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ON POINT II: Transition to the New Campaign

The United States Army in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM May 2003-January 2005

Part V


Chapter 14


The “M” in DOTMLPF—Materiel

Operations in Iraq have put an end to the age-old distinction between the front lines and rear echelons. The Army’s equipment must reflect this new reality. The contemporary operating environment includes a 360-degree enemy threat. That threat requires every Soldier and every system to be survivable while performing their primary mission, regardless of how far remote from combat it may be anticipated. The days of unarmored command and logistics vehicles are over. This is not to suggest that every system have the survivability of the M1 Abrams tank, but they must be able to survive a mine strike, artillery shrapnel, and small arms fire. And in the future, units in the Army Reserve and National Guard will need the same level of protection for their equipment as the Active force. The cost in peacetime will be considerable; the cost of not doing so will be unbearable in wartime.

It may be hard to envision another conflict in which the arsenal of democracy will be required to expand production as it did in World War II. It is apparent, however, that the national industrial base must be capable of expanding in critical areas more rapidly. The Army Materiel Command, Army depots, and commercial manufacturers need greater reserve capacity to produce ammunition, personal equipment, vehicles, and other supplies for any campaign lasting more than a few weeks. Their repair capacity must also be expanded. This will require far greater resources in peacetime than Congress has historically been willing to provide.

Chapter 14. Implications

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