FORT HOOD, TEXAS — The war in Ukraine has reminded American Armed Forces how important a well-sustained fighting force really is.
As the modern battlefield shifts from insurgency-style combat to large-scale combat against a possible near threat like Russia, the U.S. Army has to change the way they supply troops on the battlefield.
”The old days of one big main command post form which we are emanating sustainment to sustain that corps,” said Col. Marchant Callis. Chief of Staff for 13th ESC. “That will not survive on today’s battlefield, and we’ve known that for years, for decades.”
That is why the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command on Fort Hood is training to operate from anywhere on the battlefield.
”For example, if a node or an element goes down, we’re still able to provide support to the fight,” said CSM James LaFratta, Command Sergeant Major of 13th ESC. “That is something that is extremely important in the next fight because it’s not going to look like anything we’ve done over the last two decades.”
The idea is that if one command location goes down another can instantly take control and it’s only possible through shared networking.
”A live document that is not resident on someone’s desktop but is easily accessible by any one of our soldiers, in any one of the nodes, at any time,” said COL Mike Iannuccilli, Support Operations Officer for 13th ESC.
The war in Ukraine is serving as an example of why an expanded sustainment command operation is critically needed.
”You don’t have to look further than the news to see the kind of threat we’re up against,” said COL Iannuccilli. “We’ve learned a lot over the last 6-months on the capabilities that near piers can bring to bear. It has allowed us to use real-world examples of what the threat is and tempo of operations is.”
While the threat the U.S. may soon face is massive, the 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command isn’t scared.
”I tell you the future is bright for the American Army. The way we’re modernizing our capabilities and our combat capabilities in phenomenal and integrating new technologies,” said BG Ronald R. Ragin, Commanding General of 13th ESC. “I guarantee that we will maintain our dominance well into the future.”
It all starts with making sure American troops have what they need on the battlefield to win the fight.