|Chief of Staff Emphasizes Importance
of Property Accountability
The Chief of Staff of the Army, General George W. Casey, Jr., has directed that a property accountability campaign be conducted to ensure that a culture of good supply discipline and property accountability exits across the Army at every level. The Chief of Staff charged the Deputy Chief of Staff, G−4, Department of the Army, with developing an enduring campaign.
In his message establishing the campaign, General Casey stated, “Property accountability is every commander’s responsibility. As we focus on executing the Iraq drawdown and build-up in Afghanistan, as well as continued deployments worldwide, it is imperative that we maintain good accountability of all Army property. We must know what we have and where it is—without exception.”
The key tasks of the campaign are to—
- Reinforce existing policies and directives with
- Reestablish commanders’ organization inspection programs.
- Mentor leaders at every level on good supply discipline and property accountability.
- Redistribute or turn in excess materiel.
- Establish mechanisms to monitor compliance with good supply procedures.
The desired goal is for all Army property to be accounted for, excess property to be turned in and redistributed to improve readiness, and programs to be in place to inspect and monitor compliance.
For more information on the property accountability campaign, visit https://forums.bcks.
Interagency Logistics Symposium
Highlights Disaster Relief Support
The biennial Interagency Logistics Symposium, held in June at the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) headquarters at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, focused on logistics related to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts. Participants included more than 140 individuals from 50 organizations, including Government and nongovernmental agencies, combatant commands, industry, and academia.
Personnel of the U.S. Southern Command, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the U.S. Embassy in Haiti discussed their experiences and lessons learned in responding to the devastating January earthquake in Haiti.
The symposium also featured a supply-chain modeling and simulation exercise that used a shared-workspace capability called the Small Group Scenario Trainer (SGST). Attendees played the roles of different
stakeholders confronted with a disaster scenario borrowed from the Military Sealift Command’s Sealift 2010 exercise and used SGST to plan and execute a coordinated interagency response.
“The event was very informative and provided a unique opportunity to understand interagency challenges,” observed Adam Yearwood, assistant for sealift and mobility, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Transportation Policy. “A key take-away is that we need to improve collaboration between all stakeholders.”
Army Receives First Palletized Load System A1s
In August, the Army received its first shipment of the palletized load system (PLS) A1s from Oshkosh Defense, a division of the Oshkosh Corporation. The vehicles feature design improvements that make it more secure and robust than its predecessor. The Army is slated to receive 725 PLS A1s by September 2011. (Photo by Oshkosh Defense)
New Strategy Will Guide Acquisition
of Tactical Wheeled Vehicles
The Army has sent to Congress a report detailing an acquisition strategy for tactical wheeled vehicles, including mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, through 2025.
According to the report, “Finding the right balance and mix of [tactical wheeled vehicles] requires the Army to continually assess and adjust investments. Managing this fleet effectively goes beyond simply buying new vehicles as the existing vehicles age beyond their useful life. We will use a combination of new procurement, repair (sustainment), recapitalization (recap), and divesture to achieve our strategic objective by addressing the readiness and mission issues of the fleet.”
The acquisition strategy calls for sustainment and recapitalization of 50,000 up-armored high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) and the divestiture of up to 50,000 aging HMMWVs, which will be replaced by new joint light tactical vehicles.
The Army will also continue to buy new trucks in the family of medium tactical vehicles, while 44,000 trucks will be sustained through reset and up to 28,000 aging trucks will be retired or divested. The strategy calls for divestiture of all M35 2½-ton trucks by the end of fiscal year 2011.
The report outlines a long-term armor strategy under which tactical trucks will be built using an A-kit/B-kit modular armor approach. This approach will meet the need to protect trucks on nonlinear battlefields where all vehicles are now targets of enemy fire and improvised explosive devices. The A-kit/B-kit approach will allow protection of trucks to be adjusted according to the potential threats they will face.
As the report describes the approach, “The A-kit is designed to accept additional armor in the form of a B-kit. The A-kit/B-kit concept allows the Army flexibility in several areas: the armor B-kit can be taken off when not needed—reducing unnecessary wear and tear on the vehicles; the Army can continue to pursue upgrades in armor protection—adapting B-kits to match the threat; and the versatility of the B-kit enables the transfer of armor from unit to unit [which] makes armor requirements affordable by pooling assets versus buying armor that is only for one vehicle.”
The overall tactical wheeled vehicle acquisition strategy is designed to provide maximum flexibility to respond to changes in combat circumstances, incorporate technological changes, and buy newer materials.
Airdrops in Afghanistan Break Records
Airdrop missions in Afghanistan continue to break records as more U.S. units arrive in the country. In spite of communication glitches and other problems encountered on these missions, during a 12-week period early this year, 500 bundles totaling 450 tons were dropped each week.
In April, units set a record with the delivery of more than 2,700 bundles. On 7 April, units set a single-day record of 200 bundles, totaling 160 tons of supplies delivered. For comparison, during the December 1944 Battle of the Bulge in World War II, 482 tons of supplies were dropped in a 2-day period. In Vietnam, during the battle of Khe Sahn, 294 tons were dropped in a 77-day period.
According to Air Force Colonel Keith Boone, who has managed Afghanistan airdrops since last year, airport rates “have been steadily increasing since sustainment airdrop operations began in 2005.” Boone says that this makes the mission in Afghanistan the longest aerial delivery mission in the history of military
operations. “With the exception of about 5 days, we have had at least 1 drop every day since I have been here, and I suspect that is true for the past 2 years.”
“Lots of great innovations [are] happening in theater,” said Air Force Brigadier General Barbara Faulkenberry, who recently served as director of mobility forces and commander of the Air Mobility Command’s 15th Expeditionary Mobility Task Force. “The end result is we’re providing what the warfighter needs, when he needs it, and where he needs it.”
Among those innovations are the joint precision airdrop system (JPADS), the improved container delivery system (ICDS), and the most recent development, the C–130-based “low-cost, low-altitude” (LCLA) combat airdrop used to resupply Soldiers at forward operating bases.
JPADS uses a global positioning system, steerable parachutes, and an onboard computer to guide loads to a designated point on a drop zone. It integrates the Army’s precision and extended glide airdrop system and the Air Force’s precision airdrop system program. ICDS allows for improved precision by factoring in altitude, wind speed, wind direction, terrain and other circumstances that might affect the drop. A low-cost, low-altitude airdrop is accomplished by dropping bundles weighing 80 to 500 pounds, with pre-packed expendable parachutes, in groups of up to four bundles per pass.
“The LCLA drops will meet the needs of a smaller subset of the units,” Boone said. “This is a significant step forward in our ability to sustain those engaged in counterinsurgency operations throughout Afghanistan.”
Aircraft that land and offload supplies will continue to be the main method of supplying Soldiers, according to Boone. But where this type of operation is not possible, supplies will be delivered through container delivery system airdrops.
U.S. Central Command Combined Air and Space Operations Center officials say 97 percent of airdrops have been on target as of July 2010.
“Tactical airlift has never been so responsive, so agile in our [tactics, techniques and procedures], and critical in a fight,” Faulkenberry said. “Airdrop is enabling the small, dispersed [counterinsurgency] unit to engage and operate. This April, we dropped 4,860,000 pounds to ground forces who needed the food, fuel, or ammo. It is taking air-ground teamwork to succeed, and together, we’re making our history.”
Army Holds First Mobility Systems Conference
More than 280 attendees took part in the Army’s first mobility systems conference, held from 5 to 7 April in Newport News, Virginia. The Army product managers (PMs) for transportation information systems, joint-automatic identification technology, and the Movement Tracking System and the product director of the Battle Command Sustainment Support System (BCS3) cosponsored the event, which provided a venue for discussion and collaboration on product connectivity and system commonalities.
Seventy-five percent of the participants were from the user community and received an end-to-end demonstration of information flow between the transportation coordinators. A panel discussion on current operations in Afghanistan was also held, along with workshops on air movement request procedures, automatic movement flow tracking in-transit visibility, BCS3 training simulation, the Cargo Movement Operations System, and other subjects.
Environmental Hotline Established
for Army Aviation and Missile Command
The Army Aviation and Missile Command (AMCOM) has created a hotline to answer questions about environmental issues. The hotline staff can identify currently approved substitute materials and provide expertise in depot maintenance work requirements and information on technical manuals and processes.
The hotline was put in place to resolve issues pertaining to obsolete products, hazardous material alternatives, regulatory guidance, and alternative technologies to reduce the environmental burden on AMCOM maintenance organizations. The AMCOM Environmental Hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can be reached by calling (256) 424–1711 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Army Responds to Floods in Pakistan
The Department of Defense announced on 27 August that 10 CH–47 Chinook and 8 UH–60 Black Hawk helicopters from the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade in Fort Wainwright, Alaska, were joining relief efforts to aid flood victims in Pakistan.
The U.S. military initially sent 15 helicopters and 3 C–130 Hercules aircraft to support relief efforts that, as of the end of August, had transported 2 million pounds of humanitarian assistance supplies and rescued 7,000 people. In the month following the flood, the United States provided $150 million to support immediate relief efforts and set aside an additional $50 million to re-establish communities affected by the floods.
Headquarters for U.S. Transportation Command
Ready for a Moving Workforce
The U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) has officially opened its new headquarters facility at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. The project, a result of the 2005 Base Closure and Realignment (BRAC) Commission recommendations, colocates the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) with TRANSCOM and the Air Mobility Command (AMC). SDDC is not only moving in with AMC; it is also consolidating three elements previously
housed at three different installations in Virginia to
one campus and reducing TRANSCOM’s footprint.
According to Steven Coyle, TRANSCOM director of BRAC transformation, the move brings the command a savings of $1.2 billion and required $130 million in improvements and upgrades to current command facilities. The upgrades include a new fusion center that will synchronize TRANSCOM’s global strategic mobility operations and house the Joint Distribution Process and Analysis Center. The headquarters is also home to the new Joint Intelligence Operations Center for Transportation, which will provide in-depth intelligence analysis for the Fusion Center. The intelligence center is housed in a $20 million addition funded by the Defense Intelligence Agency.
The Acquisition Center of Excellence is also a part of the new headquarters and incorporates the commercial contract activities of TRANSCOM, AMC, and SDDC. AMC’s and SDDC’s contracting functions were previously consolidated and have proven successful. A joint billing center will also improve support by consolidating comptroller billing and collection activities.
Other additions to the expanding TRANSCOM campus include upgrades and reconfigurations to Scott Air Force Base to house the AT21 [Agile Transportation for the 21st Century] Enterprise Integration Laboratory. In fiscal year 2012, the Global Patient Movement Requirements Center and the Defense Transportation Coordination Initiative Office/Distribution Portfolio Management branch will relocate to the campus from leased facilities off base.
Agency Renames Units
to Highlight Unity
of Logistics Mission
Navy Vice Admiral Alan Thompson, the director of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), announced an initiative in July designed to create unity among DLA logistics unites. The plan, called “We Are DLA,” is a unified, single-agency approach that unites agency segments regardless of their geographic location and mission. Under the plan, DLA units will assume the following new names:
Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Pamphlet 525–3–1, The United States Army Operating Concept, published in August, explains how to comply with and execute guidance from the Army Capstone Concept. The pamphlet serves as a bridge between the capstone concept and the warfighting functional concepts. It will also guide revisions to Army doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities (DOTMLPF) from 2016 to 2028. These changes will be needed in order for the Army to function in a challenging environment with joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational partners, who will be key players in future warfare.
The pamphlet is available at the TRADOC website at www.tradoc.army.mil/tpubs/
Defense Working Group on Nondestructive Testing
The 58th Defense Working Group on Nondestructive Testing (DWGNDT) will meet from 7 to 9 December in Fort Worth, Texas. This year’s event is hosted by the Air Force Nondestructive Inspection Program Office at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
The DWGNDT is a meeting of engineers, scientists, technicians, and managers from U.S. commands and Government activities responsible for the development and application of nondestructive testing methods in research, engineering, maintenance, and quality assurance. All participants must be U.S. citizens. For more information or to register, visit the DWGNDT website at www.dwgndt.org.
Defense Logistics and Defense Logistics Medical
This year, Worldwide Business Research will hold its Defense Logistics Medical conference as part of Defense Logistics 2010 from 30 November to 3 December in Arlington, Virginia.
The focus of Defense Logistics Medical is the improvement of medical logistics processes to ensure timely delivery of medical support to the warfighter. The conference will highlight cold-chain storage and transportation and end-to-end supply chain management challenges for the Army, Marine Corps, and Navy communities.
Defense Logistics will concentrate on adapting to a new budget environment without sacrificing support to the warfighter. For more information
or to register, visit the conference website, www.defenselog.com.