Key Logistics Issues from Kosovo, Can the United States Achieve Strategic Velocity [open pdf - 907KB]
This case study of the recent intervention in Kosovo by the United States and NATO, defines strategic velocity, and offers strategic planners a formula for its use. Planners should focus on the three logistics lessons in the paper: 1. The need for strategic lift. 2. The requirements for aerial refuel assets. 3. The limitation port throughput capacity imposes on deploying forces. The U.S. Army deployment to Albania in April 1999 was chaotic--as combatant commanders insisted on a rapid deployment by air. In the aftermath of Kosovo, problems with aerial refueling, availability of strategic lift, throughput capacity, and deploying U.S. Army Apache helicopters in a timely fashion have reverberated throughout the Department of Defense. This study suggests a new look at the entire deployment process, and emphasis on the overarching concept of strategic velocity. Strategic Velocity is the ability of a force to project itself from the homeland or other strategic points to arrive at an operational theater ready to fight and sustain itself--it is more than the speed of movement from point A to B. Instead, for the power projection of military forces, strategic velocity is a function of forces required, distance, strategic lift, aerial refuel capability, and port throughput capacity. The result of combining these seemingly disparate components under one concept is a synergy that will improve force projection planning and execution. Strategic Velocity is innovative--it is not covered in U.S. joint doctrine, tactics, techniques, or procedures.