According to military regulations, reverse logistics is the process by which equipment and supplies are returned to some point in the distribution system for credit, reworking, restocking, or disposal (Pawelczyk, 2018). Reverse logistics in military operations are supervised or overseen by the department of defense, which guides the use and distribution of equipment, supplies, and personnel. Redeploying these resources has recently been fundamental in military operations (Kaegi, 2019). The idea of planning movement for service members serving in different locations and facing logistics movement in areas where combat is present is a challenge facing the armed forces. Military operations are classified into production sector, military personnel, and consumer. Production logistics is mainly concerned with the industrial domain(Kaegi, 2019). In this sector, the essential processes include planning, organizing, and designing equipment.in addition, it is focused on how the equipment is reliable and the ease of maintenance, safety usage, quality equipment, acquiring spare documentation, and configuration control (Pawelczyk, 2018). The core function of in-service personnel is plugging the gap between the consumer and production sectors. It mainly entails: receiving, storing, distributing, and providing equipment that is needed by the forces. Consumer logistics facilitates the supply and support of military operations. It entails equipment maintenance, storage, transport, processing, and disposal(Pawelczyk, 2018).
Challenges to reverse logistics in military logistics
The main challenges in reverse logistics are best presented in the following aspects: duration, demand, distance, and destination (Pawelczyk, 2018). In addition, the above factors explain the plans and how organized a particular mission is.
Destinations and distances are aspects that can be gauged (Kaegi, 2019). These determinants are crucial when it comes to planning any military operation. Moreover, the two elements can also bring significant misfortunes, where some destinations are not readily available and can’t be accessed through basic infrastructure to the heart of operations. Moreover, transportation of military personnel, equipment, and services over long distances is difficult and expensive. The most basic question is the military operations’ demand and duration. The two aspects are established in the mandate of the mission. The army can extend the procedure depending on its effectiveness from a reverse logistic point, and it’s only a tricky process that would be allowed to alter the current plans and requirements.
Another challenging aspect is the demand (Pawelczyk, 2018). It is difficult to quantify and note all the materials and equipment that would be vital in a military operation. In a military operation, situations are not predicted, so the department of defense, which oversees the reverse logistics and redeployment of military operations, has to be well prepared for any sudden issues that may arise during the process and instant reaction to the situation. The most critical challenges for reverse logistics are the cost, transport, and outsourcing of materials.
In the modern-day era, airlift is an essential aspect of military operation (Kaegi, 2019). The department of defense is well aware of this aspect; that’s why they invest heavily in airlift equipment. A sufficient airlift is crucial in determining the military operation’s success. The most beneficial of this mode of transport is that it allows mass deployment of military units at a moment’s notice. In an area where basic infrastructure is poor air, lift Airlift helps to operate over a long distance and wide perimeter of operations(Kaegi, 2019). Airlift is the fastest way of transport but also the most expensive. Department of defense is concerned about the cost of airlift, thus employing other methods such as sea lift. Sealift is the cheaper option but also takes more time. To reduce the price, they seek to combine sea and air transportation.
In conclusion, the reverse logistics level in military operations could be at its peak of all currently. Still, the process cannot be accomplished without considering proper support such as equipment, food, accommodation, and weapons. Every military operation needs a logistics leader who can clog all gaps as provided by different situations that may arise. The more adaptive a military is, the more it will have successive military operations (Pawelczyk, 2018).
Pawelczyk, M. (2018). Contemporary challenges in military logistics support. Security and Defence Quarterly, 20(3), 85-98.
Rada Europejska, (2018). Athena – fi nansowanie wojskowych operacji bezpieczeństwa i obrony. [online] Available from http://www.consilium.europa.eu… [Accessed 5 Mar 2018].
Kaegi, W. E. (2019). Byzantine logistics: problems and perspectives. In Feeding Mars (pp. 39-55). Routledge.