Supporting a Marine Corps Distributed Operations Platoon a quantitative analysis
Bain, Matthew D.
Lucas, Thomas W.
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This research analyzes the critical logistical requirements of a U.S. Marine Distributed Operations Platoon with the goal of developing a sustainable support plan. The development of Distributed Operations (DO) is one of the Marine Corps' major transformational efforts. The concept is designed to make infantry units more lethal by leveraging training and technology to allow more dispersed and intelligence driven operations. Since a DO platoon will operate far from secure lines of communication and support bases, logistically supporting it will be challenging. Through the use of simulation, statistical analysis, and logistical modeling, this thesis identifies critical factors and capabilities that are important to the sustainment of a DO platoon operating from a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The research concludes with a feasible support concept combined with the means to assess the effect that supporting a DO platoon has on other MEU missions. Results indicate that quick response time and dedicated support assets from the supporting agency, typically augmented by MEU helicopters, are critical to the success of a DO platoon. This limits the flexibility of the MEU aviation element to support other MEU missions. The biggest payoff in improving logistical effectiveness is given by reducing the response time.
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