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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.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Sustainment of Army Units in OIF

  • Chapter Two

    Tactical Supply Operations

  • Chapter Three

    Theater Distribution

  • Chapter Four

    Strategic Distribution

  • Chapter Five

    National- and Theater-Level Inventory

  • Chapter Six

    Command and Control

  • Chapter Seven

    Implications for the Future

  • Appendix A

    Outline of Recommendations

  • Appendix B

    Key Terms

Research conducted by

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

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