Department of Defense Pre-positioning Programs: A Springboard for Deployments   [open pdf - 990KB]

"The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), asymmetrical warfare, and globalization spell uncertainty, and strategic responsiveness can be the key to winning this nation's wars. The U.S. defense strategy requires pre-positioning posture to enable faster force closure and to be more flexible; more expeditionary; more survivable against anti-access threats; more joint and supportive of emerging joint warfighting concepts; and consistent with new DoD basing initiatives. Since the mid-1970's, the DoD has relied on military pre-positioning programs as a means to project combat power. The equipment content of these programs and the Services' pre-positioning concepts are reflective of a Cold War strategy: a European-focused theater, engagement and forward basing, and conventional warfare against a predictable adversary. Post 9-11 events reflect a change from a predictable enemy to an unpredictable enemy, thus dictating the need for DoD to re-look at how it employs its pre-positioning concepts. Predominantly, the pre-positioning concepts are service specific and lack joint integration, joint doctrine, and joint training. Joint pre-positioning begins with developing common operational and logistics systems. Beginning with command and control (C2), DoD must identify a C2 structure capable of integrating the capabilities of all the services. From determining and developing common user parts, to asset visibility, to over all theater distribution, DoD must resource ways to integrate service pre-positioning concepts into a joint integrated program that is 'plug and play."

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