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life cycle logistics

New DLA Video Looks at "How to Do Combat Logistics"

Our colleagues at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) have released a new video that looks at what goes into successful combat logistics support. Their "How to do Combat Logistics” video is…

New DLA Video Looks at "How to Do Combat Logistics"


  1. Home
  2. Blogs
  3. New DLA Video Looks at "How to Do Combat Logistics"
Bill Kobren

Our colleagues at the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) have released a new video that looks at what goes into successful combat logistics support. Their "How to do Combat Logistics” video is available on the DLA website and is also currently playing on American Forces Network stations around the world.


As food for thought, encourage you to compare this DLA depiction of a vitally important facet of DoD logistics to the DoD life cycle logistics career field overview below. Then ask yourself a few questions. How, why, and where do they align? How (and why) are they mutually reinforcing? How (and why) do they differ? Just what are the life cycle logistician’s (and product support manager’s) roles and responsibilities when it comes to supporting the Warfighter? And of course, are you personally doing enough to provide that support in the most cost efficient and effective manner possible?


According to the Life Cycle Logistics Functional Leader’s career field overview contained in the DAU Catalog, “the Life Cycle Logistics career field spans the entire system life cycle, encompassing both acquisition and sustainment activities, and includes professionals responsible for planning, development, implementation, and management of effective and affordable weapons, materiel, or information systems product support strategies.  Life cycle logisticians perform a principal joint and/or DoD component logistics role during both the acquisition and operational phases of a system’s life cycle to: ensure product support strategies meet program goals for operational effectiveness and readiness; ensure supportability requirements are addressed consistently with cost, schedule, and performance; ensure supportability considerations are implemented during systems design; meet system materiel availability, materiel reliability, operations and support cost, and mean down time objectives; and deliver optimal life cycle product support. To be successful, they must therefore be proficient in the following competency areas:


·         Logistics Design Influence

·         Integrated Product Support (IPS) Planning

·         Product Support and Sustainment

·         Configuration Management

·         Reliability and Maintainability Analysis

·         Technical/Product Data Management

·         Supportability Analysis


Life cycle logisticians pursue two primary objectives, namely to ensure that weapons systems are designed, maintained, and modified to continuously reduce the demand for logistics; and to ensure effective and efficient logistics support. The resources required to provide product support must be minimized while meeting warfighter needs and ensuring long-term affordable materiel readiness. They achieve these objectives by ensuring the integration of the Integrated Product Support (IPS) elements to maximize supportability, reliability, availability, maintainability, mission effectiveness, and affordability of the system throughout its life cycle. They influence system design and provide effective, timely product support capabilities that drive effective, best value product support planning and execution. Emphasis is placed on ensuring materiel readiness at optimal life cycle costs and integrating life cycle management principles by designing and implementing performance-based life cycle product support strategies to provide effective system support. Life cycle logisticians can work directly in a program management office, in support of the program manager, or in other supporting and sustainment logistics activity offices. Level III certified life cycle logisticians can also serve as DoD Product Support Managers (PSM), responsible for:


·         Providing weapon systems product support subject matter expertise to the Program Manager (PM) for the execution of the PM’s duties as the Total Life Cycle Systems Manager

·         Developing and implementing a comprehensive, outcome-based product support strategy

·         Promoting opportunities to maximize competition while meeting the objective of best-value, long-term outcomes to the warfighter

·         Seeking to leverage enterprise opportunities across programs and DoD Components

·         Using appropriate analytical tools and conducting appropriate cost analyses, to determine the most affordable and effective product support strategy

·         Developing and implementing appropriate product support arrangements

·         Assessing and adjusting resource allocations and performance requirements for product support to meet validated warfighter requirements and optimize implementation of the product support strategy

·         Documenting the product support strategy in the Life Cycle Sustainment Plan (LCSP)

·         Conducting periodic product support strategy reviews and revalidating the supporting business case analysis


Thus, life cycle logisticians and product support managers are ultimately responsible for designing, developing, implementing, and sustaining tailored life cycle product support that optimizes affordability, materiel readiness and joint warfighter requirements, and provides the nation an enduring strategic advantage over its adversaries.”