U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Army Capabilities Integration Center has drawn out a broad range of demand reduction requirements for the Army in a white paper titled “Demand Reduction: Setting Conditions to Enable Multi-Domain Battle.” The white paper defines how the force should modernize and enable its combat forces to conduct semi-independent operations that will be required in the future operating environment.
“The future operating environment will be increasingly lethal, competitive, complex and dynamic and will be characterized by a high potential for instability and increased likelihood of close combat in dense urban and congested terrain,” said Dr. Russell Glenn, senior advisor for plans and policy, TRADOC G-2 (Intelligence).
Demand reduction’s key objective is to empower brigade combat teams to operate up to seven days by loosening their tether to traditional supply lines. A task the white paper defines with five components: improving efficiency and effectiveness, meeting demand at the point of need, employing robotics and autonomous systems, improving situational awareness, and making a cultural change within the force.
“The five components listed in the white paper range from providing better education to our Soldiers to obtaining state-of-art technology that extends the operational reach of our combat units,” said Col. Christopher Corizzo, sustainment division director, ARCIC.
The Multi-Domain Battle concept describes an approach for future joint military operations against a sophisticated peer enemy threat that can contest U.S. forces in all domains and challenge U.S. deterrence in the 2025-2040 timeframe. The concept focuses on fighting and winning in the future operating environment and also drives the requirements listed in the paper.
“Multi-Domain Battle and the Army Functional Concept for Movement and Maneuver are the basis for requirements,” Corizzo said. “What the Army thinks the future operating environment might look like is informing leaders what they need in order to modernize the force and be ready to fight and win future conflicts.”
“Demand reduction is a critical component of the National Defense Strategy’s effort to modernize key capabilities with respect to fielding resilient and agile logistics,” said Brig. Gen. David Komar, director of ARCIC’s Capabilities Development Directorate. “The issue of demand reduction should be looked at holistically, as there are several areas where it can be achieved.
“Autonomous systems could lighten platforms and the loads of individual Soldiers, while improved energy efficiency could allow vehicles to operate longer and travel farther. We must not constrain our thinking; rather, we have to keep our range of thoughts and ideas a little bit broader.”
That broader look focuses on brigade combat teams and individual Soldier lethality and equipment, with an overall improvement in readiness, which is the Army’s top priority.
One of the Army’s most lethal combat formations, the armored brigade combat team, consists of about 4,300 Soldiers, 46,000 pieces of equipment and 2,000 fuel-burning systems. To enable this lethality, the Army must provide assured supplies of bulk fuel, water and ammunition in addition to other commodities.
The Army’s current fleet of main battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles is not optimized for the future operating environment. The modernization process will leverage commercial innovation, cutting-edge science and technology, prototyping and warfighter feedback, Corizzo said. A lighter, agile, mission-tailored force enhances readiness and facilitates rapid deployment.
The Army has established that water, fuel and ammunition constitute the highest demand signatures, and focusing on those demands will provide the largest impact toward enabling semi-independent operations.
“Success depends on Army leaders sharing a common vision and collaborating to determine how best to integrate demand reduction into our way of thinking, operating and developing capabilities,” said Maj. Gen. Robert Dyess, acting director of ARCIC, in the foreword of the white paper. “Demand reduction initiatives will improve the combat effectiveness of the force by improving operational flexibility in a contested environment.”
In addition to improving combat effectiveness, Corizzo pointed out that the Army must adjust from the methods we have used in the past.
“We won’t have the luxury of having this massive amount of logistics behind us in future higher end, higher intensity conflict. The Army must simultaneously reduce demand and improve its ability to support brigade combat teams on the modern battlefield,” Corizzo said. “Movement and maneuver cannot be sustained in a contested environment if tethered to traditional supply lines with the large quantities of supplies that have been a signature of the U.S. military since the American Civil War.”
Pictured above: Soldiers assigned to 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI), ruck march down a snowy road toward their objective point during Mountain Peak here at Fort Drum, 14 March, 2018. U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s Army Capabilities Integration Center recently released a white paper titled “Demand Reduction: Setting Conditions to Enable Multi-Domain Battle.” The white paper defines how the force should modernize and enable its combat forces to conduct semi-independent operations that will be required in the future operating environment. (U.S. Army photo by SSG James Avery, 1BCT PAO NCOIC)