By Jacqueline Lockett, LOA Public Affairs
ARLINGTON, Va – Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., opened the virtual Logistics Officer Association Symposium as keynote speaker March 31, 2021.
Gen. Brown addressed his strategic approach in relation to the theme of the symposium, “Under Attack: Agile Logistics for the Future Fight.”
“We must fully expect that our logistics will be under attack in future warfare,” he said. “There are no safe havens, and we must take action and make tough choices to ensure resilient and persistent logistics for future operations.”
The General also emphasized the need for our forces to become increasingly lean and agile in order to compete and succeed in a contested environment. He explained how the Air Force has grown accustomed to operating out of prepositioned bases, and said we need to adjust moving forward.
“We need to be able to go into different places, set-up, operate very quickly, tear it back down, and move to the next location,” he said. “That’s what agile combat employment is all about.”
In addition to accelerating movement of combat forces, Gen. Brown discussed a paradigm shift in how the Air Force manages and employs war reserve materiel.
Rather than tapping into WRM only when needed, the General believes it’s possible to prepackage and strategically preposition our resources for easier, faster access during training or wartime.
“We need to preposition our capabilities instead of waiting to execute a TPFDD (time-phased force deployment data),” he said. “On the timeline that it’s going to take us to execute the TPFDD, it [conflict] might be over before we get there.”
Gen. Brown stated while efficiently positioning and moving critical assets will be pivotal in the future, he also reaffirmed the importance of growing multi-capable Airmen.
“An Airman needs to be able to unload an aircraft, then defend the base, then break down tents and be able to move to new locations. We all need to carry the load.”
With an overall goal of complicating targeting for adversaries, Gen. Brown’s team-centric approach to logistics and mobility will allow forces to become lighter, leaner, and more agile.
The General concluded by underscoring that logisticians need to be united with operators during mission planning. He expects the community to be bold, and integrate with other mission sets whenever possible. “The success or failure of future wars will be contingent on the leadership and preparation of our logisticians now.”
The general also highlighted HAF’s new Sustainment Strategic Framework (SSF) initiative, which launched a new innovation cell last year called Tesseract. Tesseract is partnered with industry to use Theory of Constraints help accelerate change on the flightline and backshops across 18 different air force bases.
Gen. Brown kicked off the first virtual iteration of the LOA Symposium ever held. The event will span the course of three days and will feature more than 100 guest speakers from DoD, industry, and academia.