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Strategically Responsive Logistics: A Game-Changer

October 1, 2015

While the U.S. Army is working to meet the challenges of today’s security environment—such as Russian intervention, Middle East regional instability, humanitarian relief and disaster response, transnational criminal organizations and tension on the Korean peninsula—it is also transitioning to address threats of the future. Increasingly capable enemies will employ conventional and hybrid strategies to threaten U.S. vital interests; therefore, the Army continues to adapt and innovate to maintain overmatch. Force 2025 and Beyond—the Army’s comprehensive innovation strategy—endeavors to make Army forces more lean, agile, expeditionary and lethal while reducing their sustainment footprint in austere environments. With this strategy, the Army is working to build a balanced, versatile mix of scalable forces that can rapidly deploy to any place on the globe and conduct sustained operations within the full range of military operations.

As the Army looks to the future and continues to downsize, it does so with a new Operating Concept.2 This concept highlights unique foundational capabilities only the Army possesses—setting theaters, sustaining joint operations, winning on the ground and providing regional and global stability. These capabilities allow the Army to perform a wide array of tasks, including joint logistics. The era of predictable rotations into the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of operations robustly supported by contractors is not reflective of tomorrow’s requirements in the rapidly changing security environment. What is increasingly needed is the capability for Army formations to operate immediately upon arrival into theater. This means that the execution of sustainment functions has to be rapid and accurate. Thus, the cornerstone of sustainment operations is the ability to make decisions based on accurate and reliable logistics data. Legacy Army logistics systems (Standard Army Management Information Systems, or STAMIS) lack the capability to rapidly integrate data from factory to foxhole—an imperative in the 21st century.

To support the expeditionary Army now and in the future, the Army is revolutionizing its logistics system through integration of legacy property, supply and maintenance functions into a single system. In the near future the Army will achieve a major milestone by completing the first of two waves of fielding. The system will operate in every Army Supply Support Activity, providing Soldiers with a better way to manage the global supply chain. Furthermore, it interfaces with tactical financial data, enabling near real-time visibility of costs. At endstate, all warehouses, supply rooms, motor pools and property-book offices throughout the Total Army—active Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve—will have the new system. GCSS-Army will enhance not only materiel readiness for the Army but also the readiness of the entire joint force.