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Chapter 1

Fundamentals of Army
Combat Service Support

Combat Service Support: The essential capabilities, functions, activities, and tasks necessary to sustain all elements of operating forces in theater at all levels of war. Within the national and theater logistics systems, it includes but is not limited to that support rendered by service forces in ensuring the aspects of supply, maintenance, transportation, health services, and other services required by aviation and ground combat troops to permit those units to accomplish their missions in combat. Combat service support encompasses those activities at all levels of war that produce sustainment to all operating forces on the battlefield.

JP 4-0

Though global developments and changing security relationships have changed the specific nature of threats, the role of the Army endures. It is the strategic land combat force that provides the nation with the capability to conduct decisive full spectrum operations on land. Combat service support (CSS) capabilities enable Army forces to initiate and sustain full spectrum operations. The fundamental purpose of the Army is to provide the land component of the joint forces that fight and win the Nation's wars, when and where required. Army CSS must always be capable of supporting this mission. It must also be able to support all possible mixes of offensive, defensive, stability, and support operations. In some operations, especially support operations, CSS may be the decisive force of the operation.

Operations and CSS are inextricably linked. The purpose of CSS is to generate and sustain combat power and expand the commander's operational reach. CSS staff officers, in concert with support operations staffs and other staffs of support organizations, provide relevant CSS information to the commander in terms he can rapidly apply to the situation, enabling him to visualize, describe, and direct operations. He must be able to translate information on status and location of resources into the impact on combat effectiveness in the present and near future. To do this, CSS commanders and staff officers must understand the commander's intent so they can visualize, describe, and direct the activities of their CSS organizations to meet the needs of the supported force. Currently, operations staffs, support planners, and CSS operators, coordinate to reach this understanding by applying their expertise to information available through existing information systems. Future developments in information systems, discussed later in this chapter, will enhance this capability.


CSS in Support of Army Mission
    Essential Task List
CSS Characteristics
CSS Functions
Engineering Support to CSS Operations
CSS Force Agility
Distribution-Based CSS
Velocity Management
Situational Understanding
Directions in CSS Development




1-1. FM 3-0 introduces and discusses the Army mission essential task list (METL). The Army METL lists the essential and enduring capabilities of the Army. While the tasks are not necessarily unique to the Army, they define its fundamental contributions to the Nation's security. CSS plays an important role in each task of the Army METL.



1-2. Through peacetime military engagement, Army forces significantly contribute to promoting regional stability, reducing potential conflicts and threats, and deterring aggression and coercion. In support operations, such as humanitarian assistance or disaster relief, CSS forces make up a large part of the effort. CSS in support of such operations helps promote goodwill toward the Nation and its ideals. CSS may be obtained through such activities as contracting support for field services, maintenance, and storage facilities that help foster economic prosperity in some nations. Through many day-to-day interactions, CSS forces bolster and strengthen multinational partnerships and foster the development of democratic institutions.



1-3. Army forces respond to crises in any environment. They are strategically responsive and versatile enough to support the nature and circumstances of any situation. Responsiveness is the ability to increase force presence, to increase the magnitude of the enemy's dilemma, and to act decisively. CSS is an integral part of the Army's rapid response. A distribution-based CSS system gives commanders increased management control and visibility of supplies, equipment, and personnel moving to and within the theater. The modular design of CSS organizations and their capability to conduct split-based operations give the force commander flexibility in tailoring CSS to meet the immediate need while minimizing lift requirements and the CSS footprint. Additionally, other CSS reach operations enhance responsiveness by using in-theater resources, such as host-nation support (HNS) and theater support contractors, to provide or augment services for deployed forces.



1-4. The Army can mobilize Reserve Component forces necessary to meet the contingent needs of combatant commanders or the requirements of war or national emergencies. CSS is a critical part of the mobilization process. As units transition from peacetime to crisis or war, United States (U.S.) Army forces must be quickly brought to wartime readiness in equipment, personnel, supply, maintenance, legal, and medical areas. CSS organizations man and operate mobilization stations and aerial and seaports of embarkation. They also track unit movements. CSS organizations accomplish such tasks while simultaneously mobilizing their own forces. Currently, 70 percent of the CSS forces are in the Reserve Component. The Army trains and equips these organizations to mobilize and deploy forces, as demonstrated during Operation Desert Shield. During this operation, Reserve Component CSS forces were quickly mobilized and integrated with the active component forces.



1-5. Army forces gain access to contested areas from the air, land, and sea. Army forces make it possible to seize areas previously denied by the enemy force. CSS supports forcible entry operations by aerial delivery, logistics over-the-shore operations, and ground transportation capabilities. The versatility of CSS organizations make it possible for CSS forces to support forcible entry operations and quickly convert to sustainment operations, when terrain is secured. The modular aspect of CSS organizations allows them to be tailored as rapidly deployable and tailorable early entry modules. This capability enhances their ability to support forcible entry operations.



1-6. Army forces today are the preeminent land forces in the world. That preeminence translates into the ability to dominate land operations-the decisive complement to air, sea, and space operations. The threat or use of Army forces to close with and destroy enemy forces through maneuver and precision, direct and indirect, fires is the ultimate means of imposing will and achieving a decisive outcome. The commander generates and sustains combat power to accomplish his mission by effectively and efficiently providing CSS. The Army CSS system, as a part of the joint personnel and logistics system, provides personnel, equipment, munitions, fuel, transportation support, and other services required to bring combat operations to a decisive conclusion.

1-7. Sustained land operations establish the long-term conditions required by the United States to support National objectives. Army forces are inherently durable, self-sustaining, and self-replenishing. Robust CSS makes sustained land operations possible. CSS consists of a network of people, organizations, and agencies from the continental United States (CONUS) to the area of operations (AO). Sustaining an operation requires close coordination between joint force and CSS planners; they work closely in planning, preparing, executing, and assessing every phase of an operation. Equipped with the latest technology, CSS commanders deliver personnel and materiel to the joint force commander (JFC), when required to increase his operational reach and sustain operations. Future enhancements in CSS technology will give commanders and CSS planners a more accurate common operational picture (COP) to better support Army and joint forces.



1-8. Army forces adapt and tailor their warfighting capabilities to complement and support civil authorities and agencies at home and abroad. Prompt Army assistance to civil authorities is often a critical and decisive element in disaster relief and crisis resolution. For example, following Hurricane Andrew in 1992, CSS organizations worked closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), providing food and water, shelter, clothing, health services, and morale and legal support.



1-9. The fundamental characteristics of effective and efficient CSS discussed in FM 3-0 apply throughout full spectrum operations. They are consistent and align with the seven logistics principles in JP 4-0. However, an eighth characteristic, integration, is critical to the Army. These characteristics are not a checklist; they are guides to analytical thinking and prudent planning.



1-10. Responsiveness is providing the right support in the right place at the right time. It includes the ability to foresee operational requirements. Responsiveness involves identifying, accumulating, and maintaining the minimum assets, capabilities, and information necessary to meet support requirements. It is the crucial characteristic of CSS; responsiveness involves the ability to meet changing requirements on short notice. Anticipating those requirements is critical to providing responsive CSS.

1-11. Anticipation is being able to foresee future operations and identify, accumulate, and maintain the right mix, capabilities, and information required to support to the force. Anticipation also enables CSS planners to provide input on the Army CSS forces the joint/multinational support force requires, so the commander can properly sequence them in the time-phased force and deployment data (TPFDD) process. Accurate forecasts of potential operations are necessary to develop a force that is strategically responsive, deployable, and fully capable of performing missions it is likely to receive. Many current CSS initiatives focus on improving the force capability to forecast requirements then execute or act on those forecasts. However, no planner can fully predict the course of the future. A dynamic global society places shifting strategic requirements on the military. Operations often evolve in unexpected directions as commanders constantly seek to exploit fleeting opportunities. Therefore, responsiveness rests on anticipation as well as flexibility. CSS units and personnel continually stay abreast of operations plans and remain flexible and ready to tailor available capabilities rapidly to meet changing requirements.



1-12. Simplicity means avoiding unnecessary complexity in conducting (planning, preparing, executing and assessing) CSS operations. It fosters efficiency in National and theater CSS operations. Mission orders, drills, rehearsals, and standardized procedures contribute to simplicity. Emerging CSS information systems can be highly efficient tools to help with such tasks as establishing clear support priorities and allotting supplies and services.



1-13. Flexibility is the ability to adapt CSS structures and procedures to changing situations, missions, and concepts of operations. CSS plans, operations, and organizations must be flexible enough to achieve both responsiveness and economy. The CSS force provides support in any environment throughout the spectrum of conflict and adapts as operations evolve. Flexibility may require improvisation (inventing, arranging, or fabricating what is needed from what is on hand). When established procedures do not provide the required support, CSS personnel seek innovative solutions, rapidly devise new procedures, or take extraordinary measures to adapt to the situation.



1-14. Attainability is generating the minimum essential supplies and services necessary to begin operations. Before an operation begins, the focus of the CSS effort is on generating combat power. The commander sets the minimum level of combat power he needs before an operation begins. This requires integrating operations and CSS planning. It involves the ability to identify and accumulate the critical resources required at the start of an operation.



1-15. Sustainability is the ability to maintain continuous support during all phases of campaigns and major operations. One of the characteristics of land combat is duration. CSS personnel must work with operations planners to anticipate requirements over the duration of the operation and with CSS operators to synchronize provision of required supplies and services throughout. CSS personnel must effectively perform their roles to attain the minimum combat power, then be able to follow on with additional resources to sustain operations for as long as required.



1-16. Survivability is the ability to protect support functions from destruction or degradation. CSS survivability is a function of force protection, which consists of those actions to prevent or mitigate hostile actions against personnel, resources, facilities, and critical information. Integrating CSS with operation plans and force protection plans is critical to CSS survivability. Economy, through such methods as CSS reach operations (discussed in paragraph 3-18) contributes to protecting capabilities by limiting the CSS resources that require protection. Dispersion and decentralization of CSS operations may also enhance survivability. The commander may have to balance survivability with economy in considering redundant capabilities and alternative support plans.



1-17. Economy means providing the most efficient support to accomplish the mission. Resources are always limited. The commander achieves economy by prioritizing and allocating resources. Economy reflects the reality of resource shortfalls, while recognizing the inevitable friction and uncertainty of military operations. Many CSS developments focus on the ability of the CSS commander to provide required support with the minimum expenditure of resources. Modular forces, split-based operations, and joint and multinational support coordination are some of the methods used to meet these goals. Emerging information technology with modern software packages continue to enhance economy of CSS resources.



1-18. Integration consists of synchronizing CSS operations with all aspects of Army, joint, interagency, and multinational operations. First, it involves total integration of Army CSS with the operations (plan-prepare-execute-assess) process. Support of the commander's plan is the goal of all CSS efforts. Effective support requires a thorough understanding of the commander's intent and synchronizing CSS plans with the concept of operations. Army forces conduct operations as part of joint, multinational, and interagency teams in unified actions. Therefore, Army forces integrate their CSS operations with other components of the joint force to-

  • Take advantage of each service component's competencies.
  • Allow efficiencies through economies of scale.
  • Ensure the highest priorities of the joint force are met first.
  • Avoid duplicating effort and wasteful competition for the same scarce strategic lift as well as in-theater resources.



1-19. CSS consists of 11 interrelated functions. CSS commanders must carefully plan, manage, and synchronize these functions to accomplish responsive and efficient delivery of CSS. This chapter introduces each of the functions; see chapters 6 through 14 for a detailed discussion of each function:




1-20. Supply is the acquiring, managing, receiving, storing, and issuing all classes of supply, except Class VIII, required to equip and sustain Army forces (see table 6-1). This wide-ranging function extends from determining requirements at the national level to issuing items to the user in theater. (See chapter 6 for Classes I through IV, VI, and VII. See chapter 8 for Classes V and IX. See chapter 9 for Class VIII. See JP 4-07 for Class X.)

Field services


1-21. Field services are essential services to enhance a soldier's quality of life during operations. They consist of clothing exchange, laundry and shower support, textile repair, mortuary affairs, preparation for aerial delivery, food services, billeting, and sanitation. The ARFOR commander determines the priorities for field service support in coordination with the JFC. (See chapter 6.)



1-22. Transportation is moving and transferring units, personnel, equipment, and supplies to support the concept of operations. Transportation incorporates military, commercial, and multinational capabilities. Transportation assets include motor, rail, air and water modes and units; terminal units, activities, and infrastructure; and movement control units and activities. (See chapter 7.)



1-23. Maintenance entails actions taken to keep materiel in a serviceable, operational condition, returning it to service, and updating and upgrading its capability. It includes performing preventive maintenance checks and services; recovering and evacuating disabled equipment; diagnosing equipment faults; substituting parts, components, and assemblies; exchanging serviceable materiel for unserviceable materiel; and repairing equipment (FM 4-30.3). The ultimate key to effective maintenance is anticipating requirements. (See chapter 8.)



1-24. Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) is the detection, identification, on-site evaluation, rendering safe, recovery, and final disposal of unexploded explosive ordnance. It may also include explosive ordnance that has become hazardous by damage or deterioration (JP 1-02). EOD support neutralizes domestic or foreign conventional, nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) munitions, and improvised devices that present a threat to military operations and to military and civilian facilities, materiel, and personnel. (See chapter 8.)



1-25. Health service support (HSS) consists of all services performed, provided, or arranged to promote, improve, conserve, or restore the mental or physical well-being of personnel in the Army and, as directed, for other services, agencies, and organizations. HSS conserves the force by preventing disease and nonbattle injuries (DNBIs); clearing the battlefield of casualties; providing far-forward medical treatment and hospitalization; providing en route care during medical evacuation; providing veterinary, dental, combat stress control, and laboratory services; and ensuring adequate Class VIII supplies, medical equipment, and blood are available. (See chapter 9.)



1-26. Human resource support (HRS) provides all activities and functions to sustain personnel manning of the force and personnel service support to service members, their families, Department of the Army civilians, and contractors. These activities include personnel accounting, casualty management, next-of-kin notification, essential personnel services, postal operations, and morale, welfare, and recreation. Joint doctrine refers to human resource support as personnel service support. (See chapter 10.)



1-27. Financial management operations (FMO) encompasses the two core processes of resource management and finance operations (JP 1-02). FMO make resources available when and where they are needed, and assist the commander in maintaining fiscal responsibilities. FMO are necessary for contracting and providing real-time information, accounting, and finance-related services. Resource management operations ensure that operational policies and procedures adhere to law and regulations, develop command resource requirements, and leverage appropriate fund sources to meet them. (See chapter 11.)



1-28. Legal support is the provision of operational law support in all legal disciplines (including military justice, international law, administrative law, civil law, claims, and legal assistance) to support the command, control, and sustainment of operations. (See chapter 12.)



1-29. Religious support is the provision and performance of operations for the commander to protect the free exercise of religion for soldiers, family members, and authorized civilians. It includes providing pastoral care, religious counseling, spiritual fitness training and assessment, and religious services of worship. It also includes advising the command on matters of religion, morals and ethics, and morale. (See chapter 13.)



1-30. Army band support is the provision of music to instill in soldiers the will to fight and win, foster the support of citizens, and promote National interests at home and abroad. Bands support information operations, provide music to the civilian community, promote patriotism and interest in the Army, and demonstrate the professionalism of Army forces. (See chapter 14.)



1-31. Engineering support, though not a CSS function, plays a critical role in delivering CSS by enhancing its capacities. The ability of CSS elements to support Army operations depends on the capacities of the existing theater infrastructure (such as, force reception/bed down and storage facilities, road and rail networks, and ports and airfields) and environmental considerations. Engineer units, normally in a direct support (DS) relationship to CSS headquarters, are responsible for constructing, maintaining, and rehabilitating the theater distribution system. Their responsibilities include support to other services, agencies, and multinational forces. The numbers and types of engineer units involved in such operations depend on mission, enemy, terrain and weather, troops and support available, time available, civil considerations (METT-TC) factors. Of particular importance are the size of the support bases required, existing host nation (HN) infrastructure, and the perceived threat. (See appendix A.)



1-32. The changing nature of modern warfare requires Army forces to be strategically responsive to a wide range of threats, while economically maximizing the Army's effectiveness. FM 3-0 describes an agile Army force. Agile forces are mentally and physically able to transition within or between types of operations with minimal augmentation, no break in contact, and no significant additional training. Responsiveness, flexibility, and economy are key CSS characteristics that enable CSS forces to support an agile combat force and execute operations more swiftly than their opponents. They help get the force what it needs to initiate, sustain, and extend operations. Agile CSS forces allow combat forces to adapt quickly to full spectrum operations and missions, while expending as few resources as possible and minimizing the CSS footprint.

1-33. Agile Army CSS requires planning and development within the context of unified action-operations that involve joint, multinational, and interagency organizations. Department of Defense (DOD) executive agent directives, combatant commander lead-service designations, interservice support agreements, contracted support arrangements, and multinational support agreements help commanders tailor the deployment of Army CSS organizations and make overall support as effective, yet as economical as possible.

1-34. Another aspect of an agile CSS force is the growing seamless nature of the Army's CSS structure. Elements of the strategic base, such as the U.S. Army Materiel Command (USAMC) logistics support element (LSE) and U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) elements, deploy to AOs. Commanders integrate them into the overall CSS force. They provide support at the operational level and, in certain scenarios, the tactical level.

1-35. Other aspects of an agile CSS force are modular designs, the ability to tailor CSS organization for the supporting mission, and the ability to conduct split-based operations.



1-36. Selected CSS units are structured as modular organizations. This involves company-level force structure designs in which each major company subelement has a cross-section of the company's total capabilities. This allows commanders to employ individual modules to provide a support function, while the rest of the unit remains operational. This lower-level force tailoring enhances responsiveness.



1-37.CSS force tailoring refers to determining and deploying the right mix of CSS units to support the force or mission. CSS commanders must deploy the right type of CSS unit to maximize effectiveness and efficiency, and to minimize the CSS footprint.



1-38. Split-based operations refer to performing certain CSS administrative and management functions outside the joint operations area (JOA), whether in a secure location in the communications zone (COMMZ), at an intermediate staging base (ISB), or at home station. Soldiers and civilians can perform personnel, materiel, and distribution management functions without deploying to the JOA if the information systems are adequate. This helps minimize strategic lift requirements, reduce the CSS footprint in theater, and still meet support requirements.



1-39. The Army has begun the challenging transition from a supply-based to a distribution-based CSS system. Distribution-based CSS replaces bulk and redundancy with velocity and control. During this transition, some units may not be able to execute all operations 100 percent according to distribution doctrine. However, only an agile distribution-based CSS system will allow Army forces to be strategically responsive and operationally effective across the full range of military operations. Distribution includes all the actions performed to deliver required resources (units, materiel, personnel, and services) to, from, and within a theater. Distribution-based CSS includes visibility, management, and transportation of resources flowing to supported forces, as well as the information systems, communications, and physical and resource networks of the distribution system. Chapter 5 discusses distribution-based logistics. FM 100-10-1 details the Army's role in theater distribution. JP 4-01.4 covers theater distribution. The following are critical aspects of a distribution-based system.



1-40. Distribution management centers /elements (DMC/Es) are being added to support commands. DMC/Es manage the Army's role in theater distribution. Critical to the central management functions of the DMC/E is having integrated, end-to-end visibility and control of the Army's piece of the distribution system capacity and distribution pipeline flow to maximize its efficiency.



1-41. Throughput is the flow of sustainability assets in support of military operations, at all levels of war, from point of origin to point of use. It involves the movement of personnel and materiel over lines of communications using established pipelines and distribution systems. Throughput distribution bypasses one or more echelons in the system to minimize handling and speed delivery forward. Distribution-based CSS emphasizes using containerization, to include palletization and packaging (within materiel-handling equipment constraints), to accommodate support and improve velocity. Velocity is achieved by throughput of resources from the sustaining base directly to tactical-level support organizations as much as possible.



1-42. A configured load is a single or multicommodity load of supplies built to the anticipated or actual needs of a consuming unit, thereby, facilitating throughput to the lowest possible echelon. Configured loads leverage the efficiencies of containerization and capabilities of containerized roll-on/off platforms (CROPs) when possible. The two types of configured loads are mission-configured loads (MCLs) and unit-configured loads (UCLs).

  • MCLs are built inside a theater of operations for a specific mission, unit, or purpose. Resources (personnel, equipment, and supplies) in a hub in the COMMZ/ISB or corps area are normally configured as MCLs.
  • UCL is a configured load built to the known requirements of a consuming unit. These loads are normally built in the corps AO to be delivered directly to the consuming unit.



1-43. Scheduled delivery involves moving resources from the supporting organization to the supported units at agreed-on time intervals. Distribution managers at each echelon coordinate with the supported unit to establish scheduled delivery times for routine replenishment. Generally, this includes items such as bulk fuel, ammunition, and operational rations.



1-44. Time-definite delivery (TDD) is a commitment between the CSS manager and the supported commander and specifies order-ship times (OSTs) within which specified commodities requested by the supported unit must be delivered. The commander responsible for both the supporting and supported organizations establishes the TDD as part of the distribution plan. TDD parameters are normally expressed in terms of hours or days for each major commodity. Establishing OSTs involves making trade-offs between responsiveness and the length of lines of communication (LOC). If the commander wants to establish shorter TDD schedules, he has to accept larger stockage levels forward on the battlefield, shorter LOC, or both, with an accompanying loss of flexibility and agility.



1-45. Effective distribution depends on the movement control principle of maximum use of carrying capacity. This principle involves more than loading each transport vehicle to its maximum cubic carrying capacity. It also means using all available transport capability in the most efficient manner. While allowing for adequate equipment maintenance and personnel rest, transportation operators should keep transportation assets loaded and moving as much as the situation permits. Adhering to the principles of velocity management may conflict with this principle. Delivering a shipment rapidly may require transporting it in a less-than-truckload shipment. Individual commanders and logisticians must consider the ramifications of maximizing the carrying capacity or transporting in less-than-truckload shipment when developing the distribution plan.

1-46. Velocity management (VM) is an Army-wide total quality management, process-improvement program. VM strives to provide world-class logistics support while providing a hedge against unforeseen interruptions in the logistics pipeline by leveraging information technologies and optimizing its processes. The overarching objective is to get supplies into the hands of the warfighter in days or hours, not weeks. VM optimizes the Army's entire logistics process by using a simple three-step methodology: define, measure, and improve. VM's objective is to find and eliminate non-value processes, thereby enhancing the responsiveness of the distribution system.

1-47. VM dramatically improves the responsiveness and efficiency of the Army logistics system. VM works with logistics applications and technology as process enablers. Examples include radio frequency identification devices (RFIDs), the automated manifest system (AMS), optical memory cards (OMCs), the materiel release order control system (MROCS), and stacked barcode symbologies. These enablers provide commanders, from strategic to tactical level, the ability to maintain visibility of materiel movement, receipt, storage, and inventory throughout all logistics operations. Information systems, such as joint total asset visibility (JTAV) and Global Transportation Network (GTN), integrate multiple distribution and transportation enablers into a single data warehouse.

1-48. Several management tools give the logistician the ability to manage assets proactively and provide responsive support. One such tool is the web-based Integrated Logistics Analysis Program (ILAP). ILAP gives the CSS community an interactive database to analyze logistics performance and manage materiel assets. ILAP will become the management module in the emerging Global Combat Service Support--Army (GCSS-A).

1-49. Another management tool is the equipment downtime analyzer (EDA), a decision support tool that improves measurement of equipment readiness and its components. This improves the commander's ability to identify the underlying causes of current equipment readiness problems and project those that might arise during anticipated operations. It works by combining data from various Army databases to provide a comprehensive picture of overall operational results. EDA enhances the commander's capability to focus constrained resources where they will have the greatest effect on keeping equipment ready to fight (whether by improving equipment reliability, performing battlefield damage assessment and repair or maintenance actions, or reducing repair time).

1-50. For deployment planning and contingency operations, logisticians can use the deployment stock planner (DSP) to create a deployment authorized stockage list (ASL) tailored to their specific mission and environmental conditions. The DSP is a software tool that allows a unit to compare a deployment stock package to its current ASL quickly, allowing the unit to make any necessary changes to the package.

1-51. VM's performance metric is customer wait time (CWT). CWT measures the speed and efficiency of the logistics community's ability to support the soldier in the field. CWT begins when the requirement is established in the Unit-Level Logistics System (ULLS)/Standard Army Maintenance System (SAMS) and ends when receipt is recorded in ULLS/SAMS.

1-52. A key component to VM is establishing and maintaining site improvement teams (SITs) by installation commanders. Commanders organize SITs to focus on logistics processes on their installation. The SIT membership should consist of the organization's subject matter experts (SMEs) who understand the complexity of the site's logistics processes and services. The SIT uses the methodology of define, measure, and improve for logistics optimization at the organization level. The program of the SIT includes a review of VM-established metrics and those metrics listed in AR 710-2 and AR 750-1, and a translation of these metrics into logistics process objectives for the organization. Ultimately, VM enhances total performance as the Army reduces stockpiles and converts to precision, speed, and tailored logistics. It helps CSS commanders provide more predictable, versatile, and mobile support to warfighters.



1-53. A factor that enables an agile CSS force to focus a distribution-based system to respond to and meet the needs of the operational commander is situational understanding (SU). Situational understanding is the product of applying analysis and judgment to the common operational picture to determine the relationships among the factors of METT-TC (FM 3-0). For the CSS planner SU is enhanced through the use of advanced, seamless information technology, as exemplified by the capability of the combat service support control system (CSSCS) coupled with the future capability of GCSS-A. A discussion of the key elements of SU follows. These elements are in various stages of development.



1-54. An operational picture is a single display of relevant information within a commander's area of interest (FM 3-0). A common operational picture is an operational picture tailored to the user's requirements, based on common data and information shared by more than one command (FM 3-0). The COP portrays the same CSS and operational data, the threat, and the environment at all echelons in near real-time to provide commanders and CSS managers the identical battlefield picture. Commanders and managers require this picture to ensure unity of command and integrate operations and CSS. A seamless information network combined with asset visibility and GCSS-A, the new standard Army management information system (STAMIS) for CSS, will ultimately provide a COP that is comprehensive and synchronized with the information from CSSCS.



1-55. A seamless information network will provide the ability to autonomously exchange large volumes of information across data platforms, such as GCSS-A and CSSCS, and among multiple echelons of command, from the tactical to the strategic level. It will include the capability to determine the actual status of selected weapon systems via assessing the system maintenance and supply (ammunition and fuel) postures directly and feeding the information into the CSS network. It will fuse operational and CSS data to make distribution-based CSS and split-based operations possible. It will also enhance the security of CSS assets by providing a COP.



1-56. Timely and accurate visibility is necessary to distribute assets on time. Visibility begins at the point where materiel starts its movement to the theater-be that a depot, commercial vendor, or a storage facility-and continues until it reaches the requestor/user. The information is digitized and entered into CSS information systems. Critical to visibility is the capability to update that source data dynamically with the near-real-time status of resources from subsequent CSS systems until they arrive at their ultimate destinations.



1-57. An integrated STAMIS is one that incorporates multiple types of functionality within a single system and shares database information between functionalities. GCSS-A is an example of an integrated STAMIS. It will interface with other CSS information systems to provide users access to the maximum amount of information with the minimum amount of data entry. Ultimately, full integration of data and CSS systems will eliminate the need for an application interface.



1-58. Today Army forces seek to dominate an expanded AO with a minimal number of deployed troops, through depth and simultaneous attack. Because future operations will often entail a nonlinear, noncontiguous AO, CSS personnel will face vast challenges. They will have to meet various simultaneous demands across a potentially large AO with a reduced CSS force presence. The Army can accomplish its mission with an agile system when the distribution flow suffers no breaks in the seams between levels. Its real success, however, will depend on fielding a force that consumes fewer resources.

1-59. To meet these challenges, the Army is transforming. As the Army transforms, it must continue to sustain the legacy force (Force XXI and Army of Excellence organizations) as it moves toward developing and fielding the Objective Force. The Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT) now being developed will consist of lethal and highly mobile Army units that will deploy to preclude large-scale aggression and shape the situation in the land AO for much earlier decisive operations. In small-scale contingencies (SSC), combinations of modernized brigades and forcible entry units will provide JFCs with decisive capabilities. When fielded, the Objective Force will possess the strategic responsiveness necessary to conduct decisive, shaping, and sustaining operations in a manner similar to that of Operation Just Cause, but against more robust opponents.

1-60. As the Army transforms, so must CSS. CSS transformation is much more than just putting new technology on top of old processes. It requires CSS forces to be able to deploy rapidly to support current and future forces, effectively sustain full spectrum operations, and synchronize Army with joint efforts. The CSS transformation charter has a three-fold goal:

  • Enhance strategic responsiveness to meet deployment timelines.
  • Reduce CSS footprint in the AO.
  • Reduce logistics costs without reducing warfighting capability and readiness.

1-61. Enhancing strategic responsiveness requires optimizing Army support organizations and streamlining support procedures. Establishing a national logistics provider could maximize effectiveness and efficiencies by providing not only deployment support but also sustainment support. Common unit designs will enhance flexibility by deploying unit modules based on METT-TC, instead of entire units. Standardizing loads when possible maximizes lift capabilities.

1-62. The Army is developing and maximizing the use of strategic mobility enablers. This effort includes-

  • Developing and improving its information system capabilities and CONUS/theater infrastructure.
  • Prepositioning required support to minimize lift requirements.
  • Leveraging technology to build high-speed/ultra-large sealift and airlift capabilities.
  • Improving support infrastructures; and leveraging future technologies to develop precision munitions, fuel-efficient engines, and built-in prognostic and diagnostic technology.

1-63. In the long term, minimizing the CSS footprint in the AO also requires a cultural change. The Army must leverage the use of contractors and host-nation support assets; develop procedures for split-based operations; and use ISBs when feasible. These are some of the key aspects of reducing the U.S. CSS footprint in the AO, and the cornerstones of CSS reach operations. (See chapter 3.)

1-64. The final goal of CSS transformation is to transform the institutional CSS components of the Army, reducing CSS costs without reducing warfighting capability and readiness. Some components of CSS cost reduction are the single stock fund, national maintenance program (NMP), and improved depots and arsenals.

1-65. Achieving the Army Transformation requires a cultural change in how the Army views CSS. It requires new approaches to such areas as database management and dependence on organizations outside the military for support. Traditional geographic-based CSS relationships, with wholesale and retail orientations and breaks between providers at various levels of war, must be transformed into a seamless CSS continuum. In a rapidly changing strategic environment with dramatic advances in technological applications to military operations, CSS doctrine must be flexible. CSS personnel must be willing and able to apply evolving principles and techniques to varying dynamic situations.

1-66. An enhanced COP and full synchronization of effort are critical to success. Support personnel must have an increased awareness of what is required and what is available. Understanding what is required relies on synchronizing CSS operations with operational activities through the Army battle command system (ABCS). Support will become more efficient and effective through improved anticipation, as CSS personnel are better able to foresee future operations and identify, accumulate, and maintain the assets, capabilities, and information required to support them.

1-67. Awareness of what is available and the ability to direct it to where it is needed at the required time requires total integration of all elements of the CSS system-including active and Reserve Component Army, joint, multinational, civilian, and other agencies. The system must network decision makers as well as those responsible for executing CSS operations. It must link combatant commanders, and service staff managers, personnel support managers, materiel managers, distribution managers, services managers, information managers, and CSS operators. This network will support continued CSS capability enhancements through initiatives such as telemedicine, total asset visibility, VM, and predictive anticipatory maintenance capability.

1-68. A number of future maintenance initiatives will also increase the agility and economy of the CSS force. The shift towards a low-level maintenance concept (field maintenance and sustainment maintenance) reduces the requirement for extensive repair facilities, tools, and personnel to push forward by providing units the capability to replace faulty equipment forward and repair in the rear. In addition, the multicapable maintainer, augmented by highly portable automated diagnostic aids and on-board weapon system prognostics/diagnostics will replace modules and line replaceable units more effectively, rapidly returning weapon systems and vehicles to mission-capable status. Battlefield computers will have built-in tests, built-in diagnostics, and eventually prognostics. Finally, combining organizational and direct support maintenance maximizes economy in forward maintenance elements.

1-69. Information systems are the equipment and facilities that collect, process, store, display and disseminate information. These include computers-hardware and software-and communications, as well as policies and procedures for their use (FM 3-0). Objective Force information systems will greatly enhance the ability of CSS commanders and staffs to communicate status and near-term capabilities to force commanders, as well as to anticipate requirements. They will include, within weapon system platforms, a full set of sensors that report weapon status in terms of readiness, required maintenance, fuel, manning, and ammunition. This information will be transmitted to either GCSS-A or CSSCS or both, depending on the specific information. For example, fuel status would go to CSSCS for battalion supply officers and forward support battalion support operations personnel to track status and plan fueling operations, while maintenance prognostic information would go to GCSS-A for initiation of work order and parts requests. GCSS-A will update CSSCS as part of its next scheduled update. GCSS-A will be the main scheduled information feed to CSSCS.

1-70. Transition to this future CSS system will occur incrementally; the Army is currently implementing some initiatives. Other initiatives are scheduled within the life cycle of this manual. For example, some aspects of the future system (such as using host-nation support, the USAMC LSE, or contracting) will involve refining current systems and practices. Implementing other elements of the system, such as the national maintenance program and VM, has already begun but will continue to evolve. Still other components (such as the information systems and space-based capabilities) will take a significant long-term effort to bring to maximum effectiveness.


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