Professionals talk logistics, Part II

In what has become a recurring theme, fielding the logistics and support units (the ones that take the longest to train) after the combat troops goes against lessons learned from Vietnam and beyond.  So it doesn’t take a genius to predict that building these vital enablers for the Afghan National Army will be a challenge.

NTM-A dubbed 2011 “The Year of the Enabler”  which is reflected in the “Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan April 2011.” Page 14 of the report states that the priorities for 2011 include, “the development of key enablers, such as intelligence, logistics, fire support,
airlift, and engineer units.”

When the combat troops are fielded before the support, it would only be natural that they become reliant on ad hoc methods of self-support and will inherently not trust other sources.  Page 27 of the same report states,

The ANA logistics system remains heavily reliant on coalition support. Because of this, ANA logistics capability is a major focus for 2011.  NTM-A/CSTC-A and MoD are working on a logistics strategy that addresses structure, policy, training, acquisition/procurement, supply, maintenance, distribution, and logistics automation.

With the coalition providing nearly all support, there is minimal motivation to exercise and use a new system that will undoubtedly trip and stumble during the early stages of development.

Still “working on a logistics strategy?”  Combine that with “. . . MoD continu[ing] to implement new policies and processes in personnel and logistics systems” (p. 21), establishing a self-sufficient Afghan National Army will be elusive.

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