One area where America has a significant advantage over any putative adversary is in logistics. No other nation can challenge the US ability to conduct overseas operations, deploy and sustain joint forces worldwide, including remote corners of the globe. But it’s not enough! The capability is being urgently enhanced. Summing up pieces of information coming from various sources leads to the conclusion that preparations for combat actions conducted far from home bases are in full swing.
US Air Force exercise capstone Joint Forcible Entry (JFE) – the largest ever - was held on Dec.9-10 to check the readiness for airlifting Army paratroopers. The transport aircraft were escorted by F-15 and F-16 warplanes fighting their way through contested air space to the enemy’s rear. Once landed, the forces on the ground were supported from air. 37 самолетов C-17 Globemaster III and 21 C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft took off from 12 air bases across the country to support the largest JFE event in history. Troops were landed in Nevada. In total, over 100 aircraft took place in the drills.
The exercises of such large scale held one by one showed that the capability to conduct power projection operations in the faraway regions is a priority. The infrastructure of other countries as well as pre-positioned stocks is widely used to enhance effectiveness. For instance, on Dec. 1, 2017, the Defense Logistics Agency issued an amendment to a contract notice regarding prepositioned supplies at jet fuel at sites throughout Europe and Africa in support of US military activities.
The change specifically added a requirement for supplies of commercial Jet A fuel at three sites: Manu Dayak Airport in the central Nigerien city of Agadez, Houari Boumediene Airport in the Algerian capital Algiers, and Tamanrasset/Aguenar Airport.
The plans are on the way to beef up logistics infrastructure for offensive operations in Europe, including the creation of logistics command and the creation of a military free transit zone modeled on the 1996 Schengen agreement to allow free forces movements across the borders of European NATO members. Powidz, Poland, a village with a population of 1,000, is to become a strategically important NATO hub described as the «center of the center of gravity». The plans include the delivery of more than a brigade’s worth of military vehicles, equipment, artillery and personnel.
This month, the new US C-130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft arrived at Ramstein Air Base (AB) in Germany, to replace one of 14 C-130J’s at Ramstein AB. The aircraft features upgraded avionics, improved lift capacity, superior climb performance, and long-range landing field capabilities. It is part of a rotational process to upgrade existing aircraft.
Looks like the US military really needs the airlift capability expanded and it needs it now.
The Air Force is bringing back C-5M Super Galaxy transports recently mothballed due to budget cuts.
The C-5 is the largest airlifter built by the United States, capable of carrying a maximum of 135 tons of cargo. It can haul up to 36 standard pallets and 81 troops at the same time or a wide variety of gear, including tanks, helicopters, submarines, equipment, and food and emergency supplies.
The Galaxy can carry 120,000 pounds of cargo more than 5,500 miles — the distance from Dover Air Force base in Delaware to Incirlik airbase in Turkey — without refueling.
An idea is floating to convert transport aircraft like the C-130 Hercules into the airborne aircraft carrier, capable of launching a volley of drones that could fly into a battle space to provide reconnaissance and surveillance. These drones would simultaneously communicate and swarm, confusing the enemy with their numbers and distracting its air defenses.
Military Sealift Command (MSC) routinely employs around 50 ships, a combination of government owned/contractor operated vessels and commercial transports to meet its worldwide responsibilities.
Private companies also provide routine transportation and logistics services both within CONUS and globally. The Navy is completing construction of the landing platform dock (LPD) 17 class and is set to begin recapitalization of the dock landing ship (LSD) class in 2020, using a hull based on the LPD 17
Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Global Logistics Support (GLS) provides global logistics for a global Navy. The organization is made up of approximately 6,300 military and civilian logistics professionals operating from 105 locations worldwide, providing an extensive array of integrated global logistics and contracting services to Navy, Marine Corps, joint operational units, and allied forces across all warfare enterprises.
The facts and events summed up above are not front-page stories. They don’t tell much separately but tell a lot when put together and systematized. They lead to believe the United States is urgently preparing for a truly big war waged far away from its borders. The US military is sized, organized, and globally postured to fight it. A doctrine of expanding forces is not as straightforward as producing more fighters and weapon systems. Nothing is possible without logistics. That’s what is given the highest priority as the preparations are intensified.
Having worked closely with U.S. intelligence agencies over the last two decades, James Rickards was once asked to simulate asymmetric economic attacks on the U.S. financial system. He is an expert at escalation scenarios and end games, and in a recent article at The Daily Reckoning he warns that the geopolitical situation on the Korean Peninsula will soon come to a head.
According to the U.K.-based , Donald Trump’s war of words with North Korean president Kim Jong-un has the potential to spiral into a confrontation. The U.S. is reportedly drawing up plans for a “bloody nose” military attack on North Korea.
According to the , the aim of the strike would be to contain the North’s nuclear weapons. This is in light of the fact that the U.S. has had multiple opportunities to contain North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs diplomatically but has opted for hostile aggression, instead.
The reports that the White House has “dramatically” stepped up its preparation for a military solution to the North Korean standoff, receiving inside information from three “well-placed sources” two former U.S. officials and a third figure from within the Trump administration.
A strike against North Korea aimed at doing damage to the country’s military without prior warning will not be received well by a hostile country that has demonstrated it has U.S. personnel well within its strike range. As Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, wrote on Twitter, “.” Putting this statement in context, explained that North Korea has varied its launch sites, making it harder for the U.S. to track and intercept missiles.
Missing from any decent media coverage of this discussion is the little-known fact that in October of this year, it was reported that China was practicing bombing Guam, a U.S. territory. There is only one inference to be drawn from this conduct — China was sending a direct warning to the U.S. that its personnel will not be immune should a war emerge on the Korean peninsula.