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Torchbearer papers – Materiel Readiness and Mad Scientist

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare (ILW) has recently released two new publications.

“Delivering Materiel Readiness: From ‘Blunt Force’ Logistics to Enterprise Resource Planning” discusses the vital role that materiel readiness plays in the increasingly uncertain, complex and ambiguous security environment of the 21st century. 

The Torchbearer Issue Paper also looks at what steps are being taken to ensure that the Army is able to effectively and efficiently enhance asset visibility to be strategically responsive now and in the future. 

The United States military possesses the unique capability and capacity to sustain campaigns worldwide in multiple theaters, an ability made possible by the Army’s provision of approximately 40 percent of the sustainment contributions to the joint force. 

As the Army’s materiel readiness is a critical component of the ability of the joint force – and thus of the protection of the vital interests of the United States – it is crucial that Army logisticians be given the support they need as materiel readiness necessarily develops with evolving threats and conflicts. 

Army senior logisticians must reengineer industrial and sustainment operations, beginning with the Army’s organic industrial base, by embracing enterprise resource planning as a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to the previous “order, then expedite” approach. 

Its deployable logistics modernization program is the centerpiece of efforts to achieve asset visibility and accountability at the national level. 

The next step is for the Army to effectively and efficiently enhance asset visibility and, therefore, the capacity to be strategically responsive now and in the future.

Mad Scientist

Another new report discusses an innovative program with a catchy name: “Mad Scientist.”

The paper is titled “The Mad Scientist Initiative: An Innovative Way of Understanding the Future Operational Environment.”

Organized by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Mad Scientist is described as a global and virtual marketplace of ideas from not-so-usual sources. 

“The Mad Scientist initiative rests on the notion that broad collaboration with non-traditional partners is critical to innovation,” says the Torchbearer issue paper. 

Adding, “This collaboration is necessary to overcome blind spots and groupthink when considering the capabilities needed for the future operating environment.”

The report also notes, “Through this initiative, the Army is shaping the face of future land operations and enhancing its brand as a thought leader in the future of warfare.”

Two Mad Scientist events were held in 2015. 

In April, the focus was on the unique challenges of disruptive technologies. 

In October, the topic was optimizing performance of individuals, teams and organizations. In April 2016, a Mad Scientist event looked at challenges training for operations in megacities and dense urban areas.

These and other ILW publications are available online at http://www.ausa.org/ilw and can also be obtained by calling (800) 336-4570, ext. 4630, or e-mailing a request to [email protected].