Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Logistics, Logistics, Logistics: Can We Get the Army to the Fight?

Important question posed by David Larter ar Defense News The US Army is preparing to fight in Europe, but can it even get there?
The decline of U.S. surge capacity has been raising alarm bells in Washington as the National security structure comes to grips with facing dual threats from China and Russia, and has spurred efforts in Congress to try and get the Navy moving on a new class of logistics ship — also suggesting a look on the open market for used commercial ships to bridge the modernization gap.

But the list of issues the Ready Reserve Force faces in the meantime is ponderous. And solving them is going to mean the Navy, on the hook for the funding, will have to spend a lot of money on ships that largely stay in port during anything but national emergencies. This at a time that the Navy is trying to buy a new class of ballistic missile submarines, frigates and a new large surface combatant.

Shaking the dust off its long-range logistics plans has been a priority in the Army. A recent Navy report to Congress from March estimated that about 90 percent of all equipment used by the Army and Marine Corps in a major contingency would be transported by sea and the Army has been practicing moving large numbers of troops and equipment to Europe.
Go read it.

Not our first visit to this topic, see:
Warning Shot: "[T}he rapid depletion of the U.S. commercial fleet size" and a shortage of civilian mariners as threat to National Security

Sea Power Logistics: Fourth Arm of Defense:Sealift and Maritime Logistics in the Vietnam War by Salvatore R. Mercogliano and links therein.

Not Sexy But Important: "IG launches review of Military Sealift Command readiness problems"

Protecting the Military Sea Logistics Stream



  1. You are right to highlight these sealift issues. They boil down to two main ones. First Surge and Sustainment Sealift requires the Right type ships in Quantity. The metric for Sealift is defined in tens of thousands of tons. There is no way materials can be lifted by sea without a lot of large merchant or specialized sealift ships.
    Secondly, when the Navy buys auxiliary type ships for their specific tactical sealift i.e the CLF, those hulls are usually insufficient in tonnage and UNREP centric. Not what is needed for Surge and Sustainment.

  2. Two solutions for more sealift ships are needed. First the CHAMPS program must be run by MARAD/MSC, simply stated the Navy won't right the rqmts for a sealift ship~
    Secondly, the Navy needs to pump more money into the NDSF in order to buy auxiliaries and sealift ships for Navy missions.