While DoD has yet to publish the Joint Warfighting Concept (JWC) that the Joint Staff has been developing, a Pentagon official gave a preview of a portion of the JWC on Oct. 6 and said that it assumes a “contested logistics” environment.
The JWC “is built around the 2018 National Defense Strategy,” Jordan Gillis, the assistant secretary of defense for sustainment, said in his keynote address to the virtual National Defense Transportation Association-U.S. Transportation Command fall meeting.
The concept “anticipates a potential fight against a near peer adversary contested in all domains and spread across a large and potentially non-contiguous area,” Gillis said. “It assumes all domains are threatened, that the homeland is no longer a sanctuary, and that there will be a direct targeting of logistics. As part of the Joint Warfighting Concept, there is the Joint Concept for Contested Logistics [JCCL], one of four supporting concepts, that looks to achieve agile and resilient logistics.”
JCCL proposes three lines of effort: resilient, integrated logistic command and control; assured joint power projection; and sustainment for distributed operations.
“In a related effort, just prior to the COVID outbreak, the department started an analysis of our ability to effectively deploy from a disrupted homeland,” Gillis said. “While that effort is largely focused on potential adversary actions that would impede deployment, the lessons learned from COVID will likely apply to the analysis because regardless of the cause, the loss of modes, nodes, and any capabilities will have a similar impact. If there is a silver lining of the pandemic, it’s that it has allowed us to really test our operations at large, specifically logistics and supply chain. It’s been a good opportunity for us to build some of that into our plans and planning.”
A main aim of the JWC is to shorten the observe, orient, decide and act targeting cycle significantly–a speed that “will overwhelm an adversary and hopefully create the environment where we no longer have to worry about fighting that war,” Air Force Gen. John Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the head of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC), said last month.
Resilient logistics will require recapitalization of the Maritime Administration’s Ready Reserve Force to allow surge sealift capability, Gillis said. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration has requested a buy of two, used vessels for $60 million in fiscal 2021 to bring the Ready Reserve Force to 48 vessels in fiscal 2022.
In addition, the military services “are working to develop next generation capabilities from unmanned logistics platforms to expanded mobility capabilities [that] will allow greater operational reach and flexibility to maneuver commanders and planners,” Gillis said.