Accession Number : ADA288207

Title :   U.S. Army and Marine Corps Maritime Prepositioning: The Right Course For The 21st Century?

Descriptive Note : Research rept. Aug 93-Apr 94,

Corporate Author : INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC

Personal Author(s) : Washington, Albert A.

PDF Url : ADA288207

Report Date : APR 1994

Pagination or Media Count : 34

Abstract : Forty years before the United States participated in the Gulf War and experienced an enduring lesson in the value of forward prepositioning, Rear Admiral Henry E. Eccles championed the future utility of advance "floating bases" in 1950 to support forward deployed forces where "the supplies, services and replacement of equipment......are provided from auxiliary ships and craft based within an anchorage" (Eccles, Operational Naval Logistics 87). Despite the fact that Admiral Eccles and other leading logisticians from the World War II era proclaimed the importance of strategic logistics reach through advance positioning and forward floating bases, the defense establishment paid little attention to such concepts until decades later. In support of the Gulf War, the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force wrote a new chapter in the effective use of strategic logistics reach through the successful employment of advance "floating bases" in the form of Maritime Prepositioning Ships (MPS). This combined seabased and airlifted forward projected force provided an early, balanced air and ground combat capability that was fully interoperable with afloat Naval aviation as well as deploying Army and Air Force elements. The successes enjoyed by the employment of MPS during the rapid closure and initial buildup phases in Desert Shield served in stark contrast to the slower, "dribbling" theater delivery of other war materiel aboard Ready Reserve Fleet shipping. In the aftermath of the war, the rapid response of MPS moved Congress and the Department of Defense (DOD) to examine the future strategic mobility requirements of the nation's armed forces with particular emphasis on the value of maritime prepositioning.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES), MILITARY OPERATIONS, MOBILITY, LOGISTICS SUPPORT, MILITARY SUPPLIES, AIR FORCE, AUXILIARY, CLOSURES, COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS, CONGRESS, CONTRAST, DELIVERY, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, DEPLOYMENT, FLOATING BASES, FORWARD AREAS, GLOBAL, GULFS, IRAQ, KUWAIT, LAND WARFARE, MARINE CORPS, MATERIEL, MILITARY FACILITIES, MILITARY REQUIREMENTS, MILITARY STRATEGY, NATIONS, NAVAL AVIATION, QUICK REACTION, SHIPS, THEATER LEVEL OPERATIONS, UNITED STATES.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
      Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE