1.4.3 Support for Deployment of Forces in the Changing Environment
In many cases where the U.S. military will be committed to an actual or emerging situation that destabilizes regional peace or adversely affects U.S. interests in the region, a strategic deployment (from the continental United States) will be required. This need has grown as forward stationing of U.S. forces has diminished, and the early introduction of military capability may become even more crucial. One of the purposes of the military mission of shaping is to facilitate the early approval of overflight, staging, landing, and porting rights at the time of a crisis. With the reduction of forward-stationed U.S. forces worldwide, a significant forward presence may not exist, and U.S. forces would be most vulnerable during their initial arrival, as was the case for the 82nd Airborne's arrival in Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield. A C4I system of systems is needed that can better examine alternative deployments and input requirements, allocate airlift and sealift resources, track deployment movements, and adjust arrival flows. The system of systems must be supported by a global communications network since it must provide the linkage between the home stations of deploying units, the providers of transportation, the supporting forces, enroute movements, the supported forces, and the arrival locations. Obviously, such a system of systems is inherently joint, and often combined, since it must be used by the joint force commander, the military service component commanders, the supporting unified commanders, and the nations providing forces and transportation capabilities. Further, the execution of the deployment must be coordinated with the countries through and into which the flow occurs.
A companion C4I requirement for operating in that environment is the capability to support a reduced logistics footprint, with most of the support needed by U.S. forces provided directly by producer-to-user delivery rather than delivering, receiving, storing, and subsequently redistributing major quantities of materiel in-theater. To meet this requirement, C4I systems need to provide in-transit visibility (not unlike that perfected by Federal Express) and problem detection and movement adjustment capabilities such as that used by much of the trucking industry, and be sufficiently adaptable to support deliveries to small, dispersed, and mobile forces. Again, this system must support the providers (often located in the continental United States), the transportation system, and the eventual recipient of that support, who may be mobile.
A challenge to regional deployments is the missile threat, particularly short- and medium-range ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. While each of the military services may provide some capability for defense against missile attack, it would desirable to rapidly phase in and integrate these capabilities upon initial deployment. Likewise, protecting the arriving forces from air attack will be an important first task involving elements of each of the services. While clearly a critical initial task, an effective air and missile defense must be sustained for both fixed assets and mobile forces. In that environment, C4I and related surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities will need to provide a common air picture, reduce sensor-to-shooter time lines, and integrate service weapon systems into the overall joint mission.
Air power may be the earliest arriving capability and will most likely be a combined effort of contributing nations and elements of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy. Accompanying C4I systems will need to provide the means to determine the most appropriate air assets to allocate to each mission, and disseminate this information in time to allow the missions to be prepared adequately and to be responsive to moving as well as stationary targets. These C4I requirements apply to the Joint Air Operations Center, each service component command, and the air command elements of the contributing nations' air forces.