Transportation Strategy

By Meyer, Dwain A. | Military Review, January/February 2001 | Go to article overview

Transportation Strategy


Meyer, Dwain A., Military Review


An OPLAN or CONPLAN is considered transportation-feasible when the capability to move forces, equipment and supplies exists from origin to destination. This transportation-feasibility determination requires concurrent analysis and assessment of available strategic and theater lift assets, transportation infrastructure, and competing demands and restrictions.

THE US TRANSPORTATION Command's (USTRANSCOM's) mission is to provide air, land and sea transportation for the Department of Defense (DOD) in peace and war. Its customer base extends to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Emergency Management Agency, United Nations, US State Department, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Defense Commissary Agency, Red Cross and US Department of Transportation. In the past, USTRANSCOM has focused on the strategic leg of the end-to-end transportation requirement. Today's vision is to provide timely, customerfocused global mobility in peace and war through efficient, effective and integrated transportation from origin to destination.

The Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan (JSCP) directs end-to-end, time-phased force deployment data (TPFDD) development, but planning processes and tools fail to support the requirement The TPFDD analysis strategy must begin by assessing these processes' strengths and weaknesses, supporting doctrine and analysis tools. The military must review and implement necessary changes in planning processes to capitalize on strengths and identify areas in which to improve. Developing a sound strategy requires:

* Sound joint doctrine and training that recognize improvements in collaborative and distributive planning, command and control, in-transit visibility, modeling and simulation.

* A process and an integrated set of tools to support execution planning, TPFDD development and analysis from origin to tactical assembly area, ineluding a link to war-gaming models that would provide tactical and operational warfighting analysis. Nowhere is this need more evident than in crisis action planning (CAP).

* Programmed analysis and war-gaming tools that will help develop and field the force structure needed to accomplish USTRANSCOM's mission as envisioned in Joint Vision 2010.

* Up-to-date, accurate databases that authentic sources provide.

* Flexibility.

* Being easy to implement.

USTRANSCOM's strategy depends on specific actions, performed at the precise time, relative to the deliberate planning cycle. Databases and models that rapidly analyze the TPFDD with a high degree of flexibility, fidelity and accuracy must support these actions. Additional tools will help compress the processes to develop an executable TPFDD within 72 hours. Increasing US support to smaller-scale contingencies and changing force structure and accelerated response times mandate optimizing this process.

USTRANSCOM's strategy is to develop a process for end-to-end transportation planning and analysis that becomes embedded in joint doctrine; results in rapid course-of-action (COA) development with TPFDD; and is supported by fast, accurate and easyto-use automation tools. It is designed to support the Joint Vision 2020 power-projection concept by making TPFDD development an integral part of the joint force commander's decision-making process.

Doctrine

The JSCP tasks regional commanders in chief (CINCs) to prepare operation plans (OPLANs), contingency plans (CONPLANs) and functional plans.

All JSCP-tasked OPLANs and some CONPLANs are accompanied by a TPFDD, which is the Joint Operation Planning and Execution System (JOPES) database portion of the plan containing time-phased force data, unrelated unit cargo and personnel data, and movement plan data.

For OPLANs and CONPLANs with TPFDD, the JSCP states that the supported CINC will declare the plan end-to-end executable. An OPLAN or CONPLAN is considered transportationfeasible when the capability to move forces, equipment and supplies exists from origin to destination. …

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