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    21st TSC Command Team Campaigns to Transform Theater Sustainment

    21st TSC Command Team Campaigns To Transform Theater Sustainment

    Photo By Maj. Vonnie Wright | Maj. Gen. Ronald Ragin, commanding general, 21st Theater Sustainment Command, right,...... read more read more



    Story by Maj. Vonnie Wright 

    21st Theater Sustainment Command

    HUNTSVILLE, Alabama - The 21st Theater Sustainment Command hosted a Warrior’s Corner on Campaigning to Transform Theater Sustainment during the Association of the United States Army’s Global Force Symposium at the Von Braun Center on March 26, to share lessons learned from support to Ukraine that can be utilized to adapt and modernize the sustainment enterprise.

    Maj. Gen. Ronald Ragin, commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Kofie Primus, senior enlisted advisor, 21st TSC, led the discussion with Army senior leaders and key industry partners. One of the themes of this year’s annual meeting is remaining focused on projecting and sustaining combat power – a key component of warfighting. The focal point of the dialogue tended to delve into Ukraine and how the U.S. must be prepared to conduct logistics in a contested environment, especially with a 360-degree deterrence focus within Europe.

    “As we’ve found throughout this conference, logistics is hard and we will be contested,” said Ragin. “We must solve the problem of contested logistics. Our adversaries will try to interdict our abilities to power project. We’ve seen this in the hunt-or-be-hunted battlefields of Ukraine. We had over 90,000 service members and multinationals training during our Defender exercise in 2023. Our adversaries are watching us and thinking of ways to contest us and thinking of ways to stop logistics on the battlefield.”

    Ragin stated that contested logistics is nothing new and the military has seen before as early as WWII and during periods of his career in the early 1990’s when he was a second lieutenant in Europe.

    “I would argue that we’ve always been contested logistically,” said Ragin. “If you think through the Atlantic wall of WWII that went from the southern tip of France, up to the northern part of Norway, it was contested logistics. In the 1980’s and 1990’s in Europe, where I started out as a young lieutenant, we had robust infrastructure. We had rail cars, we had data-informed in our war plans and we exercised those war plans through the REFORGER [Return of Forces to Germany] series of exercises. I would argue that we need to continue to make those type of investments. While we were fighting in the Middle East our adversaries were investing in new technologies like anti-access, anti-denial, drones and their abilities to contest our abilities to power project.”

    The command team, by citing both historical and current events and leaning on their combined experiences supporting Ukraine, emphasized their argument that logisticians must continually adapt to enable operations in a contested environment. As such, the 21st TSC developed a campaign plan with four lines of effort to ensure materials and equipment get to where they are needed: Contested Power Projection, Adaptive Sustainment Network, Secure Prolonged Endurance and Collective Sustainment.

    The principles behind ‘Secure Prolonged Endurance’ dictate that resupply of ammunition, especially artillery resources, are vital in combat situations and will likely determine the outcome of major war. The side that produces, maintains, and regenerates combat power fastest will likely prevail. Success will require stockpiles of critical munitions and rapid regeneration.

    “We had a discussion with one of the Ukrainian logisticians and we asked him if there was one thing, we could invest in over the [next] five years based off what you know today, what would it be?” Primus said. “‘The three things that he mentioned would be ammunition production and stockpiles, maintenance capabilities and parts, and harnessing storage for the command posts.’”

    “The side that creates multiple dilemmas for its adversary, sustains the massing of operational effects at critical points over time and regenerates combat power faster will win,” added Primus.

    Ragin and Primus continued to re-emphasize that lessons learned from Ukraine are relevant to the entire sustainment enterprise, and that logistics operations must adapt to deter all adversaries. To drive the point of relevancy home, Ragin closed the presentation with a short story from a discussion he had with a Ukrainian Soldier at a point in time during his tenure in Europe.

    “I work very closely every day with the Ukrainians,” said Ragin. Speaking of one for which he has developed a close relationship, Ragin continued, “He hasn't seen his mother-in-law since the conflict started cause she's on the other side, and his family had moved eight times since the conflict started. I asked him, you know … what's your perception on this? He goes, ‘It's simple. We've got to win because at the end of the day if we don't win, we won't exist anymore. Our language, our culture, our people, our history and our families won't exist.’”


    Date Taken: 03.26.2024
    Date Posted: 04.03.2024 12:24
    Story ID: 467656

    Web Views: 60
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