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SPECIAL REPORT

Military Tank Containers

Water and Fuel Supply in Forward Operating Areas – WEW Modular Water and Fuel Systems The Logistics Revolution: Containerization and Military Tank Containers Logistic Supply Lines to the Counter Insurgency Operation in Afghanistan Developing the Market for Tank Containers for Military Use The Developing Science of Military Logistics

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Published by Global Business Media


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SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY TANK CONTAINERS

SPECIAL REPORT

Military Tank Containers

Contents

Water and Fuel Supply in Forward Operating Areas – WEW Modular Water and Fuel Systems The Logistics Revolution: Containerization and Military Tank Containers Logistic Supply Lines to the Counter Insurgency Operation in Afghanistan Developing the Market for Tank Containers for Military Use The Developing Science of Military Logistics

Foreword

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Mary Dub, Editor

Water and Fuel Supply in Forward Operating Areas – WEW Modular Water and Fuel Systems

3

Dr. Ulrich Bernhardt, Managing Director, WEW GmbH Sponsored by

Liquid Supply and Modularity – the Challenge Published by Global Business Media

WEW – A Proven Track Record Military Developments

Published by Global Business Media

German Army Innovation

Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom

US Army “Hippo” Program

Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

NSNs - in Service Worldwide

Publisher Kevin Bell

Conclusions

Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks

The Logistics Revolution: Containerization and Military Tank Containers

Editor Mary Dub Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

UK Ministry of Defence WEW – Pioneers in Civil Defence and Nuclear Applications Ballistic Protection

6

Mary Dub, Editor

How were tank containers developed? How and why did this development happen? Testing, testing… How the military responded to the commercial logistics revolution

Logistic Supply Lines to the Counter Insurgency Operation in Afghanistan

8

Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

The new commercial fuel terminal outside Bagram Air Base Lean supply chain management in counter insurgency operations

Developing the Market for Tank Containers for Military Use

10

Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

Differing national requirements: the multilateral operability goal still in the distance

The Developing Science of Military Logistics

11

Marushka Dubova, Defence Correspondent © 2011. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

References

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SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY TANK CONTAINERS

Foreword

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ILITARY TANK containers are the subject of this Special Report. Their strategic role in military logistics for manoeuvres, exercises and operations reflects the rapid modernization in logistics that has transformed global commercial transport and, in turn, military sustainment. The Report opens by emphasizing that fuel and water are commodities without which no operation can function. It examines the tank container concept, which was pioneered over 65 years ago, initially for the intermodal transport of hazardous chemicals, toxic gases and liquid foodstuffs. It shows that, as a result of development and innovation over the years, water and fuel systems are now used in civilian and military applications throughout the world, as well as for the storage and intermodal transport of low-level radioactive liquid waste. The next section reviews the containerization revolution and the history of the development of the tank container in parallel across France, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom. It highlights the work of a group of engineers working during the 60s and 70s and the contribution of one British engineer, in particular. The key importance of modern military logistics management to maintain sustainment in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom is covered in the third piece. This article demonstrates the extraordinary feat of supply chain management represented by keeping 100,000 soldiers in a landlocked country thousands of miles from bases in the United States and Europe. It illustrates the potential value of military tank containers in providing inter modality and flexibility in allowing the rapid forward placement of fluids and gases. The fourth part of the Report reflects the marketplace for military tank containers and the potential demands of different armies to meet their requirements. The final section gives a snapshot of the extent to which the supply of fuel and other liquid supplies is now run by contractors and commercial bodies. It demonstrates, also, the ways in which modern tracking systems can monitor the processing of materiel from procurement through transport to operation in area.

Mary Dub Editor

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SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY TANK CONTAINERS

Water and Fuel Supply in Forward Operating Areas – WEW Modular Water and Fuel Systems

AND

WATER

Dr. Ulrich Bernhardt, Managing Director, WEW GmbH

FUEL

The US Army has a dictum: “The ultimate weapon runs on water, and everything else runs on fuel”.

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UEL AND water really are the basic commodities, without which no operation can function. There is increasing focus on the adoption of a modular or “plug and play” system in these areas, especially in the current times of rapid deployment with uncertain extant infrastructure. As a result, the key topic of interoperability is also gaining prominence, as many nations and/or organisations may be involved in any one operation.

Liquid Supply and Modularity – the Challenge Usually, the supply of complete systems is also considered at the TEU module level, as it gives total flexibility in storage and distribution and, in the case of water, preservation of potable standards. This is often, but not always, combined with DROPS/PLS (Pallet Loading System) capability. Fuel and water systems tend to be much heavier than standard loads and the modules are subject to very high dynamic stress as the contents move during transport. The military community discovered – frequently to their cost – that to simply “containerise” a liquid tank had very mixed results in terms of reliability. This was because most traditional equipment suppliers did not fully appreciate the real dynamic forces involved in the movement of liquids, frequently over very harsh terrains. Further, they lacked the necessary expertise in interpretation of international shipping regulations to permit truly global multimodal (road, rail, sea and air) operations.

WEW – A Proven Track Record WEW (Westerwälder Eisenwerk GmbH) has been building pressure-vessels for over 65 years and pioneered the “tank container” concept in civilian supply-chains in the early

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1970s, initially for the intermodal transport of hazardous chemicals, toxic gases and liquid foodstuffs. Since that time, WEW has built thousands of units, and WEW’s containers have frequently incorporated heating, cooling, pumping and other variants according to load and client requirements. Almost all WEW container systems carry worldwide approvals according to customer/load requirements and WEW designs are covered by no less than six international patents. WEW is the “supplier of choice” in the chemical and logistics industries when dealing with difficult loads, or when the use of exotic base materials is required for handling certain toxic substances. Operational failure for such “COTS” equipment is not an option, since the implications of load leakage during multimodal transport can often, quite literally, be fatal.

Military Developments WEW’s approach to fuel and water logistics is fundamentally different to that of former suppliers, as the company was able to tailor existing and well-proven designs to suit military needs. The result was a series of core MOTS designs that are easily adapted to any national requirements, albeit with a clear eye on interoperability.

MOBILE, SAFE FUEL TRANSPORT AND STORAGE

INTERMODAL TOTAL TRANSPORT FLEXIBILITY

ERMANY MADE IN G

Westerwälder Eisenwerk GmbH Ringstrasse 65a D-57586 Weitefeld - Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 2743 - 9222-0 Fax: +49 (0) 2743 - 3411 E-Mail: wew@wew-tankcontainer.de

www.wew.de

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SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY TANK CONTAINERS

Most traditional equipment suppliers did not fully appreciate the real dynamic forces involved in the movement of liquids, frequently over very harsh terrains

WEW was first approached by the German Army in 1996 to provide modular fuel and water systems. WEW developed a range of modular solutions for handling primarily fuel and water in Forward Operating Areas by developing a range of MOTS solutions. Thus WEW’s role in the German Army’s rapidly deployable German Field Camp Concept became pre-eminent in matters of bulk liquid storage and supply.

German Army Innovation Following these early developments, WEW has supported the Bundeswehr over the last decade or so through the development of a range of modular solutions for both fuel and water. These include full height fuel and water tanks with capacities up to 22,500 litres, half-height units which are designed as “Drop & Go” fuel and water stations in Forward Operating Areas, as well as special modular units that are designed to rapidly build “fuel farms” with no bundling requirements and very little engineer resource. Apart from water, WEW has delivered systems for F-34 and AVTUR (with fuel/water separators and filtration for aircraft refuelling duties) to the Bundeswehr and numerous units are seeing active service in theatre.

US Army “Hippo” Program The US Army first took an interest in WEW water systems in 2001. WEW’s basic MOTS design was subjected to a rigorous 18-month, US$3 million, test programme involving varying temperatures and road conditions. As part of the test cycle, the WEW container was firmly bolted to a trailer with over-inflated tyres and then run over harsh and rocky terrain for extended periods. There were no failures in 4 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

the WEW container, whereas other systems had repeatedly succumbed to stress cracking or other problems. WEW teamed up with a local partner, MMC, to provide the US Army TACOM with a local supplier capability, allowing easy access for ongoing technical and commercial issues. The base unit has a capacity of 2,000 US gallons (7,600 litres), suitable for PLS systems according to STANAG and includes heating, chlorination and pumping systems. In the intervening years, WEW has supplied a considerable number of these units under various contracts, all without a single reportable defect in use. The units have so far seen service in Iraq and Afghanistan and successive US Army spokespersons have repeatedly expressed their confidence in the WEW Hippo choice.

UK Ministry of Defence In 2008/2009, following evaluation, WEW delivered a number of 10,000 litre MOTS units with integral pumping system for diesel to the UK MOD. A British Army spokesman commented at the time: “... the entire project from concept to production has been very smooth and professionally managed.” These units are currently in service in overseas deployment and the MOD is acquiring a further 10 units as follow-on, with delivery in mid 2011.

NSNs – in Service Worldwide WEW has so far delivered water and fuel systems to seven NATO and friendly countries worldwide. Most deliveries tend to be MOTS against existing NSNs with a few minor variations. WEW has also designed non-PLS, non-ISO demountable variants, which may be manufactured under licence.


SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY TANK CONTAINERS

forward areas present significant challenges for logistics and

WATER AND

Water and fuel supply for

FUEL

interoperability – the key is a robust solution devoid of complexities. WEW – Pioneers in Civil Defence and Nuclear Applications WEW has pioneered a range of fire-fighting tanks for both civilian and military applications. Fire fighters favour WEW’s concept because the containers can be circulated between the water source and incident thus providing a good water supply in remote areas, as well as alternate between loads. In addition, WEW specialises in the design of highly specialist systems for the storage and intermodal transport of low-level radioactive liquid waste. The supply of such equipment naturally demands total confidence in design integrity in every operational eventuality and involves a rigorous inspection regime.

POTABLE WATER IN THE BATTLESPACE

MULTIMODAL

MOBILE, SAFE FUEL TRANSPORT AND STORAGE

INTERMODAL TOTAL TRANSPORT FLEXIBILITY

ERMANY MADE IN G

Ballistic Protection In response to client requests, WEW has introduced ballistic protection up to STANAG 4569 Level 4 as an option on its fuel tanks. The ballistic protection was developed together with IBD and Hutchinson. Two versions are available with tests being successfully carried out in conjunction with the Beschussamt München. A range of ordnance (5.56mm, 7.62mm, 12.7mm up to 14.5X114 API/B32) was fired at the pressurevessel wall. The ballistic protection comes in two design formats with quick release panels and coating, according to the protection level required and the demands of the application.

Conclusions Water and fuel supply for forward areas present significant challenges for logistics and interoperability – the key is a robust solution devoid of complexities. With decades of experience, WEW is prepared and continues to meet these challenges in a demanding market place.

Westerwälder Eisenwerk GmbH Ringstrasse 65a D-57586 Weitefeld - Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 2743 - 9222-0 Fax: +49 (0) 2743 - 3411 E-Mail: wew@wew-tankcontainer.de

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SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY TANK CONTAINERS

The Logistics Revolution: Containerization and Military Tank Containers Mary Dub, Editor

A satellite picture of a Western military base in Afghanistan in the twenty first century shows an array of containers developed for dry freight transport and used for every and any purpose from air-conditioned sleeping quarters, to storage, laundry, latrines and catering. And the containerization revolution has extended to fluids and gases, which can be stored in tank containers, often specifically designed for military use.

Military tank containers have a range of functions – storage of types of aviation fuel, deicers for helicopters and planes, and robust ad hoc storage of fuels, chemicals, water and powders for operational use.

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ILITARY TANK containers have a range of functions – storage of types of aviation fuel, deicers for helicopters and planes, and robust ad hoc storage of fuels, chemicals, water and powders for operational use. Their advantage is that, compared to barrels or drums, they are intermodal. This means they are relatively easily transferred from road, to rail, to ship in any sequence and they can be designed with special qualities, for example, ruggedness or heat resistance, which offer significant advantages over traditional modes of storage or transport.

How were tank containers developed? The story starts in the sixties in Britain with a young engineer, Bob Fossey1, who was working at Williams Fairclough Engineering Limited. He recognised the potential for both intermodal and multi-modal container tanks. He began by designing swap tanks to be used for combined road-rail transport, because UK railway equipment did not yet conform to ISO standards. Commercial production for those swap tanks started two years later in 1966 and the first ISO tank, a beam type, followed in 1967 under the aegis of Trafpak, owned by a Dutch company. It was only when Sea Containers bought Trafpak in 1986 that the design for the early intermodal tank container would become their property. It was the incorporation of the post-Moscow corner fitting which was incorporated into ISO 1161, which prepared the design for commercial production. But this work was not proceeding alone. Many engineers in the UK and Europe were working on similar lines. Gloster Saro produced GRP (Glass Reinforce Plastic) tanks and Butterfield in the

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UK, specialised in tanks for liquefied gases, corrosives and toxic substances. There is a list of competitors – Coder, in France; Joseph Graf in the Netherlands; Luther-werke GmbH, and Holvrieka in Germany; Morteo Soprefin and Acerbi in Italy. They all played a part in developing designs. But it was only when Bob Fossey joined Containers and Pressure Vessels (CPV) in Clones, Ireland in 1970 and introduced lightweight beam tank design, that the first dedicated production line for tank containers was underway. Across the channel in France, important new developments were in progress. French manufacturers, especially BSL, received credit for pioneering large scale manufacturing of ISO tanks in excess of 1,000 tanks/annum into what became a French national industry during the eighties . BSL pioneered all main facets of high volume line production manufacturing, which included prefabrication of frame and parts and full automatic (SAF) welding processes. The number of hours to complete one ISO tank at that time dropped to +300 inclusive of insulation. To cater for prototype testing, SNCF, the French national railway, as early as 1967, set up a test station in Tergnier located 250km northeast of Paris, conspicuously near to the BSL factories in Soissons. However, the French were not alone the Germans were developing the idea to their own specifications. In Germany, Luther-werke and WEW started to produce tanks involving designs of identifiable similarity. Luther-werke discontinued their production in the early eighties. Other manufacturers in Germany in operation in 1970 were Stahlwerke Bruningshaus and Ench Wolff GmbH as of 1972. In Austria there was Schaffer and Budenberg.


SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY TANK CONTAINERS

Before the tank container, transporting fluids was complex. Intermediate parcels were transported predominately in steel 200-litre drums and either shipped conventionally or in 20ft box containers. A 20ft box container, could accommodate about 76 drums each containing 200 litres – a total of15,600 litres. The common realisation that there could be a more cost efficient method of transporting bulk liquids triggered what soon became a collective effort in Europe to design the ISO tank container. But because of the flammable nature of the liquids to be carried, there were stringent tests to be carried out to be certain that the tank containers were robust enough for the task. To ensure adequate strength of their designs, most manufacturers in the end-sixties/earlyseventies, over designed their tanks, which resulted in high tare weights up to 5,000 Kgs for a standard IMO 1. A notable exception to this was CPV who, using knowledge gained from early designs and in depth calculations, were able to produce lightweight containers.

Testing, testing… Another issue was the maximum weight allowed by the railways. Eventually the International Union of Railways (UIC) allowed higher maximum gross weights in the earlier seventies and elevated the maximum gross weight standard for freight containers to 24,000 Kgs. This led to rigorous testing to check whether the new tank containers were up to the task. There was prototype testing in test centres approved by Classification Societies. During the prototype testing, forces equivalent to its R rating, which is the maximum gross weight, and multiples, were exerted on the prototype in various directions. The most spectacular test is the dynamic impact test to a force not less then 5R. In the case of tanks for Sea Containers, the force was 5 times 34,000 Kegs – a big impact. The design conundrum was to reduce the tare (unladen) weight, to allow an increased payload but maintain the R rating – its capability to handle the weight of the payload. Finally, there is the separate, but different related process of designing the frame. There are two types of frame, the most common of which is the welded tank-to-frame design, which is built in both beam and fully framed type tanks. The second is the suspended tank-to-frame design.

How the military responded to the commercial logistics revolution In the same way that commercial logistics operations across the globe have been revolutionized by the TEU (20ft Equivalent

WATER

ISO-configured equipment provides an efficient

AND

How and why did this development happen?

means of consolidating legacy loads and

FUEL

transferring large volumes of cargo between ocean

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MOBILE, SAFE FUEL TRANSPORT AND STORAGE

and overland platforms. Unit), commercial “shipping containers” have revolutionized military logistics. Today, nearly four decades after the International Standards Organization (ISO), brought size standards to a morass of conflicting designs and sizes, military logistics operations are still being facilitated, not only through the movement of internal supplies, but also through myriad new and improved specialized applications of containerized and “container-sized” systems. It was most clearly evident in the 1990/1991 Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, during which ISO containers were a primary method for shipping supplies and materiel. Evidence of “the container contribution” to that buildup was demonstrated in a September 1992 report by the General Accounting Office (GAO), which noted: “At the completion of Operation Desert Storm, the Department of Defense faced the overwhelming task of returning about 35,000 containers of materiel to supply depots and units in the United States and Europe. About 22,800 of these containers held Defense Logistics Agency managed materiel, of which approximately 10,000 have been returned to supply depots in the United States.” In a US Navy and US Marine manual (2006) there is recognition of containerized logistics and intermodal qualities: “ISO-configured equipment provides an efficient means of consolidating legacy loads and transferring large volumes of cargo between ocean and overland platforms,” it noted. “Within CONUS and in most modern, developing OCONUS ports or transshipment locations, intermodal systems are predominant for airlift, sealift, and overland wheeled and rail distribution.”

MULTIMODAL

INTERMODAL TOTAL TRANSPORT FLEXIBILITY

ERMANY MADE IN G

Westerwälder Eisenwerk GmbH Ringstrasse 65a D-57586 Weitefeld - Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 2743 - 9222-0 Fax: +49 (0) 2743 - 3411 E-Mail: wew@wew-tankcontainer.de

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SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY TANK CONTAINERS

Logistic Supply Lines to the Counter Insurgency Operation in Afghanistan Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

Since 2003, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) has expanded air, land, and maritime petroleum sustainment from 300,000 gallons per day to more than 5 million gallons per day.

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HE R AMP up in fuel supply to operations in Afghanistan since 2001 is extraordinary. According to Colonel Jeffrey B. Carra and Chief Warrant Officer 4 David Ray, USMC (Ret.) writing in Army Sustainment in 20102: “Since 2003, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) has expanded air, land, and maritime petroleum sustainment from 300,000 gallons per day to more than 5 million gallons per day. It has accomplished this expansion over contested and undeveloped ground lines of communication (GLOCs) and, in the case of Afghanistan, in a land-locked country with little modern infrastructure. U.S. forces have not faced such challenges since their support of the “Burma Road” of World War II.” This has been achieved by using commercial contractors to free up military manpower for operations. Much of the fuel arrives through tanker shipments of 12 million gallons. Fuel then goes to Afghanistan: “Fuel enters Afghanistan by rail tank cars and is delivered to a terminal 6 kilometers inside the border; this is the terminus of the country’s only rail line. The fuel is then carried by commercial trucks over unimproved roads, where the trucks face exposure to bad weather (the Salang Pass is notorious for snow) and enemy attacks and must hurdle a shadow network of local and national customs and security requirements.”3 And because of the length and potential for disruption of supply by insurgent attacks on road tankers, a significant strategic reserve of 2-5 million gallons is kept around Kabul and other centres. The level of attack on the tankers en route to Afghanistan has been relatively frequent despite protection by private military companies. 4 “Since 2002, CENTCOM and its strategic petroleum support partners (DESC since 2002, NATO since 2007) have increased fuel storage capacity in Afghanistan from roughly 100,000 gallons to more than 30 million gallons (with up to 12 million of those gallons in contracted commercial steel-tank facilities) to meet a demand that has grown from 40,000 gallons per day in 2002 to more than 1.1 million gallons per day in 2009.”

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The new commercial fuel terminal outside Bagram Air Base In 2007, DESC’s contractors set up a commercial fuel terminal outside Bagram Air Base to reduce fuel truck traffic at the base. A 2 mile pipeline was built to streamline fuel supply to the base. Tanker truck supply to Forward Operating Bases Fenty, Sharana and Shank were also facilitated by direct supply. Bagram Air Base itself is in the middle of an eight-phase petroleum master plan military construction effort to replace all tactical bag storage with an industry-standard steel-tank fuel facility. This effort, which began in 2007 and is scheduled to be completed in 2012, will provide Bagram with 12 million gallons of storage capacity and modern fuel facilities. Because military operations are frequently put together at operation tempo, the standards that would be required for civilian commercial storage of fuel are not always adhered to. The value of tank containers in these operational environments is that they offer short term flexibility and a capacity to store dangerous liquids securely. They are useful to store the full range of types of aviation fuel and can be used in winter for storage of seasonal necessities for flight such as deicer liquid. The transfer of fuel supply to JFC-Brunssum (Joint Forces Command – the Netherlands) has meant that the 300-percent increase in U.S. fuel requirements during 2008 and 2009 was met without affecting the very dynamic operational posture for Regional Commands South and West. This was done by using multiple commercial suppliers.

Lean supply chain management in counter insurgency operations The commercial nature of the supply of fuel and the use of private military contractors to protect the convoys through to ISAF bases has been politically sensitive to the Karzai government. 5 They have requested that Afghan National Police should accompany the loads through to the bases, but commercial


SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY TANK CONTAINERS

AND

WATER

FUEL

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MULTIMODAL

companies have been reluctant to comply with the request because of the poor reputation of the Afghan National Police, allegations of corruption and fears that high levels of illiteracy in the force would lead to poor levels of protection. The continued level of terrorist attack on lines of communication highlights the academic debate on ways to reduce cost yet still deliver the same, if not better, levels of supply without high levels of inventory. In military operations, where there is a constant need for supply and a strong requirement to keep costs down, the distinction between robust and resilient supply chains is highly relevant. A resilient supply is defined as the ‘ability of a system to return to its original (or desired) state after being disturbed’. In the context of business today, a resilient supply chain must also be adaptable, as the desired state may be different from the original. Whereas ‘robust’ processes may be strong but, by definition, they are not adaptable, hence a supply chain of robust processes is not necessarily going to be resilient.6 The armed forces need their supply line to be highly resilient and cost efficient.

The continued level of

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terrorist attack on lines of communication highlights the academic debate on ways to reduce cost yet still deliver the same, if not better, levels of supply without high

Westerwälder Eisenwerk GmbH Ringstrasse 65a D-57586 Weitefeld - Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 2743 - 9222-0 Fax: +49 (0) 2743 - 3411 E-Mail: wew@wew-tankcontainer.de

levels of inventory.

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SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY TANK CONTAINERS

Developing the Market for Tank Containers for Military Use Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

Tank containers are a niche in the massive world of dry freight containers where 25 million units are thought to be in use.

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HE MARKET for tank containers for military use is one of great potential. Tank containers are a niche in the massive world of dry freight containers where 25 million units are thought to be in use. Tank containers for all uses number 25,000 and they have been used in current operations by the British Ministry of Defence in Afghanistan. Scott Seefeldt, UOR (Urgent Operational Requirements) IPT(Integrated Project Team) for the Procurement arm of the British Ministry of Defence has purchased tank containers. One programme procured 25 fuel tank container systems in order to deliver static fuel distribution systems. “At the moment, we have to utilise trucks to store and distribute fuel in operating bases” explained Seefeldt. The static fuel system, identified as an urgent need for the front line, provided tanks that can “be filled with fuel, transported to a forward operating base and dropped off there”. This provided an important system for the “storage and distribution of fuel for remote areas”.7 The tanks of fered the British Army flexibility in transporting fuel, because the tank containers are built to ISO standards and can also be transported using the demountable rack offloading and pickup system (DROPS) capability. Tank containers for military use are comparatively rugged. Made of 4mm stainless steel, they offer a good balance of resilience versus weight. If they were to be

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further up armoured to advance ballistic protection, it would add weight without adding extra payload. But as key industry leaders point out, there is an understanding in the tank container industry that for the military market each operation or maneouvre is different and therefore the need for flexibility in delivering the required specifications quickly has to be, and can be, worked around.

Differing national requirements: the multilateral operability goal still in the distance Common international agreed standards for NATO use are always the ultimate goal. However, with tank container specifications, unlike the standard dry freight TEU, there is a range of different national requirements. This is due to the heritage of tank container lifting and transporting equipment of different armies. Some military forces prefer to lift tank containers with forklift trucks and others with a top lift capability. These demand different configurations of pockets or slots for the fork lift truck or hoist. The height of the tank container can also be an issue with some preference for smaller tank containers. When a tank container is loaded on a vehicle, the high centre of gravity of the load makes smaller units more stable and safer. Tank containers can be sold or leased for urgent operational requirements and their flexibility in being able to store potable water is also a high value capability for armed forces on military or humanitarian operations.


SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY TANK CONTAINERS

The Developing Science of Military Logistics

AND

WATER

Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

“An army marches on its stomach” Napoleon Bonaparte 18th century

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HE HISTORY of military logistics up to t h e 21s t c e n t ur y h a s b e e n undistinguished. Western medieval armies relied on living off the land they passed through and scavenging. When local food for men and horses had been consumed, the army moved on. This constrained the way that armies could fight, limiting campaigns in length. In the first two Crusades, many men and horses died of starvation. Centuries later when Napoleon attempted to lighten the load of his men to increase speed and agility by trying to do without tents, the rate of disease increased exponentially. The central importance of good logistics and avoiding long lines of communication in battle is always noted as an important building block of success. The classic illustration of this is the failure of Napoleon’s feared fighting force, the Grande Armee, in its long advance to Moscow in 1812 when insufficient supplies and the Russian winter were a worse threat than the opposing forces. Today’s armies in the 21st century facing counter insurgencies need to boast agility and flexibility to fight in conflicts where stockpiles of weapons are not forward based, but need to be brought forward in time to meet operational requirements. Japanese management philosophies have facilitated western armies’ modernization of logistics with the move towards supply chain management concepts like Kanban, Just in Time and Total Quality Management first introduced in the Toyota Motor Co. by Taiichi Ohno. Moving on to the1990s, Quick Response (QR) and Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) technologies were incorporated – concepts with a special emphasis on distribution. As a result of this technology, distribution centres are tasked with moving goods instead of storing them. This allows suppliers to accelerate reaction times to market developments and to set up efficient goods-supply systems. Today, this has been overtaken by SCM (Supply Chain Management) the review of the entire logistics chain from the vendor’s supplier to the end customer. SCM is now an

FUEL

Today’s armies in the 21st century facing counter insurgencies need to

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boast agility and flexibility to fight in conflicts where stockpiles of weapons are not forward based. extremely interactive, complex system requiring simultaneous monitoring of many conflicting objectives, which is largely computerized. As the military tries to emulate industry by making the lines of communication shorter and leaner, the risk of disruption increases. The United States Department of Defense has followed the trend with its Standard Procurement System (SPS) program. This was created to bring the advantages of automation and standardization to the procurement process throughout the Department of Defense. The primary software application sustained by the SPS program is Procurement Desktop Defense or “PD Squared” (PD2), which is currently deployed to over 20,000 users at approximately 800 sites around the world. As such, PD2 is the largest standard automated business system operational in the Department of Defense. The PD2 system is often referred to as “PD Two” or “SPS.” In FY 2008 this system handled goods to a value of US $83.3billion. The demand for military tank containers and its role in strategic placing of fluids plays its part within this complex environment.

MULTIMODAL

INTERMODAL TOTAL TRANSPORT FLEXIBILITY

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Westerwälder Eisenwerk GmbH Ringstrasse 65a D-57586 Weitefeld - Germany Tel.: +49 (0) 2743 - 9222-0 Fax: +49 (0) 2743 - 3411 E-Mail: wew@wew-tankcontainer.de

www.wew.de

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SPECIAL REPORT: MILITARY TANK CONTAINERS

References: 1

http://www.itco.be/itco_index.htm Bob Fossey’s own account.

2

http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/issues/SepOct10/petrol_support.html Army Sustainment Vol 42 Issue 5

3

http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/issues/SepOct10/petrol_support.html Army Sustainment Vol 42 Issue 5

4

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/10/05/27-nato-fuel-trucks- ambushed-by-taliban-inpakistan-115875-22610448/

5

http://www.eurasianet.org/node/62252 Afghanistan: Karzai Blinks on Private Security Firm Ban

6

Martin Christopher is Professor of Marketing and Logistics at Cranfield School of Management. He can be contacted at m.g.christopher@cranfield.ac.uk Christine Rutherford’s area of specialisation at the Cranfield School of Management includes logistics modeling, forecasting and inventory management. She can be contacted at christine.rutherford@cranfield.ac.uk Critical Eye June 2004

7

Defence Management Journal, issue 42

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