War finds success and failure inescapably linked to how well the Combined, Joint, and Multinational Commander ensures the Joint War Fighting Function “Sustainment” planning is linked to strategic, operational and tactical objectives. General Eisenhower’s Operation OVERLORD, the Allied cross channel, air, and seaborne invasion of France during World War II provides an excellent case study to show successful integration of the principles and the spirit of the Joint War Fighting Function “Sustainment.” OVERLORD required synchronizing, coordinating, and integrating the logistics capabilities of coalition forces, their equipment as well as civilian manufacturing capabilities to meet the strategic end state (e.g. the defeat of Germany). This article will review the purpose and definition of Joint Sustainment, its imperatives and logistics planning principles and examine how Eisenhower and his planners incorporated these imperatives and principles into Operation OVERLORD.
Joint Sustainment, Principles, and Imperatives
Joint Publication 3.0 entitled Joint Operations, defines Joint Sustainment as the provision of logistics and personnel services necessary to maintain and prolong operations through mission accomplishment and redeployment of the force. Joint Publication 4-0 further states, “Effective joint logistics planning identify future requirements and proposes solutions; it requires joint logisticians to understand the commander’s intent and concept of operations (CONOPS).” Logisticians use seven principles in their planning at the strategic, operational, or tactical level of war to ensure operations are logistically supportable. These principles are responsiveness, simplicity, flexibility, economy, attainability,...
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...ttp://www.war44.com/misc/images/5/ WWII_Mulberry_harbour.jpg. Accessed March 25, 2014.
. JP 4-0, xvi
. F.A. Osmanski, The Logistical Planning of Operation OVERLORD.” Military Review Vol. XXIX No. 8, (November 1949) accessed at http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p124201coll1/id903 (accessed 23 Oct 2013) p.41
. Krysa, John C., Operational Planning in the Normandy Campaign, 1944, p.25-26. Vessels were used as sorties dropping forces at the beach and returning to England for additional forces, supplies, and equipment.
. Bowden, Mark, D-Day: June 6, 1944, 2002, p.5. The aircraft industry built 800 planes in 1939 and reached 8000 per month in 1943.
. Ibid., 21
. Matthew D. Cox, “Virtual Library Logistics: Logistics Quotations,” “Logistics World”, September 4, 1999. Accessed February 21, 2014), http://www.logisticsworld.com/logistics/ quotations.htm.