Can the Army Provide Logistic Support for Its Troops in a Conventional Defense of Free Europe? (Unclassified Digest of a Classified Report)

LCD-77-208: Published: Feb 16, 1978. Publicly Released: Feb 16, 1978.

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Since the U.S. Forces' relocation from France in 1967, the Army has been trying to develop a stable wartime supply line to support its troops in Central Europe. Despite concerted efforts, there is no reasonable assurance that adequate resupply stocks arriving from the United States could be delivered to U.S. combat troops in a crisis.

Plans for shipping material from European ports do not tie in well with U.S. troops and capabilities in Germany; plans are unclear about how shipments will be handled and where they will be forwarded. There are conflicting estimates of the size of the resupply workload to be handled through the wartime supply line, and reasonable assurance is lacking that supply routes will be secure enough to prevent unacceptable disruption. There is also insufficient assurance that host nation support required by allies will not conflict with U.S. requirements. Within the U.S. sector of Germany, shortages of transport and handling capability for distributing war reserve stocks exist at all levels. Assurance is lacking that adequate quantities of war reserves could be distributed and that expected support from host nation civilians would be available.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should: provide for updating, coordinating, and interfacing all plans affecting the wartime logistics support of U.S. troops in Europe; and use every means available to impress upon NATO the urgent need to determine each ally's logistics requirements and capabilities and plan for multinational supply lines. The Secretary of the Army should reassess the plans for moving supplies from European ports to combat units to increase assurance that adequate material can be delivered.

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