Cover: Sustainment of Army Forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom

Sustainment of Army Forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom

Major Findings and Recommendations

Published Dec 13, 2005

by Eric Peltz, Marc Robbins, Kenneth J. Girardini, Rick Eden, John Halliday, Jeffrey Angers


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By virtually every account, the major combat operations of Operation Iraqi Freedom that toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime in the spring of 2003 were a remarkable success. Yet there is a general belief within the Army and the broader defense community, supported by RAND Arroyo Center’s analysis, that this success was achieved despite logistics problems that hampered materiel sustainment. However, moving beyond the initial impressions that emerged quickly following operations, Arroyo’s research has indicated that forces and sustainment capabilities were sufficiently robust to overcome the problems and effectively execute missions. This monograph describes how well the Department of Defense logistics system supported Army forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom, documents the major reasons for shortfalls in performance, provides recommendations for improvement, and points to questions raised with respect to the design of future forces.

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The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by the RAND Arroyo Center.

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