How has the Military impacted Logistics?

Throughout the past decades, the military helped revolutionize the world of logistics in a myriad of ways. Since military equipment and supplies must be transported from one place to another, it’s hugely important to create a comprehensive, fast and dependable logistics system that would work and deliver the value and results to support defense efforts nationally and internationally.

Military logistics

photo credit: The U.S. Army / Flickr

Key transport, warehouse management systems and logistics software have been a core component to the success of the modern day military.

RAND defines military logistics as, “Logistics—the transfer of personnel and materiel from one location to another, as well as the maintenance of that materiel—is essential for a military to be able to support an ongoing deployment or respond effectively to emergent threats.

Why are military logistics important?

Historically, people have always tried to find ways to efficiently move troops and supplies across land, air and sea. The main challenge in the case of military logistics is tough terrain and man-made obstacles and infrastructure impeding movement.

The Encyclopedia discusses the types of restrictions of movement the military may face logistically by stating, “Ground obstacles are divided into antitank, antipersonnel infantry, and antilanding obstacles. The antitank obstacles include antitank minefields; individual mines; fougasses; scarps; counterscarps; antitank ditches; craters in the ground; reinforced-concrete, wood, and metal post obstacles; log and stone obstacles; barricades; metal hedgehogs; traps; snow piles; floods; and fires preventing troop movement.

Of course, with the development of key technology and improved transportation systems pushed military logistics to the next level and were able to be adapted to handle a broad range of terrains from ice to rocky outcrops.

Did military logistics push transportation systems forward?

For the military, the need to constantly move equipment across large distances was a challenge. The military personnel in charge had to find new, creative ways to transport a broad range of goods and gear to support core troops and staff.

Industrialization really helped to create better transport and warehouse management systems, allowing for operations to flourish. During WWI and WWII military logistics systems were pushed beyond anything the world had ever seen, with a number of new technologies pioneered during that time.

Ibiblio states, “Logistics in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) is a massive and complicated subject, one that accounts for thousands of pages in the official histories of the war. Although these events are over a half century past, the fundamental issues that concerned World War II logisticians–how to know what you need and how to get it where you need it when you need it–are the same problems their successors face today.

Are logistics still important for the military?

Military professionals are now focused on speed, accuracy and efficiency. There are many tasks that need a proper supply chain management system, such as acquiring, storing and distributing materials, medical services, disposal operations, infrastructure acquisition, engineering support and many others. All the little things add up to show the true importance of logistics in the military field.

As mentioned, the military logistics field has changed quite a lot during the past decades. Nowadays we are focused a lot on technology and on harnessing that power to really push things to the next level. The potential brought by a good transport management system is amazing, and it really goes to show the true power of logistics in today’s day and age. Yes, the military is still relying on proper logistics, and having the right solutions is crucial, considering the complex tasks and equipment requirements they are dealing with at any time.


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