October 1, 2011  

Looking at mobility

The Army Capabilities Integration Center is conducting two studies into strategic, operational and tactical mobility for U.S. ground forces:

• Global Deployment Assessment. Launched in 2008, this unclassified study is looking at the air, sea, road and rail infrastructure of 16 countries in seven regions: Lebanon, Afghanistan/ Pakistan, the central Asian “stans” (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan), Nigeria, Chad/Sudan, the triborder region of South America (parts of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina), and the Strait of Malacca (peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra).

Using U.S. government data, the World Port Source and Fairplay’s Port Guide, DPMO assembled a detailed country capability and infrastructure analysis and used it to model deployment times for ground forces from the continental U.S., Hawaii and Germany to selected intermediate staging bases.

The Joint Flow and Analysis System for Transportation was used to model the movement of four brigade combat team types — infantry, heavy, Stryker and a future medium-weight brigade — and four combined arms battalion types in an environment constrained by both air and sealift availability and physical infrastructure. Sustainment sorties were included in the force flow as well. Strategic lift assets were based on typical ground component commander allocations for Phase 0, Theater Engagement/ Flexible Deterrent Operations. Deployment modeling was executed using the current aircraft fleet of C-5s, C-17s and C-130s, plus potential future short takeoff and landing and vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. Sealift assets included large medium speed roll-on/roll-off vessels, plus Cape D- and Cape T-class roll-on/roll-off vessels, as well as potential future Joint High Speed Ships.

• Ground Mobility Assessment. Begun in 2009, this unclassified study is looking at on-road, off-road and urban mobility for certain tactical vehicles. The assessment uses digital elevation data along with other factors such as vegetation type, surface roughness, obstacles, land use and soil types to model speed profiles and derive go/no-go percentages for each vehicle.