For Russia and the West, Ukraine War Is a Study in Supply
“I fully believe that logistics has been an Achilles heel for the Russians,” Army Secretary Wormuth said.
Logistics received a moment in the Congressional spotlight on Thursday, as lawmakers praised the U.S. military’s efforts to swiftly move weapons, equipment, and people to reassure European allies and help the Ukrainian military fight Russian invaders.
“It's been an absolute marvel of logistics in terms of time, speed, accuracy. What has been accomplished is—people will be writing books about this,” Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., added that the “superior logistics” of the U.S. and allies “has been a real factor in being able to dramatically shrink the success of Russian war aims.”
Also shrinking that success: bafflingly poor Russian logistics that have left armor and infantry struggling to get fuel and food.
“I fully believe that logistics has been an Achilles heel for the Russians,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said. “We're showing the incredible competency of the U.S. Army in the area of logistics,” with the troop deployments and security assistance.
The U.S. has provided tens of thousands of weapons, ammunition, and equipment to Ukraine including Javelin missiles, towed howitzers, radars, and communication systems. The Army also rapidly deployed thousands of troops, including entire brigades, in a matter of days. The soldiers were then able to draw from pre-positioned stocks of equipment in Europe and conduct training.
“That is a testament to our tactical and strategic readiness. To the quality of our incredible logisticians and to the investments Congress has made over the last several years in setting the European theater,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said of their efforts regarding Ukraine.
The Army is laser-focused on this capability and looking at it with respect to future conflicts, Wormuth said. They have been working on a joint contested logistics concept especially considering the distances in the Indo-Pacific.
“It's that old saying of, you know, ‘amateurs study strategy; professionals study logistics’. And I think watching the experience of the Russians has underscored how important that is and has just reinforced our commitment to focusing on that going forward,” Wormuth said.