it also
can be time constraints and the shortfall between capabilities
and requirements. Second, the organization must define its
relevance to the fight. An AOE organization’s headquarters
is designed to control support battalions that are unlike the
modular support battalions in brigade combat teams. Third,
the organization must reassess its tactics, techniques, and
procedures to ensure that its headquarters can provide logistics
command and control to both AOE and modular formations.
At one time, division support commands (DISCOMs) were the
largest brigade formations in a division, consisting of five
battalions and a separate company. Only two DISCOMs are left
today, and soon there will be only one with just one battalion
task-organized under its control. The Army is transitioning
from DISCOMs to sustainment brigades that can support multiple
divisions. Warfighters assume that logisticians will do whatever
is needed to support their plans. They are right because
logisticians today do whatever they can to support the warfighter,
and that in itself creates a problem. We may soon find that
every unit has its own standing operating procedures designed
to support a microcosm but that they do not support the CSS
community as a whole.
Uniform command post structures would ensure that all logistics units are
interoperable. Appropriate use of off-the-shelf products and the Standard
Army Management Information Systems (STAMIS) would improve situational awareness
throughout the command post.
The Army should reengineer logistics command posts (LCPs) based on processes,
not functions. A function is the action for which a person or thing is particularly
fitted or employed. It may refer to an assigned duty or activity or to a
specific occupation or role. A process is a series of actions, changes, or
functions that brings about a result.
Some sustainment brigade headquarters are reorganizing into configurations
that are different from those of other sustainment brigade headquarters.
Some of these units see the processes in terms of current and future operations,
while others see the processes in terms of synchronization, movement, and
regeneration. Army leaders must rethink how they look at deployed LCPs and
logistics headquarters in garrison. They also should consider treating brigade-sized
logistics headquarters as command and control combat systems instead of individual
personnel and equipment. Then all tactical operations centers (TOCs) would
look the same, have the same or similar equipment and manning, and be pacer-type
items tracked on the unit status reports.
Possible Operating Environments
The 1st Armored Division DISCOM quickly realized that, to be relevant in the next fight, the division rear
command post needed to be reorganized to support many operating environments. Planning this reorganization
involved identifying missions that the DISCOM could face in the future. Many of the missions identified
involved operating apart from the 1st Armored Division in support of other units that require a brigade
headquarters with CSS capabilities.
From these missions, four operating environments were deemed the “most likely” and used as the basis for
the command post’s reorganization. These include—
Functions and Processes
The traditional linear battlefield division rear command post,
which is a combination of the DISCOM headquarters, the division materiel management
center, the division medical operations center (DMOC), and a large slice of division
staff (G1, G4, combat support, and CSS elements).
The intermediate staging base in a remote
area, which would serve as a logistics support base for deploying
units in transit to a combat theater or other area of operations.
The forward staging base
close to airport or seaport facilities, which would enable
the linkup of equipment
and personnel for reception, staging, onward movement, and
integration operations for incoming forces. Both the intermediate
staging base and forward staging base environments could
be supported with the DISCOM’s current manning and
The forward operating base in direct support
of combat operations, where logistics command and control
is needed and no terrain management is needed beyond a local
perimeter. The forward operating base environment can require
a sustainment brigade headquarters to provide logistics command
and control for multiple divisions. The DISCOM headquarters,
which is designed to support a division, would need augmentation
to perform this task because of the loss of division staff
and the more robust and complex logistics mission.
With the possible missions identified, the next task for the division was to determine
the functions and processes needed to make the LCP successful in all of those environments.
The DISCOM staff laid out all of the functions that it brought to the fight under its organic modification
table of organization and equipment (MTOE), such as management of classes I (subsistence), IIIB (bulk
petroleum, oils, and lubricants), and V (ammunition); S2 assessment of the vulnerability of main supply
routes to enemy action; coordination for the use of brigade common-user land transportation assets; and
coordination for medical operations. After all functions were identified, the staff defined the processes
needed to integrate and synchronize the functions in order to provide timely reports, orders, and decisions
to commanders and units for controlling logistics in the area of operations.
Six processes were identified: the military decisionmaking process (MDMP); command, control, communications,
computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR); combat loss regeneration; logistics
synchronization; battlefield distribution; and rear battle, or terrain, management. The layout of the LCP
supports the processes.
Once the processes for each environment were determined and overlaid on one another, the staff discovered that
two command post playbooks would cover virtually all missions. The LCP is based on the five core processes
(MDMP, C4ISR, combat loss regeneration, logistics synchronization, and battlefield distribution). The division
rear command post uses these five core processes and adds the rear battle or terrain management process when in
control of rear battlespace on a traditional linear battlefield or in control of any battlespace outside of its
perimeter on an asymmetric battlefield. According to emerging modular force doctrine, the rear battle becomes
the responsibility of the combat support brigade (maneuver enhancement) supporting the division, reducing the
need for G3 or rear operations center personnel to perform this task.
It is important to understand that the size and capabilities of the LCP fluctuate based on the mission and task
organization. The integration of division staff still occurs under a traditional division rear command post setup.
Any units or enablers that become part of the LCP are incorporated into the command and control processes in order
to provide better command and control of logistics. While all MTOE functions have managers or officers in charge,
each process is assigned an owner to keep the process or board focused on the agenda and timeline and to ensure that
the products are completed, facilitating other processes and functions. If the division staff is integrated, a
process may have multiple owners to allow it to continue in case one of the owners is absent. If the division staff
is not integrated and the headquarters deploys independently of the division, the process still has an owner in the
DISCOM headquarters that can fulfill the responsibilities.
MDMP. The MDMP is conducted by a process action team with members of the LCP representing
multiple functions. The MDMP owner is the DISCOM support operations officer (SPO), who is the DISCOM representative
who coordinates with divisions and higher headquarters. The SPO provides a conduit to division and brigade logistics
staffs. The MDMP produces an order that is passed to division or higher headquarters for publishing. The DISCOM
creates a distinctly different MDMP in its order for subordinate units.
C4ISR. The C4ISR process owner is the DISCOM S3. The S3 is responsible for the battle rhythm of the LCP, orchestrating
the timing of all other processes and all communications into, out of, and within the LCP. Battle update briefs are the
primary synchronized events that control this process. All members of the LCP participate in the C4ISR process. An
associated process occurs when the planning cell has to stand up to support the MDMP for supported divisions.
Outputs of the C4ISR process include logistics orders, graphics for the Command and Control Personal Computer (C2PC) program, command and
control of assigned battlespace, and all division logistics assets. [C2PC is a map and database software used in many operations centers.]
Combat loss regeneration. The combat loss regeneration process owner is the DISCOM materiel management officer. The combat loss
regeneration board is responsible for the regeneration of equipment and personnel combat losses when operating in the division command post configuration;
it is responsible for regeneration of combat losses of equipment and supplies while operating in the LCP configuration. Through this process, the board monitors
and strives to increase the combat readiness of assigned and attached units.
common operating picture is broadcast to the
command post 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, using
three monitors. Information on the center screen
is also broadcast with audio to the logistics
synchronization, combat loss regeneration, and
battlefield distribution sections and each expansible
van for situational awareness during briefings
and idle time.
The combat loss regeneration process results
in requirements that the logistics synchronization and battle
field distribution processes will use later. The requirements
that drive the remaining processes rely heavily on the data
from the logistics status report, unit liaison officers (LNOs),
C2PC, and the Battle Command Sustainment Support System (BCS3).
Board members include representatives of the DMOC, the materiel
readinesssection, the general supply office, the property book office
(PBO), and the class IX (repair parts) section. This process
occurs daily, before all others, to set the conditions for
future process boards.
Logistics synchronization. The logistics synchronization process owner is the DISCOM SPO. The
SPO is responsible for synchronizing requirements and missions of all CSS units in the supported
task organization. This process identifies all CSS requirements against capabilities and mitigates
shortfalls 24, 48, and 72 hours out. A daily CSS synchronization drill is the primary event that
controls this process. Using the output of this drill, a daily fragmentary order is published by
the C4ISR cell that is synchronized with the combat loss regeneration and battlefield distribution
processes. Primary participants in this process include the movement control officer, SPO, division
ammunition officer, general supply officer, class IX officer, a materiel section representative, PBO,
combat service support automation management officer, DMOC, and unit LNOs. The logistics synchronization
process occurs daily after the combat loss regeneration process in relation to the LCP battle rhythm.
An associated process occurs when the planning cell has to stand up to support the MDMP for a supported division.
Battlefield distribution (movement). The battlefield distribution (movement) process owner is the DISCOM movement
control office. This process synchronizes all movements between sectors or forward operating bases in the division’s
battlespace. It identifies and schedules all unit movements in the division battlespace 24 and 48 hours out. It is
linked to all other processes to make the best use of common-user land transportation assets and determine requirements
for force protection for combat logistics patrols.
Participants include the DISCOM S3, DISCOM S2, movement control officer, unit LNOs, SPO, DISCOM materiel management officer,
and general supply officer. The battlefield distribution (movement) process is scheduled daily after the logistics
synchronization process. The process produces a daily movement matrix and orders or requests for transportation assets,
including requests for combat units to provide force protection.
Rear battle or terrain management. The sixth (noncore) process is rear battle or terrain management. The process owners are the
rear operations center and the DISCOM S3. This process manages the battlespace on a linear or asymmetrical battlefield by
integrating all battlefield operating system functions. This integration creates a common operating picture that senses and
responds using assets ranging from intelligence to a tactical combat force that assists units within the area of operations.
This process relies heavily on division intelligence summaries, operation orders, and other tactical and strategic intelligence
sources to manage the division’s rear area of operations. The process results in daily fragmentary orders published through the
C4ISR cell and reconnaissance and surveillance plans and situational overlays for C2PC to enhance decisionmaking capabilities for
To best facilitate coordination between functions and processes, the LCP was originally organized based on these processes. However,
many functions and capabilities were found to be part of multiple processes, so the organization had to rely on process boards to ensure
that integration and synchronization took place when physical barriers otherwise would have prevented it.
Improving Situational Awareness
conceptual layout of the logistics command post
(top) includes areas for each of the five processes
used. Above, the layout of the division rear
command post shows how this would be set up with
six process areas.
To facilitate further the integration and synchronization of information in the LCP, the 1st Armored Division
gave careful consideration to the battle rhythm and the method of disseminating information. Of the many improvements made while
reengineering the LCP, three distinct improvements have significantly improved situational awareness, integration, and
synchronization: broadcasting a combination of products using a common operating picture; maximizing the use of Microsoft Outlook
Journal; and stressing the capabilities of BCS3. Some of these work to improve situational awareness not only in a tactical
environment but also in garrison operations.
The Future of Modularity
A common operating picture is available in the C4ISR cell of the LCP on three screens, which show all STAMIS (Blue Force Tracker, Force
XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below, BCS3, C2PC, All Source Analysis System-Light), the previous battle update briefing slides, and a
24-hour news program. The center screen is divided into four screens that are broadcast throughout the command post to provide situational
awareness of internal and external events. Each cell has a large plasma screen and monitors in the expansible vans that receive information.
All announcements are made over a public address system that feeds audio in addition to the video, providing sight and sound for battle update
briefs throughout the command post 24 hours a day. All “Attention in the TOC” announcements can easily be heard and shown on a digital map
to provide instant situational awareness of the functions and processes of the command post.
Microsoft Outlook’s Journal function allows the LCP to share data and products better. Two journals have been created—one for situation
reports and the other for request for information (RFI) tracking. The goal was to get away from having one “keeper” of the duty log by
creating a duty journal that allows knowledge to be shared and entered by everyone who is granted access. This allows any user working
in the LCP to open the journal, scan the subjects, and develop a snapshot of tactical and logistics actions. The second journal is used
solely to track RFIs; this allows visibility to all users and ensures that there is one source document, guaranteeing that no RFIs are
lost. This option has proven more efficient and user friendly than using Excel spreadsheets. In garrison, the headquarters changed
from the cumbersome process of preparing Department of the Army Form 1594, Daily Staff Journal or Officer’s Log (duty log), to the use
of Outlook Journal, which allows multiple users to review and update the staff duty log from virtually any computer granted access.
The last great improvement in situational awareness came through the use of BCS3. BCS3 systems were placed throughout the LCP, allowing
all sections to gain better visibility of logistics functions by “drilling down” to the units to see convoys, stockage levels, and equipment
readiness. The system is updated through current STAMIS and provides data as good as the last STAMIS report sent to higher levels.
This allows multiple operators to become “gateways to knowledge” and increases the productivity of staffs because they have readily available
information. In garrison, BCS3 is used in the movement control section, the division materiel management center, and the staff duty section
to review daily the status of authorized stockage lists and ammunition supply points and the location of convoys.
In the future, the modular force will have—
Coherent lines of command and control for logistics, linking support
directly to priority of maneuver.
An enhanced logistics capability to support the operation
plan within the decision cycle of the commander.
Fewer problems created by distance, time, simultaneity, and
complexity of operations.
The capability to enable or influence outcomes and effects
because logistics planning is integrated into deployment and redeployment, movement, sustainment,
The operating environment in 2015 and beyond will be characterized by joint, interdependent forces and fully integrated
operations supported by state-of-the-art technology used to enhance capabilities across the entire battlespace. Missions
will be performed simultaneously across vast distances and will have multiple avenues of approach and markedly shorter
deployment and employment timeframes than missions do today.
Each regional combatant commander will employ a joint logistics headquarters that has the responsibility and authority to
coordinate, integrate, and direct materiel and logistics support assets across services in the operational environment. An
Army theater sustainment command will unify the logistics effort by commanding and controlling highly capable, net-centric,
deployable headquarters and organizations that fully integrate and synchronize logistics requirements and resources to ensure
that the provisioning of critical logistics supports decisive maneuver. This unified logistics capability will be fully
integrated into each headquarters planning and execution process.
It is critical that all headquarters be aware of the future of modularity and continue to see the enemy in terms of
requirements, capabilities and shortfalls, and time. LCPs must use more knowledge-centric methods to ensure that they can
operate on the same level as higher headquarters so that logisticians can stay one step ahead of the warfighter and relevant
for future missions.
Major J.A. ”Tony” Moritz is the Executive Officer of the Division Support Command, 1st Armored Division, at Wiesbaden, Germany.
He has a B.S. degree in engineering technology from Texas A&M University and an M.S. degree in administration from Central Michigan
University. He is a graduate of the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, the Combined Logistics Officers Advanced Course, and the Army
Command and General Staff College.