Paper: Installations Must Adapt for Future Fight

Paper: Installations Must Adapt for Future Fight

Photo by: courtesy of USAG Italy Department of Public Works

As the Army faces a future marked by increased volatility and great-power competition, its installations must be “better positioned for success” as a key enabler for the fighting force, the author of a new paper writes. 

In “The Future Installation Management Enterprise: Is the Army Equipped With the Right Capabilities?” Maj. Roye Locklear Jr. says the Army of 2028 will face persistent competition, adversary capabilities, rapid technological changes and increasing regional instability. 

“As part of the overall U.S. response to all of this, the Army will be called upon to respond to challenges on the land … and success will depend on flexible and adaptive leaders and on efficient and capable formations,” Locklear writes in the paper published by the Association of the U.S. Army as part of its Land Warfare Series. He adds that “the requirements for successful Army installations are no different.” 

Installations are recognized as integral to the success of the current and future joint force, and increasing urbanization, asymmetric competition and declining DoD resources present the greatest potential to significantly influence Army installation management, Locklear writes. This includes increased competition for natural resources such as access to land and water at home and overseas, and competition for training lands brought about by the growth of civilian communities outside of Army installations. 

Locklear, the battalion executive officer for the 927th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion in the Florida National Guard, writes that installation management doctrine and guiding principles should be developed and include a holistic career development program for the civilian functional experts who make up part of the force. There also should be more training to address the capability gap among uniformed garrison managers. 

“Military members assigned to installation management positions, much like their civilian counterparts, are experts in one of the Army’s branches or functional areas, but they receive little preparation for integrating and synchronizing the full range of installation support for senior commanders,” Locklear writes. 

Locklear suggests that the Army “re-green” installation management to build a deeper bench of soldiers with installation management exposure, such as captains, majors and enlisted soldiers from staff sergeant to master sergeant. While this would increase stress on a force that’s already stretched thin, it also would “reduce the amount of time it would take for them to be effective in later assignments,” he writes. 

Acknowledging that the solutions in his paper “are not all encompassing,” they are a start to ensure that “Army installation management is better positioned for success.”  

“The Army must act now to ensure that the installation management enterprise has the correct capabilities to be effective in a complex, unknown, unknowable and constantly changing strategic environment,” Locklear writes. 

Read the paper here

On April 13, AUSA will host an in-person, daylong event focused on installations.  

“Army Installation Partnerships for Mission Assurance,” part of AUSA’s 2022 Hot Topic Series, will take place at AUSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.  

With the theme “Executing the Army Installations Strategy,” the event will feature Army leaders, industry and academia as they explore the Army’s strategy for ensuring that installations can perform their warfighting missions. 


For more information or to register, click here