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United States Logistics Command
CSC 1993
SUBJECT AREA - Logistics
                         EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Title:   United States Logistics Command
Author:  Major Raymond M. Martin, United States Marine Corps
Thesis:  Efforts to streamline and consolidate logistics and
support activities in order to support the national perspective
of retaining critical defense capabilities with fewer resources
are insufficient to support the combat needs of Marine
expeditionary forces.  The Marine Corps must go one step further
by prompting the Department of Defense to establish a unified
logistics command that will integrate the national objective of
reducing defense expenditures with the combat perspective of
supporting expeditionary forces.
Background:      JCS Pub. 2 assigns each service the function of
"providing logistic support for service forces, including
procurement, distribution, supply, equipment, and maintenance,
unless otherwise directed by the Secretary of Defense.  As a
result of the  Secretary of Defense's July 1989 Defense
Management Report (DMR), fundamental changes were made in the
acquisition system and the management practices of the Department
of Defense.  The intent of these changes was to streamline
management structures, cut excess infrastructure, eliminate
redundant functions, and initiate standard business practices
throughout the Department of Defense.  The implementation of the
DMR initiatives has significantly altered the capability of the
services to provide logistic support as directed by JCS Pub. 2.
Of particular interest to the Marine Corps were those DMR
initiatives that directed supply depot consolidation, consumable
item transfer, and restructure of the defense depot maintenance
operations.   Efforts to streamline and consolidate logistics and
support activities in order to support the national perspective
of retaining critical defense capabilities with fewer resources
are insufficient to support the combat needs of Marine
expeditionary forces.  The commander, whether service chief or
CINC, must control his own logistics.  Centralized policies and
procedures will not be responsive to the needs of the CINCs as
they attempt to prosecute successful campaigns.  Furthermore, by
over centralization, we will be extending unwanted civilian
authority into combat operations.  Focusing on logistics as a
business than as branch of military art and science will
undermine fighting capability.  Military logistics is much more
than counting and maintaining inventory.  Military logistics must
adjust to the requirements of supported units and be able to
forecast and satisfy fluctuating demands.
Recommendation:  The Marine Corps must take the lead and use its
influence within the Department of Defense to promote the
establishment of a unified logistics command.
                             OUTLINE
Thesis:  Efforts to streamline and consolidate logistics and
support activities in order to support the national perspective
of retaining critical defense capabilities with fewer resources
are insufficient to support the combat needs of Marine
expeditionary forces.  The Marine Corps must go one step further
by prompting the Department of Defense to establish a unified
logistics command that will integrate the national objective of
reducing defense expenditures with the combat perspective of
supporting expeditionary forces.
     I.  Reducing the cost of defense
         A.  Logistics
         B.  Review of defense management practices
     II. Advantages of defense management review initiatives
         A.  Support the national objective
         B.  Developed within the Department of Defense
         C.  Promote the formulation of standardized
             procedures
    III. Drawbacks of defense management review initiatives
         A.  The commander must control logistics
         B.  Conflicting logistic responsibilities
         C.  Logistics as a  business
    IV.  Proposed Solutions
         A.  Appointing a military officer to head DLA
             1.  Advantages
             2.  Disadvantages
         B.  Establish U.S. Logistics Command
             1.  Advantages
             2.  Proposed missions
                UNITED STATES LOGISTICS COMMAND
     by Major Raymond M. Martin, United States Marine Corps
     The disintegration of the Soviet Union and the enormously
successful operation for the liberation of Kuwait has prompted
government officials and military planners to review the entire
spectrum of military defense within this country.  The intent of
this review is to reduce the cost of defense while maintaining
the ability to successfully defend against current and future
threats.  Logistics, which affects the mission of every service,
is a target of this review.  The Secretary of Defense's February
1991 Annual Report to the President and the Congress and January
1993 Annual Report to the President and the Congress reveals
comprehensive changes in the area of logistics to reduce cost,
provide more efficient service, and strengthen defense
management.
     Efforts to reduce defense expenditures are not new.  In 1986
similar ideas were expressed by the President's Blue Ribbon
Commission on Defense Management:
     ...there is a great need for improvement in the way we think
     through and tie together our security objectives, what we
     spend to achieve them, and what we decide to buy.  The
     entire undertaking for our nation's defense requires more
     and better long-range planning.  This will involve concerted
     action by our professional military, the civilian leadership
     of the Department of defense, the President, and the
     Congress. (14:134)
In February 1989, President Bush directed a review of defense
management practices.(5:30)   The product of this review,  the
Defense Management Report (DMR) was published in July of 1989.
The  DMR  was  unique  in  the  sense  that  recommendations  for
improvements in defense management were implemented.
     JCS Pub. 2 assigns each service the function of "providing
logistic support for service forces, including procurement,
distribution, supply, equipment, and maintenance, unless
otherwise directed by the Secretary of Defense."(12:2-2)  As a
result of the  Secretary of Defense's July 1989 Defense
Management Report (DMR), fundamental changes were made in the
acquisition system and the management practices of the Department
of Defense. (16:28)  The intent of these changes was to streamline
management structures, cut excess infrastructure, eliminate
redundant functions, and initiate standard business practices
throughout the Department of Defense.(16:28)  The implementation
of the DMR initiatives has significantly altered the capability
of the services to provide logistic support as directed by JCS
Pub. 2.
     Of particular interest to the Marine Corps were those DMR
initiatives that directed supply depot consolidation, consumable
item transfer, and restructure of the defense depot maintenance
operations.  In March of 1992 all 30 depots in the Department of
Defense, including Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Barstow and
MCLB Albany, were consolidated under Defense Logistics Agency
(DLA) management. (17:42)  The Marine Corps also participated in
the development of the Defense Depot Maintenance Council (DDMC)
Corporate Business Plan that involves expanding competition among
the services and civilian contractors for the depot maintenance
workload.(17:42)  Efforts to streamline and consolidate logistics
and support activities in order to support the national
perspective of retaining critical defense capabilities with fewer
resources are insufficient to support the combat needs of Marine
expeditionary forces.  The Marine Corps must go one step further
by prompting the Department of Defense to establish a unified
logistics command that will integrate the national objective of
reducing defense expenditures with the combat perspective of
supporting expeditionary forces.
     There are three primary advantages in supporting the DMR
initiatives even though they may reduce the logistics support of
expeditionary forces.  These advantages are significant
considering the uncertainty of the threat facing this country and
the demand from government agencies, not associated with the
military, for limited national resources.
     First, DMR initiatives support the national objective of
reducing defense expenditures.  The Secretary of Defense projects
that full implementation of the DMR initiatives will save over
$70 billion between 1990 and 1999.(17:48)  These savings are
significant because they rely on cost effective business
practices to achieve savings rather than the short sighted method
of simply reducing force structure.  Furthermore, these savings
are important in an era where defense outlays as a percent of
federal outlays continue to decrease.  For example, in 1990
defense outlays as a percent of federal outlays were 23.2.(15:19)
The Department of Defense projects that defense outlays as a
percent of federal outlays will drop to 18 by 1993.(3:19)
Reducing the cost of doing business by streamlining management
structures, eliminating redundant functions, and cutting excess
infrastructure becomes even more compelling in an era of
declining defense budgets coupled with increased competition from
other government programs that do not relate to the military.
     Second, the DMR initiatives were developed within the
Department of Defense with input from all the service components
and civilian employees.(17:47)  The focus of those personnel
providing input was to develop long-term procedures that would
enhance the efficiency of the Defense Department without major
reductions in warfighting capability.  As a result, DMR
initiatives focus on long-term instead of short-term goals.  This
is of particular importance due to the fact that it takes many
years to turn defense requirements, identified by the unified
commanders and service commanders, into warfighting
capabilities. (11:134)
     Third, prior to the implementation of the DMR initiatives,
services tended to formulate plans that relied on resources that
were available within their own organizations.  As such, services
tended to ignore logistic support that could be provided by other
services and other government agencies.  One disadvantage of
failing to identify one service for common logistics support
became readily apparent in Vietnam. (2:133)  All four services
operated separate supply lines that converged on a small area in
Vietnam and quickly overwhelmed the ability of the theater
command to control its logistics support functions.(2:133)
Implementation of DMR initiatives will consolidate logistics
functions under a single manager that can efficiently control
available resources.
     DMR initiatives promote the formulation of standardized
operating procedures that link the various service components,
serve as a foundation for increasing efficiency by consolidating
logistics resources under a single manager, and reduce defense
expenditures.  However, the advantages of fully implementing DMR
initiatives must be weighed against certain drawbacks.
     First, the commander, whether service chief or CINC, must
control his own logistics.(9:208)  DMR initiatives effectively
consolidate supply depots and transfer management responsibility
of nearly one million consumable items to DLA.(17:42)  Neither
the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff nor CINCs have direct
control over the DLA because it is one of the thirteen
independent agencies within the Department of Defense.(1:2-6)  As
such, DLA reports directly to the Assistant Secretary of Defense
for Production and Logistics.(10:106)  This is significant to
military planners because the focus of the office of the
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Production and Logistics is on
acquisition program and policy questions instead of the
development of military requirements and their accompanying
scientific and technical issues.(10:118)  The consolidation of
supply depots and consumable items under DLA management limits
the focus on military requirements and relegates the service
chiefs to users instead of controllers of DLA services.
	Second, even though the DMR initiatives effectively
consolidate resources under DLA management, service chiefs are
still responsible for providing the CINC with the logistic
resources needed to fight. (12:2-2)  As a result, the close
coordination that is imperative between the national and theater
levels of command will not be possible because service chiefs do
not control the resources.(5:46)  Furthermore, logistics
establishes the campaign's operational boundaries.
     The lead time needed to arrange logistics support and
     resolve logistics concern requires continuous integration of
     logistic considerations into the operational planning
     process.  This is especially critical when available
     planning time is short.  Constant coordination and
     cooperation between the combatant command and component
     staffs--and with other combatant commands--is a prerequisite
     for ensuring timely command awareness and oversight of
     deployment, readiness, and sustainment issues in the theater
     of war.(5:46)
Centralized policies and procedures, dictated by DMR initiatives,
will not be responsive to the needs of the CINCs as they attempt
to prosecute successful campaigns.  The net effect of placing
resources, once under the control of the service chiefs, under
DLA management will be to extend unwanted civilian authority into
combat operations.
     Finally, focusing on logistics as a business than as a
branch of military art and science will undermine fighting
capability.  Commercial businesses constantly seek to reduce
inventory and demand on-time delivery of required supplies to
reduce their operating costs.  On the other hand, military
logistics is much more than counting and maintaining inventory.
Military logistics must adjust to the requirements of supported
units and be able to forecast and satisfy fluctuating demands.
This includes the stockage of combat essential items during
peacetime for wartime requirements.  Although small on-hand
inventories may suit commercial businesses, they will be
detrimental to combat units.  Furthermore, the defense industrial
base  will also decline as defense expenditures are reduced.
Therefore, defense industries that survive the budget cuts will
not be able to surge their output quickly enough to meet the
immediate needs of operational units in combat.
     Clearly these problems must be solved.  The solution must
place emphasis on the military aspects of logistics support yet
support the national objective of reducing defense expenditures.
Two alternative solutions will solve these problems.
     1.  Appoint a military officer to head the Defense Logistics
Agency.
     2.  Establish a unified logistics command.
     Appointing a military officer to head the DLA will offer
several advantages.  First, a military officer will link the
needs of combat forces with the needs of this nation to reduce
the cost of defense logistics by providing the DLA with a
warfighting perspective on the combat needs of operational
forces.  This perspective will be significant in an agency that
is largely composed of entrenched civilian bureaucrats whose
primary goal is to generate cost effective solutions that may not
be responsive to warfighting commanders.
     Second, because of current political pressure to reduce the
cost of defense, bureaucrats may be compelled to focus on near-
term goals that offer immediate cost savings.  This view is
extremely short sighted and does not address the complexity of
far sighted national strategy.  Additionally, this view
contradicts the original intent of the defense management review
that focused on long-range solutions to achieve cost
reductions.(17:47)  Military logistics is inherently inefficient
and does not readily lend itself to commercial practices.
Moreover, the military process that turns warfighting
requirements into capabilities is a three-year process.(1:5-5)
Therefore, a military officer would balance the cost reduction
goals of the agency with the long-range goal of providing
effective combat logistics support to operational commands.
     The principle of absolute and unquestioned civilian control
of all military activity is weakened by the brief tenure of most
civilian appointees and their wide variety of
backgrounds. (10:107)  Civilian appointees generally serve for
less than three years.(10:107)  Although some appointees are
proficient in the specialty they will administer, many are
political appointees whose only qualification was their support
of the President's political party.
     Civilians occupying positions of power have further moral
     obligations.  They should remain in office long enough to
     apply the experience which it is so costly for them to
     acquire.  They should study the art of war in order to learn
     the relationships and purposes of the various elements of
     war.  For if they do not understand the nature of human
     conflict and the nature and principles of combat
     effectiveness, the exercise of power by such civilians may
     well bring national disaster --just as much so as might
     inaptitude on the part of military commanders.(9:211)
	The problems of tenure and background will be solved by
appointing a military officer with a professional military
background to a fixed term of duty.  Additionally, civilian
control will be maintained by the Assistant Secretary of Defense
for Production and Logistics.
     The second alternative, establishing a unified logistics
command, offers clear advantages.  The commander in chief (CINC)
of a unified logistics command (USLOGCOM) will be responsible to
the National Command Authority for assigned missions and exercise
combatant command (COCOM) over assigned forces.  COCOM will
enable the CINC to organize and employ forces necessary to
accomplish assigned missions. (1:2-21)  Furthermore, COCOM will
give the CINC sufficient flexibility and responsiveness to focus
all efforts on logistically supporting combat forces responsible
to the needs of the warfighting command.  USLOGCOM will be
controlled at the highest echelons of command by the President
and the Secretary of Defense, yet remain flexible enough to
tailor its operations to meet the logistics needs of the
military.
     The CINC, USLOGCOM, will also be directly involved in the
Department of Defense Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System
(PPBS) and the Joint Strategic Planning System (JSPS).  The
purpose of these systems is to furnish the best possible mixture
of missions, forces, equipment, and support to the CINCs.(1:5-5)
The importance of these systems is twofold.  First, PPBS and JSPS
begin and end with the CINCs.(1:5-5)  Second, PPBS and JSPS turn
mission requirements into capabilities.  As such, the CINC and
USLOGCOM will provide a logistics viewpoint at the inception of
the planning cycle regarding the direction and coordination of
logistics affairs.  Finally, USLOGCOM will focus on long-term
goals and directly link national strategy with logistics at the
operational level.
     Although each of the solutions will solve the problem of
providing cost-effective and efficient logistics support, the
second alternative is clearly superior.  Appointing a military
officer will offer the Defense Logistics Agency a military
commander's perspective on logistics; however, the main drawback
remains the civilian bureaucracy within the agency.  Establishing
a unified logistics command will support the formulation of a
coherent, cost-effective logistics policy for national defense
and still maintain the supremacy of civilian control at the
highest levels of government.
     If a USLOGCOM is established, the following missions could
be assigned:
     1.  Assist the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on all
logistics matters.
     2.  Assist the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in
developing logistic policy, doctrine, and strategy.
     3.  Ensure linkage of strategic and operational logistics.
     4.  Review CINC plans from a logistic viewpoint.
     5.  Provide logistics input to CINC plans.
     6.  Coordinate and set priorities for the transportation of
logistics support provided to  warfighting CINCs with the CINC
U.S. Transportation Command.
     7.  Assist the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Service Chiefs, and warfighting CINCs in identifying military
requirements, establishing priorities, and determining
allocations.
Assignment of these missions to USLOGCOM would relieve the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the warfighting CINCs
of many of their current responsibilities regarding logistics
affairs.  The impact on the warfighting CINCs is particularly
significant.  Warfighting CINCs would be able to focus their
efforts on designing and coordinating operational logistic
systems while USLOGCOM would support their efforts by ensuring a
fully compatible strategic logistic system.
     DMR initiatives will enable the Department of Defense to
achieve substantial improvements in defense management well into
the future.  However, by consolidating logistics functions in a
civilian agency the defense management review board overlooked
the important theme of achieving the unified effort that is
necessary for our national security.  Unified effort is not only
a prerequisite for successful command of military operations
during wartime, today, it is also indispensable for strategic
planning and for the effective direction of our defense program
in peacetime. (13:44)  Furthermore, the military perspective can
only be provided by a commander.
The command perspective is that logistics has no other purpose
than to constitute and to support combat forces that are
responsive to the needs of the warfighting commander.(9:9)
Therefore, the Marine Corps must take the lead and use its
influence within the Department of Defense to promote the
establishment of a unified logistics command.
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