Addresses the full range of logistical capabilities that are essential in the support of naval forces. Sustained naval and joint operations are made possible by a logistic support system that has two major components: fleet- based sustainment assets and strategic sustainment assets. Fleet-based sustainment assets include replenishment ships of the combat logistics force providing direct fleet support, combat service support units, mobile repair facilities, and advanced logistic support hubs. Strategic sustainment is provided by air and sea assets that are shared by all Services. Successful global response to contingencies depends upon our ability to project and sustain U.S. forces in all theaters of operations. Integrated support resources in the form of fleet-based sustainment assets and strategic assets provide naval expeditionary forces and joint and multinational forces the ability to operate in peacetime and in war wherever and whenever our national interests demand. Our ability to move and sustain forces at great distances from our shores is critical to the forward presence component of our military strategy.
Seven principles of Naval Logistics
- Responsiveness: Providing the right support at the right time, at the right place. This is the most important principle of logistics. Ensuring that adequate logistics resources are responsive to operational needs should be the focus of logistic planning. Such planning requires clear guidance from the commander to his planners; also, it requires clear communication between operational commanders and those who are responsible for providing logistic support. The operational commander's concept of operations must be thoroughly familiar to the supporting elements—to ensure responsive, integrated support. Responsiveness is a product of logistic discipline, as well. Commanders and logisticians who consistently overestimate their requirements— in quantity and priority— risk slowing the system’s ability to respond.
- Simplicity: Avoiding unnecessary complexity in preparing, planning, and conducting logistic operations. Providing logistics support never is simple, but the logistics plans that utilize the basic standard support systems usually have the best chance for success. Mission-oriented logistics support concepts and standardized procedures reduce confusion. The operational commander must simplify the logistic task by communicating clear priorities, and forecasting needs based on current and accurate usage data.
- Flexibility: Adapting logistics support to changing conditions. Logistics must be flexible enough to support changing missions, evolving concepts of operations, and the dynamic situations that characterize naval operations. A thorough understanding of the commanders intent enables logistic planners to support the fluid requirements of naval operations. In striving for flexibility, the logistic commander considers such factors as alternative planning, anticipation, the use of reserve assets, and redundancy. The task-organization of combat service support units is an example of flexible tailoring of logistic support resources to meet anticipated operational requirements.
- Economy: Employing logistic support assets effectively. Accomplishing the mission requires the economical use of logistic support resources. Logistic assets are allocated on the basis of availability and the commanders objectives. Effective employment further the operational commander to decide which resources must be committed immediately and which should be kept in reserve. Additionally, the commander may need to allocate limited resources to support conflicting and multiple requirements. Prudent use of limited logistics resources ensures that support is available where and when it is most needed. Without economy, operational flexibility becomes comprised.
- Attainability: Acquiring the minimum essential logistic support begin combat operations. Risk is defined as the difference between the commanders desired level of support and the absolute minimum needed to satisfy mission requirements. The commander must determine the minimum essential requirements and ensure that adequate logistic support levels have been attained before initiating combat operations. In some cases time will permit building up support levels beyond minimum essential requirements. During Operation Desert Shield, for example, the coalition retained the operational initiative and delayed the commencement of combat operations until a six-month supply of material was in theater and available to the operating forces. In this case, the commander was able to attain the level needed to satisfy mission requirements.
- Sustainability: Providing logistic support for the duration of the operation. Sustaining the logistic needs of committed forces in a campaign of uncertain duration is the greatest challenge to the logistician. Every means must be taken to maintain minimum essential material levels at all times. This requires effective support planning that incorporates economy, responsiveness and flexibility. Sustainability also is influenced by our ability to maintain and protect the ships and aircraft that move material to and from the operational theater.
- Survivability: Ensuring that the logistic infrastructure prevails in spite of degradation and damage. Logistic support units and installations, lines of communication, transportation nodes and industrial centers are high-value targets that must be protected by both active and passive measures. For example—since we may not always have the luxury of conducting replenishment in protected rearward areas.