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Strategic Mobility

In 2001, I authored two articles, “Strategic Mobility: The U.S. Military’s Weakest Link” and
“Transforming Strategic Mobility,” that were published in Army Logistician. In those articles, I made the argument that strategic mobility was the U.S. military’s greatest deficiency.

In the 8 years since those articles were published, many things have changed and many have not. Logisticians are still just as guilty as other tacticians of refighting the last war. The United States continues to fight the Global War on Terrorism (with unprecedented military spending) while conducting modernization programs, the C–17 Globemaster and large medium-speed roll-on-roll-off (LMSR) vessel procurements, and base realignment.

The Army has recently accomplished the largest transformation in its history; yet, despite all of the changes in procurements, modernizations, and modularity, my original argument still holds true: Strategic mobility has not been fixed and is the weakest link in the strategic chain of getting the right forces to the proper place in space and time to allow combatant commanders to deter, de-escalate, or decisively defeat an adversary.

What is the Strategic Mobility Problem?

The future operational environment will be characterized by a wide variety of potential adversaries with full-spectrum capabilities and motives to do major harm to the United States’ homeland and national interests (and to those of our allies). Crises will develop rapidly and will require swift response by U.S. forces. These crises will result in missions ranging from humanitarian, peacekeeping, and counterterrorism to major combat.

Such operations will take place in areas where the United States has little or no footprint and in countries that have little or no developed infrastructure. They will lack major ports, rail and road networks, and modern airfields. These countries may not be conducive to rapid entry. Furthermore, the adversary could adopt anti-access and area-denial measures that would drive the United States to use forcible entry.

The 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) Report directed the Department of Defense (DOD) to move away from a threat-based planning model to a capabilities-based model.1 It called for DOD to possess the capability to “swiftly defeat aggression in overlapping major conflicts while preserving for the President the option to call for a decisive victory in one of those conflicts—including the possibility of regime change or occupation”2 and to “conduct a limited number of smaller-scale contingency operations.”3

The 2001 QDR also stated that “the U.S. military has an existing shortfall in strategic transport aircraft,”4 which is part of the strategic mobility problem. Strategic mobility is the combination of airlift, sealift, and pre-positioned forces. Together, they make up the strategic mobility triad. It takes the combined assets of the triad to meet the combatant commanders’ requirements.

Written less than 5 years later, the 2006 QDR states, “Extensive investments in cargo transportability, strategic lift, and pre-positioned stocks over the past decade have yielded military forces capable of responding to a broad spectrum of security challenges worldwide.”5 Did the military really fix its strategic mobility shortfalls in 5 short years? What are the true capabilities of the strategic mobility triad? What needs to be done to fix it? Is strategic mobility really a critical requirement?

Shortcomings still exist in the current capabilities of the strategic mobility triad. After 7 years of major combat operations and transformation, these weaknesses continue. This article focuses on why strategic mobility still has not been adequately addressed and what changes are needed in the triad to make the Army once again a viable first option. It will analyze available options and provide recommendations on how to bridge the ever-widening gap between mobility capabilities and requirements.

Strategic Mobility Background

The Army has been implementing major changes during the last 10 years. It has undertaken a major transformation to move away from the Army of Excellence model to one that is lighter, more lethal and deployable, and less demanding logistically.

The Army has made its brigades modular and has embraced the idea of being expeditionary; however, one problem has not been adequately addressed. In order to project land power at the speed and tempo required by the combatant commanders to deter conflict, prevent escalation, or defeat opponents quickly and decisively, the military must be able to project its land power into or within the area in crisis. Unfortunately, this critical requirement cannot be met with the resources the United States currently possesses.

For the last 20 years, the United States has been paying lip service to addressing its strategic mobility requirements. The strategic mobility triad had been steadily improving throughout the 20th century. But since Operation Desert Storm, the military’s ability to project power has atrophied.

Since the end of the Cold War when the United States reduced its forward presence overseas, the centerpiece of the U.S. defense strategy has been power projection. Power projection is the ability to rapidly and effectively deploy and sustain U.S. forces in and from multiple dispersed locations. Complementing overseas presence, power projection strives for unconstrained global reach. Global power projection provides national leaders with the options they need to respond to potential crises.

During the Cold War, the United States pursued a containment strategy. This strategy relied heavily on massive amounts of pre-positioned equipment. This equipment was stored in preconfigured sets known as pre-positioned materiel configured to unit sets (POMCUS). POMCUS were sets of equipment designated for different Army divisions and positioned in strategic European locations.

The troops based in the continental United States (CONUS) could quickly receive POMCUS via airlift. After the troops employed the pre-positioned equipment (in accordance with their general defense plan to contain the Soviet threat), follow-on sustainment materiel and additional forces would be transported by sea from CONUS to the theater of operations. This process employed all three legs of the strategic mobility triad.

At the end of the Cold War, the United States was left as the world’s only superpower and the strategy changed from one of containment to one of engagement. The Clinton administration cashed in on the “peace dividend” and shrank the Army’s end strength and its presence overseas. From 1990 to 1999, more than 239,000 troops returned from forward locations and 82 military installations on foreign soil were closed.6

National Strategy

To support the engagement strategy, the military adopted a power projection strategy. This strategy depends on the strategic mobility triad to rapidly send U.S. Armed Forces anywhere in the world. This power projection strategy was reinforced and built upon in key planning documents, speeches, and comments made by the Nation’s leaders.

The 1997 National Security Strategy introduced an integrated strategic approach that was based on three concepts: shape, respond, and prepare now. Based on those concepts, the National Military Strategy of 1997 expanded on the premise that the United States would remain globally engaged to shape the international environment and create conditions favorable to U.S. interests and global security. It emphasized that U.S. Armed Forces must respond to the full spectrum of crises to protect national interests. The strategy further stated that, as the United States pursues shaping and responding activities, it must also take steps to prepare now for an uncertain future.7

The 1999 National Security Strategy stated:

Strategic mobility is a key element of our strategy. It is critical for allowing the United States to be first on the scene with assistance in many domestic or international crises, and is a key to successful American leadership and engagement. Deployment and sustainment of U.S. and multinational forces requires maintaining and ensuring access to sufficient fleets of aircraft, ships, vehicles and trains, as well as bases, ports, pre-positioned equipment and other infrastructure.8

In October 1999, the Army Chief of Staff announced a strategic mobility requirement to have the ability to move a medium brigade anywhere in the world in 96 hours, deploy a division in 120 hours, and deploy five divisions in 30 days. In 2000, the Army Science Board published a study that included a very profound and still relevant statement: “A highly lethal and survivable force incapable of rapid deployment was not relevant in a power projection Army. Likewise, a highly deployable ‘light’ force with limited lethality and survivability is not a likely deterrent to a determined foe.”9

The 2004 National Military Strategy states:

Overlapping major combat operations place major demands on strategic mobility. Achieving objectives in such operations requires robust sealift, airlift, aerial refueling and pre-positioned assets. Strategic mobility that supports these operations also requires supporting equipment to store, move and distribute materiel and an information infrastructure to provide real-time visibility of the entire logistics chain.10

On 23 September 2004, the commander of the U.S. European Command, Marine Corps General James Jones, testified to Congress that building a larger array of airlift and sealift platforms is an essential component of the sweeping overhaul that would, if approved, position U.S. forces at a number of small, dispersed bases across the European region.11

So, is strategic mobility really a critical requirement? The Nation’s leaders and planning documents have shown the answer to be yes.

Requirements and Capabilities

The 2001 QDR set deployment goals for two different strategies. The first strategy was to simultaneously defend the homeland, conduct deterrence in four regions of the globe, and execute two major campaigns in swift fashion. The second strategy called for delivering needed forces to a theater within 10 days of a deployment order, swiftly defeating the enemy there within 30 days, and resetting the force 30 days after that victory.12

The 2006 QDR does not address specific requirements, but it gives the following guidance: “Mobility capabilities will be fully integrated across geographic theaters and between warfighting components and force providers, with response times measured in hours and days rather than weeks.”13 It goes on to state that “future joint forces will increasingly use host-nation facilities with only a modest supporting U.S. presence, decreasing the need for traditional overseas main operating bases with large infrastructures and reducing exposure to asymmetric threats.”14

The assumptions put forth in the 2006 QDR are a bit problematic since it only addresses planning for best case scenarios. Analysts have argued that other countries could become increasingly unwilling to permit U.S. forces to operate out of their country to carry out combined operations. Some analysts have also suggested that future adversaries may not freely allow U.S. forces to build up at nearby air and sea ports as they have in recent operations (such as Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom).15 These access issues should be addressed and not assumed away.

The strategic mobility triad necessitates transport aircraft, cargo ships, forward bases, equipment afloat, and ground transportation operated by DOD and commercial carriers. While the capabilities of the mobility triad appear to project a picture of robustness and depth, they have built-in weaknesses and do not meet the requirements laid out by DOD.

Airlift

Strategic airlift is a combination of military airlift capabilities and commercial aircraft that participate in the Civilian Reserve Air Fleet. The Mobility Requirements Study 2005 (MRS–05) identified a need for a minimum of 51.1 million ton-miles per day (MTM/D) of airlift capability. The study also observed that additional demands on the airlift system early in major theater campaigns would increase the required MTM/D to 54.5, with the possibility that the increase could be as high as 67 MTM/D.16

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the service chiefs, and combatant commanders reviewed the study and agreed with the requirement of 54.5 MTM/D of airlift capability as the minimum “moderate-risk” capability to support the National Military Strategy.17 The Government Accountability Office and the Air Force both agree that the military is still anywhere from 17- to 30-percent short of its required airlift, and all of the combatant commanders list the shortfall in strategic lift in their top five priorities.18 According to MRS–05, the 54.5 MTM/D airlift requirement would be reached by having the Civilian Reserve Air Fleet contribute 20.5 MTM/D and the Air Force contribute the remaining 34 MTM/D.19

At the end of fiscal year 2001, the military airlift fleet consisted of 58 C–17s, 88 C–141 Starlifters, 104 C–5 Galaxies, and 418 C–130 Hercules. Currently, the airlift fleet consists of 158 C–17s in the active Air Force, 8 in the Air National Guard, and 8 in the Air Force Reserve. No C–141s are left in the inventory. The military has a total of 111 C–5s, and there are 151 C–130s in the active Air Force, 181 in the Air National Guard, and 103 in the Air Force Reserve. That is an 18.8-percent gain in lift capability. However, Air Mobility Command leaders estimate that the true lift requirement is not 54.5 MTM/D but between 69.5 MTM/D and 76.5 MTM/D, based on actual experience in Afghanistan and Iraq.20

Military airlift capabilities have improved somewhat over the last 7 years, but these gains have been out-paced by increased requirements. The level of mobility is inconsistent with the image portrayed by the planners. The news is even worse when you consider the many other factors not taken into account, for instance, maintenance posture, airfield throughput capability, and the level of airfield modernization.

Sealift

Sealift, the second triad leg, is designed to get the bulk of the needed equipment to the area of operations between 10 and 30 days after callup, and it is the primary means of sustaining the fight. Sealift capability comes from three sources: Government-owned ships, commercial ships under long-term charter to DOD, and ships operating in commercial trade.

As with airlift, the current number and capabilities of the fleet do not meet projected requirements. MRS–05 requires 10 million square feet of organic DOD sealift.21 It calls for 19 fast sealift ships (FSSs), LMSR ships, and 330 other ships plus contracts to meet the requirements.22 Currently, the Navy owns or charters 120 ships. Of the 120, 82 are in the Military Sealift Command active force and 38 are in the Ready Reserve Force. Only 28 of the 120 ships are medium speed or higher. The Military Sealift Command owns 8 FSSs, which can travel in excess of 30 knots, and 20 LMSR ships, which can travel at speeds up to 24 knots.23

Together, all 8 FSSs can transport nearly the equivalent of a mechanized division (200 C–17 payloads) from the CONUS east coast to Europe in less than 6 days or to the Persian Gulf in 18 days. The LMSRs can transport the equivalent of 500 C–17 payloads up to 12,000 nautical miles at 24 knots.24

Just like the airlift leg of the mobility triad, the sealift leg looks great on paper and briefs well until proper analysis is done. During the Gulf War, three out of the eight FSSs were late and a fourth broke down en route. The first wave of ships only averaged 23 knots versus the expected 33 knots, adding 5 days to the transit time. The Ready Reserve Force fared much worse, with only 25 percent of the ships deploying on time and 50 percent over 5 days late. During the second phase of activation, an additional 26 Ready Reserve Force ships were activated; only 4 were on time, and over half of them were more than 10 days late.25 The problems continued after the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 when a Ready Reserve Force ship failed to make its deployment time after numerous crewmembers walked off the ship.

Over the last 20 years, the Government-owned fleet has been modernized somewhat with the purchase of 20 LMSRs and the procurement of a new logistics support vessel (LSV). However, these ships are slow and only account for 25 percent of the total fleet. And the fleet is not young. The average Ready Reserve Force ship is over 37 years old.26

Pre-positioning

The final leg of the mobility triad is pre-positioning. Pre-positioning is made up of land-based pre-positioned equipment and the Military Sealift Command’s Afloat Pre-positioning Force (APF). Land-based stocks include seven brigade combat teams (BCTs) spread out in Europe, Southwest Asia, and Korea. In the APF, all ships are self-sustaining. They all have organic cargo-handling capability that enables them to discharge their cargo despite limited or nonexistent port facilities.

Army pre-positioned stocks (APS) consist of pre-positioned equipment that is stored in preconfigured unit sets that are either ashore or afloat. APS are configured as combat brigade sets with ammunition, but no to-accompany-troop equipment (individual weapons and equipment). APS are divided into five regional locations: CONUS, Europe, afloat near Diego Garcia (an island in the Indian Ocean), Northeast Asia, and Southwest Asia. With the exception of the CONUS location, all of the sites contain sets of equipment.

Land-based pre-positioning programs are maintained in Europe, Southwest Asia, and the Pacific region. In Europe, the Army stocks equipment for three BCTs (two in central Europe and one in Italy). In Southwest Asia, the Army stocks equipment for two BCTs (one in Kuwait and one in Qatar). The Army has stock for one BCT in Korea.27

The Army’s current strategy of becoming more expeditionary relies heavily on pre-positioned equipment and materiel that is ready to be issued to Soldiers. The APS program supports the National Military Strategy by strategically pre-positioning vital war stocks afloat and ashore worldwide, thereby reducing the deployment response times of the modular, expeditionary Army. With the National Defense Strategy ordering a greater proportion of troops to be based in the United States, APS abroad and afloat are indispensable to America’s global force-projection capability.

APS has a few challenges. The first, and the hardest to overcome, is ships. During Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, three pre-positioned LMSRs were unable to unload their cargo because their draft prevented them from entering any port. After 2 weeks of trying to locate a suitable port, the ships returned to Diego Garcia without discharging their cargo.28 The advantage provided by the size of these ships is also a disadvantage since it limits the choice of ports.

DOD conducted a worldwide port study of potential seaports of debarkation (SPODs) in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) areas of responsibility (as these areas are viewed as the most likely areas for future conflicts). Ports are considered militarily significant today if they can accommodate the LMSR, which has a draft of 35 feet. Sea vessels with shallow draft and limited overall length can access many more ports that are not considered militarily significant.29 For example, in Korea, shallow-draft vessels expand the number of accessible ports by 84 percent.30

The amount of equipment the LMSRs can carry also must be taken into account. The space needed for reception, staging, onward movement, and integration is immense. Because of the United States’ increased dependency on large modern ports, a potential adversary’s strategy to deny or delay the United States in deploying forces becomes very simple. Using mines, submarines, special forces, terrorism, sabotage, or tactical ballistic missiles, the enemy could greatly hamper the United States’ ability to resupply by sea.

The second challenge is that the transport problem crosses over to the land-based pre-positioned equipment. During operations in Kosovo, the United States deployed two LSVs to provide intratheater lift to transport heavy equipment between the Balkans and Italy. It took 23 days to move the LSVs from CONUS to the equipment site in Italy.31 The problem with land-based pre-positioned stocks, unless the conflict is within 100 miles of the site, is that they are difficult to move at the speed required by the combatant commander.

Currently, APS are exhausted in all theaters. The plan for APS at the beginning of combat operations in Iraq was to issue equipment from APS and then reconstitute the APS as combat units rotated back to CONUS. This did not happen. The APS were further depleted in 2007 when the stock at Diego Garcia was offloaded to constitute BCTs at Fort Riley, Kansas, and Fort Hood, Texas. Significant critical equipment shortages across the Army also affect APS, including shortages of up-armored high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, materials-handling equipment, and crew-served weapons.

Joint Logistics Over-The-Shore


Unless sealift and APS assets have access to a modern port, they are dependent on another deployment multiplier: joint logistics over-the-shore (JLOTS). JLOTS is a unified commander’s joint employment of Army and Navy logistics over-the-shore assets to deploy and sustain a force. JLOTS operations allow U.S. strategic sealift ships to discharge through inadequate or damaged ports or over a bare beach. JLOTS watercraft can also be used operationally to reposition units and materiel within a theater.

As with all legs of the mobility triad, JLOTS also has serious challenges. JLOTS relies on the Army’s watercraft fleet, which is made up of 6 LSVs and 35 landing craft utility 2000 series (LCU–2000) vessels. The LSV transports combat vehicles and sustainment cargo worldwide. It is used primarily for intratheater line haul of cargo and equipment for tactical resupply missions to remote, underdeveloped coastlines and inland waterways. The LSV is also used for JLOTS missions by discharging or backloading strategic sealift vessels like the LMSR. All tracked and wheeled vehicles, including Abrams tanks, can be transported on an LSV during JLOTS operations. The main problem with LSVs is that four of the six vessels will reach their economic useful life (EUL) in 2013.

The LCU–2000 has similar capabilities and uses as the LSV, but its deployability is limited by distance, weather, and sea conditions. The LCU–2000 fleet will reach its EUL by 2018.32

JLOTS faces two other challenges. The first is lack of importance. Many years have passed since the last time the United States was forced to use substandard ports, so JLOTS, to a large degree, has been forgotten. A complete JLOTS operation has not been conducted in years. The second challenge is sea states around the world. According to the Defense Science Board Task Force on Mobility, sea states at the north end of the Persian Gulf would allow JLOTS operations only 32 percent of the time, and sea states off the east coast of Korea would allow them less than 40 percent of the time.33

Options

Each leg of the mobility triad has deficiencies. Airlift requirements outnumber capabilities. The utility of sealift is degraded by lack of access to ports, inadequate port capacity, poor conditions of facilities at seaports of embarkation and debarkation, and the age of the U.S. fleet. Land-based pre-positioned equipment is not positioned correctly, takes a lengthy amount of time to arrive in theater, and is depleted. The United States needs a bridging strategy that delivers viable solutions to the combatant commanders.

DOD could pursue many options in solving the strategic mobility dilemma. The first is to do nothing. According to the 2006 QDR, strategic mobility has no problems and many analysts would point to current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to prove that point. But they would be wrong in their choice of examples because the current fights are not expeditionary fights. So what other options are possible to address the problem?

To fix airlift, either capabilities must be increased or requirements reduced to match current capabilities. The airlift fleet has already gone through extensive modernization with the retirement of the C–141, the procurement of the C–17, and the upgrades to the C–5. Short of buying more airframes, the United States cannot do much more to increase its airlift capabilities, so the best option to fix airlift is to use the other legs of the triad to mitigate the airlift shortfalls. That being said, the United States still needs to consider the future needs of airlift and pursue the development and procurement of future platforms, such as the global range transport, ultra-large airlifter, C–17 aircraft with a payload/range extension program, and super short take-off and landing aircraft.

The United States also needs to continue to pursue the acquisition and development of future sealift platforms like the shallow draft high-speed ship (SDHSS), monohull fast sealift ship, and other high-speed Navy vessels.

Recommendation

Until technology allows the United States to move forces from CONUS to anywhere in the world in less than 7 days, regardless of SPODs and aerial ports of debarkation (APODs), forward positioning of equipment is the key. The way to fix the mobility triad is to take the holistic approach. The United States cannot fix each leg of the triad, but by focusing on intratheater lift and positioning of the pre-positioned equipment, the United States can use the strengths of each leg to fix the whole.

A current off-the-shelf capability can provide a bridging strategy until future platforms become attainable. That capability is the high-speed catamaran. Coupling the catamaran with APS and positioning them in the different combatant command areas of responsibility (AORs) would provide a force that a combatant commander could rapidly deploy. It would also provide organic intratheater lift capability once the vessels discharge the APS, and that would decrease the airlift requirements. The catamaran would provide a platform to rapidly deliver aid supplies during natural disasters without using warships, which can send the wrong message to those in need.

The current commercial off-the-shelf theater support vessel (TSV) is also an option for bolstering sealift capability. A recent example of a TSV-type capability was demonstrated in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Spearhead, a commercial fast shallow draft ferry that the Army was leasing from an Australian firm, moved the 101st Airborne Division’s military police from Djibouti to Kuwait, making the 2,000-mile trip in 2½ days. An LSV would have needed 10 days to make the voyage and could have only transported equipment, requiring the troops to fly separately.34

In 2003, the Army conducted a port study of CENTCOM and PACOM AORs to examine the accessibility of 282 ports in 26 countries. An LMSR can only access 27 percent of these ports because of its draft of 9.1 to 10.5 meters. The TSV, however, can access 74 percent of the ports because its draft is between 4.6 and 6 meters.35

The high-speed catamaran would also provide access to more austere ports, thus limiting the area-denial options that potential adversaries would have. If we look back at World War II and the Inchon landings in Korea, the United States has had to conduct forced entries before without the use of ports. Why do we now discount that possibility?

During the Vigilant Warriors 01 wargame, U.S. and allied forces employed a mixture of current lift assets and promising future concepts. Of all current and future airlift and sealift capabilities, the SDHSS and the TSV most significantly affected force closure rates because of their speed, throughput capability, and capacity. The SDHSS and TSV were the only platforms that could sufficiently deliver troops and equipment to bring immediate combat power to bear. While in transit, commanders were able to conduct en route mission planning and receive intelligence updates. The TSV provided transformational capability and operational maneuver of Army formations. Since the TSV can carry approximately 7 times as much as the C–17 and 24 times as much as the C–130, it had the added benefit of reducing intratheater airlift requirements elsewhere in the theater.

I propose acquiring enough high-speed catamarans to carry four BCTs. Each combatant commander would have a BCT afloat that could rapidly deploy to an intermediate staging base to marry up the equipment with troops deployed out of CONUS, and each of the sets could be mutually supporting if the crisis called for more forces. For example, the PACOM set could move quickly to the CENTCOM AOR if needed and vice-versa.

The strategic mobility triad has many weaknesses. Waiting for future platforms is not the answer. This dilemma must be analyzed holistically as a joint problem. It is not a single service problem and, therefore, cannot be approached as one.

Strategic mobility has not been fixed and is the weakest link in the strategic chain of getting the right forces to the proper place in space and time in order to allow the combatant commander to deter, de-escalate, or decisively defeat an adversary.

The 2006 QDR’s statement, “Extensive investments in cargo transportability, strategic lift, and pre-positioned stocks over the past decade have yielded military forces capable of responding to a broad spectrum of security challenges worldwide,”36 is at best misleading and at worst wishful thinking. Eighty percent of all countries have borders on a coast, 80 percent of the world’s capitals lie within 350 miles of a coast, and 95 percent of the world’s population lives within 500 miles of a coast.37 Currently, the United States cannot move significant ground forces to crisis areas in a timely manner.

The most recent National Security Strategy states that either host-nation or allied APODs and SPODs will be used to quickly move forces into a crisis area. Many of the countries involved in past crises or that have a high potential for future crises (such as Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Yemen, Myanmar, Pakistan, India, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, China, Korea, Taiwan, Georgia, Sudan, East Timor, Venezuela, and Cuba) border the world’s oceans and are in remote, unimproved areas of the world. Half of these countries sit astride strategic waterways, and their locations could impede the United States and its allies.

If the United States had to engage any of these countries militarily, the combatant commander would need all the assets that the mobility triad has in order to respond. If the United States wants to continue to provide the world with political, economic, informational, and military leadership, it needs the ability to send military forces into the numerous trouble spots throughout the world.

The United States cannot afford to rely on host nation or allied support. Nor can it rely on limited air transport and slow sealift to get our forces to the crisis area. The United States must stop paying lip service to the shortfalls in our strategic mobility triad and leverage the available technology and create a truly inter-dependent and complementary mobility triad that is critical for operational and strategic success.

Colonel Kenneth E. Hickins is assigned to the U.S. Army Europe G–4 office. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska, master’s degrees in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College, and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the Army War College. He is a graduate of the Armor Officer Basic Course, the Quartermaster Officer Advanced Course, the Inspector General’s Course, and the Army War College Strategic Arts program.

1. Quadrennial Defense Review Report, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, DC, 2001, pp. 17–18.
2. Ibid., p. 17.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid., p. 18.
5. Quadrennial Defense Review Report, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, DC, 2006, p. 54.
6. William S. Cohen, Annual Report to the President and the Congress, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, DC, 2001, p. C–1.
7. 1997 National Military Strategy, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, DC, 1997, p. 3.
8. A National Security Strategy for a New Century, The White House, Washington, DC, 1999, p. 11.
9. “Technical and Tactical Opportunities for Revolutionary Advances in Rapidly Deployable Joint Ground Forces in the 2015–2025 Era, Volume 1, Executive Summary Report,” Army Science Board, Washington, DC, 2001, p. 33.
10. The National Military Strategy of the United States of America: A Strategy for Today; A Vision for Tomorrow, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, DC, 2004, p. 17.
11. John T. Bennett, “Increased Lift Assets Seen as Key to EUCOM Transformation Plans,” Inside the Pentagon, 30 September 2004.
12. Jon D. Klaus, “Strategic Mobility Innovation: Options and Oversight Issues,” CRS Report for Congress, Washington, DC, 29 April 2005, p. 3.
13. Quadrennial Defense Review Report, 2006, p. 53.
14. Ibid.
15. Jon D. Klaus, p. 3.
16. Mobility Requirements Study 2005, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, DC, January 2001, pp. 4–5.
17. Jon D. Klaus, p. 4.
18. Christian Lowe, “Military Not Able to Meet Airlift Requirement for War,” Defense Week, 18 December 2000, p. 1.
19. William S. Cohen, p. 21.
20. John A. Tirpak, “The Airlift Gap,” Air Force Magazine, October 2004, p. 34.
21. Mobility Requirements Study 2005, p. 6.
22. Ibid., p. 7.
23. Military Sealift Command, “Ship Inventory,” www.msc.navy.mil/inventory, accessed on 23 December 2008.
24. Norman Polmar, The Naval Institute Guide to the Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 2005, p. 296.
25. Ronald F. Rost, Sealift in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm: 7 August 1990 to 17 February 1991 Research Memorandum 91-109, Center for Naval Analyses, May 1991, p. 28.
26. Defense Science Board, “Defense Science Board Task Force on Mobility,” Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Washington, DC, 2005, p. 77.
27. William S. Cohen, p. 23.
28. Kenneth Allard, Somalia Operations: Lessons Learned, National Defense University Press, Washington, DC, January 1995, p. 50.
29. Quick Reaction Requirements Analysis for the Theater Support Vessel, Department of the Army, Washington, DC, 4 April 2003, p. 1.
30. Ibid., p. 7.
31. Marc Strass, “Army wants 14 High-Speed Catamarans to Speed Intra-Theater Brigade Lift,” Defense Daily, 20 November 2000.
32. Operational and Organizational (O&O) Plan For The Theater Support Vessel (TSV), Department of the Army, Washington, DC, 14 November 2002, p. 12.
33. Defense Science Board, p. 131.
34. Nate Orme, “Army Catamaran hauls Equipment Double-Time,” Defense Link, www.defense.gov, 8 September 2003.
35. Quick Reaction Requirements Analysis for the Theater Support Vessel, p. 1.
36. Quadrennial Defense Review Report, 2006, p. 54.
37. Revised Operational Requirements Document (ORD) for the Theater Support Vessel (TSV) ACAT III, Department of the Army, Washington, DC, 14 March 2003, p. 10.

 
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