With a need to project power globally, US Army planners must prepare for expeditionary operations. History shows that such operations often take place in austere environments. Operational planners must therefore ensure that lodgment exists in the theater of operations from which commanders can extend their operational reach as required to accomplish the mission. Austere conditions often require pl...
Paperback: 62 pages
Publisher: Independently published (February 18, 2017)
Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.1 x 10 inches
Amazon Rank: 9608459
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ind various means to establish logistics bases because the existing infrastructure either does not support operations or friendly forces do not control that infrastructure. This monograph examined several cases in which logistics bases played a key role in twentieth century American military history. Each case study provides an analysis of several factors affecting a base's usefulness to the commander: operational reach, capability to prevent culmination, and the commanders' arrangement of operations. Case studies of the US Army during World War II focus on the usefulness of three seaports in Western Europe as logistics bases for the Allies—the port at Cherbourg, the artificial Mulberry harbors, and the port at Antwerp. Each of these ports offered different capabilities and challenges for the Allies as they sought to expand their initial lodgment after the Cross-Channel Attack. The final case examines the usage of airports as logistics bases in Panama during Operation Just Cause. The findings from this analysis illustrate the similarities and differences of these different types of logistics bases, and provide future planning considerations for establishing either a seaport or airport as a logistics base to extend the operational reach in a new theater of operations. Historical expeditionary operations often involved expanding the lodgment in austere conditions—for example, the Allies on the Western Front of the European Theater of Operations relied heavily on ports to extend operational reach from the landings at Normandy until Germany's surrender. Similarly, modern US military operations require significant planning and preparation to sustain operational reach, as seen in cases such as the seizure of an airfield during Operation Just Cause in Panama. US military forces that deploy overseas to conduct future operations will require supplies to extend their operational reach until they reach their objective, as did their historical counterparts. Planners must consider operational reach by analyzing existing infrastructure and finding ways to expand it as required, both to enable initial disembarkation of personnel and equipment and to support follow-on operations after establishing the lodgment. Operational reach appears in modern US military doctrine, in both the elements of operational design and the elements of operational art, serving as a key function to allow the commander to maintain the desired tempo and prevent culmination.