Army logisticians rely on shared networks, information systems

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Anti-Access/Area Denial, or A2AD, sounds like it could be a new football zone defense.

But, in fact, A2AD was fleshed out by a five-member panel, including Maj. Gen. Lynn Collyar, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command commander, at the AUSA Winter Symposium and Exposition in Huntsville’s Von Braun Center.

From the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, or AMCOM, perspective, logisticians are heavily dependent on networks and mission-command information systems to perform the "science of control" for providing sustainment to deployed forces.

That is, logisticians rely on space-based communications to facilitate the transmittal of all kinds of logistical data and actions.

In terms of Anti-Access/Area Denial, enemies can be expected to use strategies and tactics – air defense systems, cruise missiles, anti-ship missiles, anti-satellite missiles/lasers, minefields, submarines, suicide boats, unmanned aerial vehicles – to keep friendlies away from areas where they wish to go.

"We at AMCOM permit the operational commands to be successful," Collyar said.

Adding, "As the Life Cycle Management Command, we are part of the weapon systems that will, ultimately, transfer to the Army. So, we work together with the program executive officers and their project managers through the design, fielding and sustainment phases. What’s really important here is that the reliability and capability of those systems relies on logisticians."

Foreign military sales, or FMS, aspects are also a key focus area.

"FMS keeps our costs downs and prepares us to be able to upgrade systems," Collyar said.

He added, "The Army is the biggest user of space-based assets; about 60 percent is the actual measure for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and other mission command functions."

Being prepared is crucial.

Key readiness drivers for supported systems need to be in place when needed.

"Put simply, we have to be able to push supplies forward through an Anti-Access/Area Denial system," Collyar said.

"Therefore, we continue to pre-position supplies and stocks around the world, so that we can continue to have valid, prioritized requirements in place."

Even in peacetime, AMCOM requires all of its customers to have access to the systems the command manages.

"We rely on our shared networks for a product to be purchased and a service to be provided," Collyar said. "We have to be able to work through – and in – an Anti-Access/Area Denial area."