Militaries require personnel trained in the efficient use of resources
Brig. Gen. YOUSUF A. ALMALAKI/QATARI ARMED FORCES, SENIOR NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE TO U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
Supply and logistics operations are important for the world’s armed forces, fulfilling the needs of fighting and administrative units. The growing complexity and diversity of the needs of modern-day armies require supply and logistics efficiency, enabling militaries to achieve national goals. Special supply and logistics methods must be followed because today’s forces, characterized by intelligence and strength, require mobilization of all human, economic and moral forces.
The continuous and rapid development of military equipment of armed forces has had a profound impact on supply and logistics systems as well as on leaders’ approaches to creating effective plans. Each country develops its own strategic plans in line with the political, economic and security conditions, setting clear foundations upon which military doctrine is built. A state’s military strategy is reflected directly in the construction, development and equipment of the armed forces, and the country establishes its own military doctrine in line with its strategic objectives and its economic, human, and geographic capabilities.
Strategy is defined as the overall guidance of the armed forces to achieve long-term general objectives or purposes of the country, also known as the art of mobilizing and channeling the nation’s resources, including the armed forces, to support and protect the country’s interests from enemies. Supply and logistics are known as the process of planning, implementing and securing the armed forces in their theater of operations with all material needs at a specified place and time. Supply operations include organization, development, equipment, distribution, evacuation, maintenance and medical services. These operations are tasked with supplying the armed forces as well as equipping storage warehouses for their needs.
A strong connection is established between supply and logistics and strategy because the economic situation of a country is a major and vital factor in creating an overall strategy. The economic factors have a direct impact on the strategic objectives, causing a large overlap between supply and logistics and the national economy and strategy. Therefore, strategy deals with achievable goals, procedures and methods, while supply and logistics establish, equip and provide all needs relevant to transport, maintenance and continuing medical services. This can only be achieved if the economy is strong.
Supply and logistics principles
Principles are the foundation upon which every action or idea is based. These principles may change or evolve, especially in the military. The principles of supply and logistics are usually proportionate to and consistent with the principles of modern armies. The most important principles of supply and logistics are prediction, research and the study of unexpected threats and potential challenges. This will help to estimate the requirements of supply and logistics so that supplies can be secured and distributed punctually. Often, these predictions are inaccurate; these estimates should be based on a thorough specialized study so that they are as close to reality as possible.
The supply and logistics process imposes itself as a complex reality that requires attention and follow-up as well as ongoing support to keep pace with the technological, technical and administrative developments of an intelligent modern army. This is achieved through a specialized authority, the supply and logistics authority, which contains expert leaders, administrators and technicians who assume responsibility of all supply requirements. It also includes organization, development, logistics, management, transport, storage and medical services.
The wise use of state resources while spending on armament achieves the desired objectives required to implement a rapid response to military changes and the requirements of all military sectors. This allows a country to take advantage of available resources as well as use its strengths to achieve the main objectives of the armed forces.
Management planning should be considered the common factor among all aspects of general military planning. To achieve successful military plans, the factors for administrative plans, strategic plans and operational plans should be combined. For strategic and management planning to act in harmony with emerging incidents and developments, they should be integrated from the beginning of the planning preparation phase to the implementation completion phase.
The integration method requires planning procedures with clear programs and an efficient information system. To achieve success in the formation and equipping of military units in their modern and sophisticated form, appropriate thinking and evaluation should be implemented, and administrative tasks should be managed carefully without improvisation and negligence. Strategic and administrative planning should be characterized by adequate flexibility that enables leaders to act appropriately when confronting different situations.
Obstacles to success
The development and the multiplicity of types and forms of military equipment require a trained and qualified administrative and technical body that is able to manage this equipment so that it is used and administered properly. This results in a significant increase in the volume of financial allocations to cover these requirements and may increase the amount of spending on the armed forces, posing a significant financial burden on the state budget. In the event of a significant increase in the required amounts of required supplies, the armed forces may face challenges. The primary reasons for this are as follows:
Ineffective management planning: Poor planning for the provision of equipment and/or inappropriate military devices will have significant impacts on the conduct of military operations. To solve these problems, a successful scheme should be developed that meets all the requirements and should be characterized by transparency without exaggeration or the squandering of resources.
Lack of administrative efficiency: Some departments tend to assign individuals with limited experience to work in the administrative units, without implementing effective or advanced training programs to increase the efficiency of military personnel. These units are ultimately incapable of carrying out their functions properly, and this leads to poor management planning.
Instilling the principles of military doctrine and confirming the values of sacrifice, generosity and endowment for the sake of religion and homeland, as well as psychological and moral preparation of forces, helps to form the state’s military entity.
Young people and others with expertise who are the foundation of the future have the responsibility for cultivating a sense of national loyalty and pride in maintaining the country; imposing the will of the people over all other factors; confirming the loyalty to Allah and the nation; and defending the nation. These people should receive advanced military training covering all phases.
Given the challenges facing military training at various levels and the current defense requirements, countries need military cadres that have necessary skills to deal with defense developments and changes taking place nowadays to work on successfully completing their training and defense mission. By having a better understanding of supply and logistics operations, and the skilled personnel serving in that sector, militaries will be better equipped to overcome threats of the future.