Logistics of Moving Troops

This is yet another reason why support in disasters just takes time: The logistics of disaster relief operations.

There's something called "logistics." Check it out.

You cannot just snap your fingers and make the military suddenly appear somewhere.

Nor can you legally send federal troops willy-nilly to shoot looters, courtesy of the Posse Comitatus act. You should know this, Ann. You're a lawyer by profession. You shouldn't need a dumb grunt to explain it to you.

But watch for much of our news commentary and public debate to predicate itself around a vast ignorance of logistical capacity and principals.

For instance: Suppose you got a brigade worth of troops (5,000 or so) available,. How are you going to support them? How will you transport them? Think organic trans is sufficient? Think again. Even at 100% operational readiness, a typical infantry battalion can only self transport perhaps a company at a time. And if every soldier is bringing a rucksack and a dufflebag, you're really talking about maybe two platoons. And unless you expect the unit to become a drain on local resources, every company is going to take a half truck or more of MREs and a half truck or more of bottled water, along with its own water trailers. I've seen it happen. I've done it. I've been a battalion S4 in combat, an HHC XO for dozens of major moves of a hundred miles or more, and an HHC company commander for six hurricane mobilizations.

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