Modeling and Simulation Logistics in Contested Environments

Contested logistics refers to the challenges and risks associated with supplying and sustaining military operations in a contested or hostile environments. This includes difficulties in transporting personnel, equipment, and supplies due to enemy actions, such as attacks on convoys or the destruction of critical infrastructure.

Contested logistics refers to the challenges and risks associated with supplying and sustaining military operations in a contested or hostile environments. This includes difficulties in transporting personnel, equipment, and supplies due to enemy actions, such as attacks on convoys or the destruction of critical infrastructure.

Contested logistics also includes challenges related to communication and coordination between different military units and logistics providers, as well as the need for rapid adaptation to changing circumstances and the constant threat of disruption. As such, effective logistics planning and execution is critical for military success, particularly in conflict situations where supply lines are vulnerable to attack.

C-17 LOA

Contested logistics is primarily relevant to military organizations and those involved in supporting military operations. This can include logistics providers, such as transportation companies and supply chain management firms, as well as military personnel responsible for planning and executing logistical operations.

In addition to military organizations, other stakeholders who may benefit from an understanding of contested logistics include policymakers and analysts involved in national security and defense, as well as companies involved in industries that support military logistics, such as defense contractors and technology firms. Understanding the challenges and risks associated with contested logistics can help these stakeholders better anticipate and mitigate potential disruptions to supply chains and operations, ultimately improving outcomes for all involved parties.

Contested logistics analysis is a vital aspect of military operations. Here are a few key reasons:

  • Operational success: Effective logistics is critical to the success of military operations. Without a steady supply of personnel, equipment, and supplies, military forces can quickly become incapacitated, making it difficult to achieve operational objectives.
  • Risk management: In a contested environment, logistics operations are subject to a variety of risks, including attacks on supply convoys and critical infrastructure. By understanding these risks as well as the potential consequences and implementing strategies to mitigate them, military organizations can minimize the potential impact of disruptions on operations.
  • Resource allocation: Effective logistics planning can help military organizations allocate resources more efficiently, reducing waste and increasing operational effectiveness. This includes  pre-positioning assets and resources, or funneling resources to the most critical locations early on to best mitigate the negative impacts.
  • National security: Contested logistics is a key component of national security, particularly in the context of conflict situations. Ensuring that military forces have the resources they need to operate effectively at all stages of the fight can help protect national interests and safeguard citizens.

Contested logistics analysis is a critical component of military operations and has significant implications for national security and defense.

The prolonged fight between Russia and Ukraine in Europe and the growing threats in the Pacific theater highlight the fact that America’s next fight may be the first one since the Second World War where our logistics capabilities will be contested, putting our ability to project power at risk. The ability of our logistics streams to operate uncontested in the next conflict is highly doubtful and therefore there is a significant need to understand and prepare for strategic and tactical operations in a contested logistics environment.

Opus Suite provides a range of solutions to help address challenges associated with contested logistics. Here are a few examples:

  • Risk analysis: Opus Suite includes tools for identifying and analyzing risks to logistics operations, including supply chain disruptions, equipment failures, and security threats. By assessing the likelihood and potential impact of different risks, military organizations can develop strategies to mitigate negative effects.
  • Optimization: Opus Suite provides a range of optimization tools for logistics operations, including, inventory management, and maintenance scheduling. By optimizing logistics operations, military organizations can increase operational effectiveness, even in contested environments.
  • Simulation: Opus Suite includes simulation capabilities that allow military organizations to model and test logistics scenarios, identifying potential vulnerabilities and developing effective response strategies. This helps organizations prepare for and mitigate the risks associated with contested logistics.
  • Integrated analytics: By providing up-to-date analysis on logistics operations, Opus Suite helps organizations make more informed decisions and respond more effectively to disruptions.

Opus Suite provides a range of solutions for addressing the challenges associated with contested logistics, including risk analysis, optimization, simulation, and integrated analytics. By leveraging these capabilities, military organizations become more agile and responsive in contested environments, allowing them to make more informed decisions while minimizing the risks associated with logistics operations.

Systecon and Opus Suite can provide insights or decision support to mitigate the consequence of the Contested Logistics environment 

Systecon and Opus Suite have been used in a variety of military logistics projects, including efforts to optimize supply chain operations, reduce maintenance timelines, and improve equipment availability. For example, Systecon has worked with the US Navy to optimize maintenance schedules for shipboard equipment, while Opus Suite has been used by the US Air Force  to optimize logistics operations in contested logistics scenarios.

In the context of contested logistics, Systecon and Opus Suite are used to support a range of initiatives, to include:

  • Identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities in logistics supply chains
  • Optimizing transportation routes and methods to reduce risks
  • Predicting and planning for supply and equipment demand
  • Simulating logistics scenarios to identify potential issues and develop effective response strategies

Systecon and Opus Suite offer powerful capabilities for optimizing and managing logistics operations, which are critical  in contested environments where risks and uncertainties are high.

US Air Force Agile Combat Employment (ACE) with Systecon
The US Air Force is working with Systecon on ACE (Agile Combat Employment) concepts to demonstrate how advanced analytics and optimization tools can be used to support logistics planning and decision-making in a contested environment. 

The goal of the effort is to develop a system level decision model to provide support to USAF Air Mobility Command (AMC) and increase the agility and responsiveness of Air Force logistics operations, particularly in situations where traditional supply chain methods were disrupted or inaccessible. The effort has now undertaken projects on the operation effectiveness of the KC-135 and the C-17. 

As part of the effort, Systecon utilzes it’s Opus Suite software to model logistics operations and simulate multiple scenarios. The software optimizes the placement of spare parts, logistics teams, and equipment, and provides an optimized spare parts kit to be transported with the assets in order to maximize operational readiness and minimize the risks associated with a contested logistics environment.

The ACE effort consists of a number of exercises and demonstrations, including a deployment exercise in which spare parts, logistics personnel and equipment were rapidly deployed to multiple simulated forward operating base. 

The US Air Force partnership with Systecon demonstrates the potential of advanced analytics and optimization tools to support logistics operations in a contested environment, helping military organizations become more agile and responsive in the face of changing circumstances and potential disruptions.

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