Trucks are the backbone of logistics. Motor transport is the backbone of the Army's support and sustainment structure, providing mobility on and off the battlefield. Trucks transport personnel, munitions, replacement combat vehicles, petroleum products, critical supply items, and combat casualties. No aspect of Army operations or logistics sustainment can function for very long without truck support. This truth is reflected in the Transportation Corps' unofficial motto, "Nothing happens until something moves."
Since 1980, the Army has made a concentrated effort to acquire new tactical wheeled vehicles as "Families". This family approach to acquisition has a number of advantages. Among them are: reduced procurement costs through volume production; fewer makes, models, and types; and a reduced logistics burden through fewer unique parts/components to be procured, stocked, and managed, and simplified training, etc.
Light, medium and heavy Tactical Wheeled Vehicles are designated by vehicle weight. Vehicles are designated Light when their Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) is less than 2.5 U.S. Tons. Medium class vehicles are those between 2.5 (called light-medium) and 5-10 tons (called medium), inclusive. Heavy class vehicles are generally 10 tons and beyond. A light class vehicle (e.g., M1152) with a trailer can carry up to a 5,500 pound payload, a medium class vehicle with a trailer can haul a 10 ton payload, while a Heavy class is assigned to vehicles which can haul the heaviest payloads (e.g., M915A3 can handle a gross vehicle weight of 52,000lbs).
The current Tactical Wheeled Vehicle (TWV) fleet is composed of the M915, PLS, HET, HEMTT, FMTV, and HMMWV family of vehicles, as well as all associated trailers. PM-TV pursues technology that will improve the capabilities of the current fleet with the right products at the right time for the right price. In an effort to explain these goals and gain the support of industry, a Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Modernization Strategy Update to Industry was delivered on 30 March 2004 by the PEO for CS&CSS to an audience of manufacturers and other interested industry parties.
A key enabler of the Strategy is the Expedited Modernization Initiative Procedure (EMIP) Process, a PEO CS&CSS initiative designed to identify and leverage industry's investments in advanced technologies. This process will also allow for insertion of these technologies as quickly as possible. The EMIP process will be carried out in parallel with the Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) for the Future Tactical Truck System (FTTS). EMIP is the first step of a multi-phased approach to identify and assess key unique technologies ready for production for the current TWV fleets and to develop the capabilities which will better support the Future Force. The time frame for this modernization process to include the EMIP and the FTTS ACTD is FY04-FY08.
Fleet recapitalization is a process used by the military to overhaul weapon systems and at the same time insert new technology to achieve current configuration. This process supplements new production with remanufactured assets in an effort to modernize the fleet and improve readiness. A critical piece to running a recapitalization program is the requirement for core materiel to produce a recapped item. For trucks, a plan must include identification of core vehicle assets to support a production schedule.
Current assets are being used at a rate that will significantly reduce life expectancy. This usage will cause the Marine Corps to either recapitalize the fleet with like vehicles or begin transitioning the fleet to a class of vehicles is that is more valuable in a EMW/Seabasing environment.
Dedicated to supporting the joint and expeditionary force, Army logistics is creating solutions for today's and tomorrow's war?ghter. Today's Tactical Wheeled Vehicles (TWV) will support the future combat system equipped brigade combat teams. To ensure the Army can support the future force, Army logistics is addressing three critical shortfalls with today's fleet. First, today's TWV fleet is aging beyond its useful life. Second, combat losses are reducing the size of the fleet while requirements for TWVs have increased. Finally, the capabilities of the current fleet will not allow e?ective support to an expeditionary Army.
By 2005 the TWV fleet averaged about 30 years of age, while the average Army truck driver is 20 years old. Over 50% of the Army's existing TWV fleet was approaching, or had exceeded, its Economic Useful Life (EUL). As the TWV fleet ages, operational and sustainment costs continue to climb. Additionally, increased operational requirements accelerate the aging of the TWV fleet. Since the commencement of hostilities in Iraq, TWV usage rates have grown eight-fold. Approximately 2,000 trucks haul supplies daily over a very hazardous 876 mile supply route from Kuwait into Iraq. This accelerated aging of the fleet demanded that Army logisticians move rapidly to establish a life-cycle program of refurbishment and procurement.
To compensate, a TWV Assessment Integrated Process Team (IPT) was established to conduct data collection and integration, analysis, modeling, and assessment of the TWV fleet. This process provides insight into the health of the fleet based upon the environment, OPTEMPO, and ages of the fleet worldwide.
The expeditionary Army requires a distribution-based sustainment structure. This increases reliance on TWVs to deliver sustainment to the forward edge of the battle?eld. Battle losses and damage caused by operations are reducing the on-hand inventory, and will continue to do so for several more years. Additionally, the requirement for TWVs in the modular force has increased in order to make the future force more self-sufficient. The Army expects that it will require the addition of 40,000 trucks to its current 225,000 truck fleet to meet the requirements of the modular force.
Today's TWV fleet is losing the capability to effectively support the modern battle?eld. Ground forces now operate on a non-contiguous, non-linear, rapidly reorganizing battlefield. Today's reliance on ground distribution, coupled with the characteristics above, place Army logisticians at high risk. Commanders cannot effectively control distribution because they cannot communicate with their operators. Only minimum in-transit visibility is available. Additionally, drivers cannot communicate with each other, their home operating base, or their destination. These drivers have very little battle?eld awareness while on a mission. Because neither the driver nor the commanders can see changes in the operating environment, both are unable to effectively react to changing logistical requirements. This lack of situational awareness compounds an already risky operating environment, creating more dangers for drivers.
To ensure mission success, the Army requires a comprehensive fleet-wide TWV strategy to modernize the current fleet while transforming to a future truck system. As the research and development community continues long-term work on a future truck system, they are also developing several key near-term and mid-term capabilities. When inserted into today's TWV, these capabilities will improve theater distribution across the force. The Army has developed a TWV strategy that ensures viability of the entire fleet through 2030. This strategy strikes a balance between new procurement and cyclic refurbishment and leverages the spiral insertion of new capabilities as vehicles go through the refurbishment process.
Performance Based Logistics (PBL) is the preferred support strategy for materiel systems. The Army will implement PBL on weapon systems in order to provide the war fighter increased operational readiness; increased reliability; enhanced logistics response times; enhanced deployment support; enhanced wartime support; reduction in the logistics footprint, and reduction in logistics costs. Under this PBL contract, the contractor will be responsible for a large portion of the worldwide tactical vehicle fleet logistics support, such as supply chain management and all scheduled and unscheduled Sustainment level maintenance. The contractor will be responsible for the scheduled Preventative Maintenance Checks & Service (PMCS) at the field level, with the exception of any operator level daily, weekly or monthly checks. The focus of this PMCS effort will be semi-annual and annual services and lubr ications. The Army will retain responsibility for the unscheduled field maintenance of tactical vehicles. Contractor will be responsible for executing a complete Total Package Fielding of all new production, Reset and/or RECAP vehicles. Operator and maintenance training to include both new equipment training and sustainment training will be the contractors responsibility. Contractors will be required to produce a Training Program which can be executable by Army Field units as a stand alone NET and/or Sustainment Training package. The support process is required to be transparent to the war fighter. In addition, the contractor will be responsible for vehicle configuration, to include recommendation and implementation of configuration changes to improve performance and reliability.
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