Page 1

Special Report

Next Generation Mobile Container Solutions Container-Based Solutions for Tactical Defence Materiel – 3 Case Studies The Military Container Revolution: From First to Last Mile 21st Century Warfare and the Mobile Container Containers and Supply Chain Management for Combat The Logistics Revolution and Customised Containers

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


Transportable Flexible

Safe Versatile

Four other words for container-based. Søren Trads Sales Manager T +45 9632 6403 M +45 4080 9809 st@dc-supply.dk

DC-SUPPLY A/S | Virkelyst 8 | 9400 Nørresundby | Denmark | T: +45 70 23 13 80 | F: +45 70 23 13 81

DC-SUPPLY.DK

For more information:


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Mobile Container Solutions Container-Based Solutions for Tactical Defence Materiel – 3 Case Studies

Contents

The Military Container Revolution: From First to Last Mile 21st Century Warfare and the Mobile Container Containers and Supply Chain Management for Combat

Foreword

2

Mary Dub, Editor

The Logistics Revolution and Customised Containers

Container-Based Solutions for Tactical Defence Materiel – 3 Case Studies

3

Søren Trads, Sales Manager DC-Supply

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

Turnkey Tactical Power Built-in to a Container Flexibility, Logistics and Security ‘In-a-Box’ Close Collaboration with National Defence Forces CASE STUDY I: CONTAINER KENNEL FOR MILITARY DOGS CASE STUDY II: COMMAND CONTAINER FOR MINE CLEARANCE CASE STUDY III: RADAR CONTAINER/’Modular Radar System’

The Military Container Revolution: From First to Last Mile

Publisher Kevin Bell

The Development of Today’s Intermodal Container ISO Containers and Operation Desert Shield or Desert Storm Container Construction The Adaptability of Tricons and Quadcons

Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks

21st Century Warfare and the Mobile Container

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.

© 2012. 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.

10

Mary Dub, Editor

12

Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

Afghanistan: a Hostile Terrain for Logistics Movements Political Sensitivity of Lines of Communication to Afghanistan Managing Afghan Truck Contractors Driving Containers in Afghanistan Military Security on the Road for Containers The Parallel Difficulties of the Return Route

Containers and Supply Chain Management for Combat

14

Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

Flexibility and Customised Response Essential for Asymmetric Warfare Focussed Logistics Logistics in Low Intensity Conflict (LIC) and High Intensity Conflict (HIC) Logistics for Humanitarian Assistance or Responsibility to Protect (R2P) Missions Refrigeration Boot Camp

The Logistics Revolution and Customised Containers 16 Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

‘Obama’s Pivot to Asia’ New Certainties New Products for Civilian and Military Markets The Smart Container The ‘Fog of War’ May Challenge the Best Designed Containers

References 18

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 1


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

Foreword T

his Special Report explores the workhorse of

The role of the highly trained and skilled logistician

the 21st century armed forces, the mobile ISO

is to deliver the materiel in a container to destination

container. Every soldier has slept in one, eaten in

in a timely manner. The distance of Afghanistan

one or washed in one. They are the infrastructure

from the United States and the hazards of the lines

of camp life. However, as the workhorse of counter

of communication and the vagaries of working with

insurgency or asymmetric warfare they need to be

local civilian contractors make the swift and efficient

flexible and agile in meeting the needs of the 21st

delivery of goods to troops at forward operating

century armed forces.

bases a highly challenging task. Meredith Llewellyn

This Special Report opens with an overview of

looks into this in the third piece.

the reasons why container-based solutions are

The drawdown from Afghanistan means that the

so favoured at the present time and sets out three

containers taken with such difficulty to Afghanistan

case studies of container-based solutions for

now need to be returned through the same

tactical defence material, designed by DC-Supply,

treacherous roads and passes. The rigid structure

demonstrating their use. The first study looks at

of the container and its ability to enclose and protect

dog kennels built into 20 foot containers, providing

stores has proved valuable to the ISAF forces

safe, secure bases for these essential, expensive

throughout the conflict. Logisticians explain how

and resource-intensive four-legged ‘soldiers’.

difficult this path is to Don McBarnet.

The second study deals with drone-based mine

Finally, as always, the last article looks at the future

clearance, controlled from a command container,

for the container. Their ubiquity bodes well for future

acting as eyes and ears for detection and detonation

demand. However, current concern in the United

of mines and similar objects. The final case study

States about the fiscal cliff and the future role of the

describes the Radar Container/Modular Radar

United States armed forces in bases on the Pacific

System, able to maintain complete and highly

Rim and in Asia has led to high levels of uncertainty

detailed surveillance of all forms of movement and

for civilian contractors looking for future contracts.

traffic at sea.

Yet the thoughtful and agile contractor responding

The second article investigates the history of the development of the container through to its vital solid

to a new and as yet unmet need for a container will undoubtedly find a strong market.

presence in today’s operations. Their adaptability and openness to exploitation to refined building boxes has led to many incarnations.

Mary Dub Editor

Mary Dub has covered the defence field in the United States and the UK as a television broadcaster, journalist and conference manager.

2 | www.defenceindustryreports.com


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

Container-Based Solutions for Tactical Defence Materiel - 3 Case Studies

We don’t just find container-based

Søren Trads, Sales Manager DC-Supply

hardware

How can you ensure the best, cheapest and safest solutions for the logistics and flexibility problems posed by the growing internationalisation of defence missions now and in the future? Building tactical hardware into turnkey containers is one of

solutions

the best answers.

for tactical Turnkey Tactical Power Built-in to a Container One of the main reasons why containerbased solutions for tactical materiel are so much in favour right now is that more and more military operations take place in regions far from home base. Container solutions are – and will remain – the easiest, safest and most flexible way to solve transportation problems, e.g. for international missions. That’s why DC-Supply designs and produces stateof-the-art container-based solutions to meet operational and tactical requirements for the defence forces of the future. Klaus Fossing, CEO at DC-Supply, and the second generation of family ownership, adds: “Containers are still primarily perceived as a spacious and robust form of transportation box. And of course, that’s what they are. But when fitted with low and/or high-tech hardware inside, the ways they can be used tactically and logistically increase almost exponentially. That’s why we are convinced that, as yet, we have only seen the tip of the iceberg within defence for their deployment.”

Flexibility, Logistics and Security ‘In-a-Box’ The advantages of container-based solutions are many. Flexibility, as they are easy to transport via existing logistics channels such as trucks and container ships; safe, secure protection of inventory and personnel during transportation, exercises and missions; independence from existing transport materiel, making it possible for instance to switch one container-based function to other logistics channels in the event of mechanical

breakdown, for instance; installation and connection is a lot faster, thanks to extended use of a ‘plug and play’ approach; economical and practical: The fixed installations used at barracks and naval/air bases are exactly the same as those used for international missions, which is why the number of units needed can be reduced, whilst personnel are, of course, totally familiar with the system. Efficient climate control and ventilation are also easier to provide when the tactical function is sealed in the container’s steel shell – vital parameters for global defence operations, for which materiel and personnel need to perform under highly variable climatic conditions.

Close Collaboration with National Defence Forces

defence needs. We invent them!

For more information:

Most of the innumerable customised containerbased solutions designed and delivered by DCSupply are the result of orders from – and close collaboration with – national defence forces. DC-Supply specialises in designing, developing and constructing state-of-the-art, customised solutions in close, respectful collaboration with the customer, using standard, 20 foot containers able to house the workstations and materiel needed for any given task. Tasks which can range from housing the highly-rated Danish military dog troop in Afghanistan, through simulation of radar visibility for elite amphibious units, to advanced mine clearance, using remote controlled drones. We hope that the following case studies will illustrate the degree to which almost all types of tactical and operational functions can benefit from being integrated into a container. Our experience has shown that there is no limit to what can be achieved.

Søren Trads Sales Manager T +45 9632 6403 M +45 4080 9809 st@dc-supply.dk

DC-SUPPLY.DK

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 3


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

CASE STUDY I: Container Kennel for Military Dogs Dogs are also sensitive, living creatures, which need special care to avoid stress and being affected by their surroundings. Their wellbeing is essential for them to be able to do their job.

Dogs Are Not Easy to Replace The Danish Defence Command uses teams of dog handlers and dogs for guard duties, search and rescue, ‘clearance’ for live ammunition and bombs and patrolling. Special training means these dogs perform tactical operations, and are used to performing under high pressure. That’s why it takes a long time to train a dog to the required level, and a military dog is therefore not just an important means of tackling a wide range of special tasks, but is also an expensive and resource-intensive item to replace. Dogs are also sensitive, living creatures, which need special care to avoid stress and being affected by their surroundings. Their wellbeing is essential for them to be able to do their job, and if you then add the enormous range of new circumstances and situations they are exposed to during international missions, it quickly becomes clear that a dog cannot merely be housed in a kennel. Military dogs are also very closely attached to – and owned by – their handlers, who naturally expect the best for their four-legged partners.

Flexible and Transportable Dog Kennel How can you ensure that dogs can be easily moved to and live in crisis situations on highly demanding, international missions, with the least possible level of stress? You can do so by getting the dogs used to their kennel when stationed abroad – a kennel which is easily transported to new, remote destinations because it is built into a customised, 20 foot container, where it provides a safe, secure base for these essential, fourlegged ‘soldiers’. Senior sergeant Henrik Bech, leader of the Danish team of dog handlers, has served in Afghanistan, and explains the Danish Defence Command’s opinion of its canine force as follows: “Professional soldiers enter into a foreign posting fully aware of its implications. Dogs don’t have that privilege, and that’s why they deserve to be treated well. I often joke about our dogs having better living conditions on missions than we do. They have a two-room hotel suite with room service. But there’s also a reason for that, because without the safe haven their container-kennel provides,

4 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

The Danish container kennel for military dogs is fitted out to provide safe, secure and comfortable accommodation for its occupants

Despite their training, dogs are sensitive, living creatures, which need special care to avoid stress and being affected by their surroundings

they can suffer psychiatric problems over an extended posting.”

Dogs Need a Safe, Secure Home That’s why the criteria were high for the job DCSupply was asked to do in 2006 by the Danish Defence Command, before a team of Danish dog handlers and their dogs could be posted to Afghanistan. The solution we arrived at was to build a kennel in a standard 20 foot container with all the facilities and equipment imaginable designed to make living conditions for the dogs as secure, comfortable and safe as possible. What’s more, the container had to be easy to clean and transport. The result was a kennel container which can best be compared to a transportable, secure dog base. Lighting, heating, external connection for drains, sewage and refrigerator are just some of the facilities intended to make it as comfortable and homelike for the dogs. Safety is also ensured by fire-resistant panels and emergency lighting, and dog health is also promoted by external pens fitted on each side, where each dog can enjoy the separate, relaxed lifestyle they enjoy inside the container-kennel.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

British Forces Took Over Kennel The high level of usability achieved has meant that seven containers have been built for the Danish Defence Command since 2006, and their deployment and experience gained from such theatres as Afghanistan has meant continual development and adaptation. Senior Sergeant Henrik Bech explains: “We have continuously improved the container kennel based on our international experience. For instance, we have added facilities which distribute the air from the air conditioner evenly throughout the container, to maintain the same temperature everywhere. We also have a back-up air conditioning unit, and have modified the setup of the external pens and the way they are transported so that the entire kennel and all its equipment for three dogs can be transported in a single container. Another thing that’s important to remember is that glue is no good for joints in Afghanistan, because it cannot tolerate the heat. It may seem unnecessary to put so much effort into a dog kennel, but without a safe secure base, these dogs will ultimately be unable to do their job.” Proof that the Danish dog teams worked well from their container base is provided by the British forces relieving the Danish force in Afghanistan, wanting to keep the Danish container. It’s not only Danish dogs any more that can sleep soundly under the burning Afghan sun after a day on patrol in one of the toughest theatres in the world.

FACTS: CONTAINER DOG KENNEL CUSTOMER: The Danish Defence Command PURPOSE: Mobile accommodation and kennel for 6 military dogs per container YEAR: First developed in 2006 – continuously improved since then QUANTITY: Seven units SPECIAL FEATURES: Heated floor, illuminated emergency exits, external sun shade, external connections for sewage, fireresistant, air conditioning unit with emergency backup etc. DEPLOYMENT: Afghanistan (subsequently taken over by British forces) and Denmark, as accommodation for dogs on Danish bases.

Lighting, heating, external connection for drains, sewage and refrigerator

We don’t just find container-based hardware solutions for tactical

are just some of the

defence needs.

facilities intended to make it as comfortable and

We invent them!

homelike for the dogs.

For more information: Søren Trads Sales Manager T +45 9632 6403 M +45 4080 9809 st@dc-supply.dk

DC-SUPPLY.DK

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 5


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

CASE STUDY II: Command Container for Mine Clearance This container command centre also provides other advantages compared to previous systems, in that it is

The requirements for a container which will be part of an operations unit for mine clearance are significantly higher than for ordinary

not dependent on a dedicated transport ship, and can therefore be used on a wide range of vessels, and even on land.

ISO containers

Drone-Based Mine Clearance, Controlled from Command Container Along with the US Navy, the Danish Navy is a world leader within mine clearance at sea. Such operations require high levels of knowhow, safety, skilled personnel and hardware quality. To remain at the forefront, the Danish Navy is currently developing and deploying a totally new, highly flexible and container-based mine clearance concept, called ‘Mine Counter Measures’ (MCM). The concept and idea behind MCM is the use of remote-controlled drones sailing through mined waters, acting as eyes and ears for detection and detonation of mines and similar objects.

Exportable Mine Clearance The concept makes high demands of computer hard – and software, and to provide the best possible level of protection and meet the requirements for flexibility, the vital crew functions are housed in a 20 foot container. This container command centre also provides other advantages compared to previous systems, in that it is not dependent on

6 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

a dedicated transport ship, and can therefore be used on a wide range of vessels, and even on land. It can also easily be ‘exported’ if the situation or mission so requires. Safety, flexibility, logistics and function all housed in a single ‘shell’. Lars Ernst Andersen, an engineer at DC-Supply explains: “The biggest risk with mine clearance at sea is significantly reduced when you can remotely control drones in mined waters from land or the deck of a ship, using the screen and sonar to identify and remove explosive objects from the water. The mine clearance container is a brilliant example of how much flexibility container technology can bring to even highly advanced defence systems.”

Approved as Part of a Ship The provision of a flexible container solution was met by DC-Supply in close consultation with the Danish Navy. The requirements for a container which will be part of an operations unit for mine clearance are significantly higher than for ordinary ISO containers. Because it will become an integral part of a seagoing vessel in practice, it has to be approved for safety as if it was part of the ship. This means that several of the components have had to be sent to the USA for the necessary salt and sea air resistant coating. Windows and doors are ship-approved, and several centimetres thick. The containers are also fire-proofed and fitted to be able to handle temperature fluctuations from biting cold to baking heat.

Close Collaboration The collaboration between DC-Supply and the Danish Navy has been close and smooth. DC-Supply started by designing workstation layout and the mounting of custom-designed fittings. The fittings were designed to accommodate the navy’s own fitting of the extremely high-tech and advanced equipment which forms the nerve system within the container and the entire future-proofed Danish MCM mine clearance concept.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

Windows and doors are ship-approved, and several centimetres thick.

We don’t just find container-based hardware solutions for tactical

The containers are also Windows and doors are ship-approved, and several centimetres thick. The containers are also fire-proofed and fitted to be able to handle

fire-proofed and fitted

extreme temperature fluctuations

to be able to handle FACTS: COMMAND CONTAINER FOR MINE COUNTER MEASURES CUSTOMER: The Danish Navy PURPOSE: Mobile command centre for next generation mine clearance at sea. YEAR: Developed 2011-2012 QUANTITY: One set currently delivered, consisting of a command container and a divers’ container. SPECIAL FEATURES: Salt-resistant coating, approved by ship inspectors, plug-and-play connection to mother ship deck, 5 complete workstations, fitted for installation of high-end IT and command equipment (classified, and therefore fitted by the customer.) DEPLOYMENT: The Danish Navy, for clearance of sea mines using remote-controlled drones.SPECIAL FEATURES: Heated floor, illuminated emergency exits, external sun shade, external connections for sewage, fireresistant, air conditioning unit with emergency backup etc. DEPLOYMENT: Afghanistan (subsequently taken over by British forces) and Denmark, as accommodation for dogs on Danish bases.

defence needs. We invent them!

temperature fluctuations from biting cold to baking heat.

For more information: Søren Trads Sales Manager T +45 9632 6403 M +45 4080 9809 st@dc-supply.dk

DC-SUPPLY.DK

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 7


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

CASE STUDY III: Radar Container/’Modular Radar System’ The container is a fully equipped surveillance post, able to maintain complete and highly detailed surveillance of all forms of movement and traffic at sea.

The versatility of the radar station in civilian and military fields makes easy, rapid and safe logistics to parameters for the radar container

A Transportable Radar Station in a Container Radar invisibility is one of the most important factors for successful missions at sea. Frogmen and vessels have to be as stealthy as possible and for as long as possible. The Danish Navy uses a container-based radar station for research, training and simulation of radar surveillance, which has the benefit of being lightweight and quickly transportable to various tactical exercise locations on land and sea. The container is a fully equipped surveillance post, able to maintain complete and highly detailed surveillance of all forms of movement and traffic at sea. DC-Supply applied its long experience within container-based defence materiel to design the optimum workstation for this vital tactical unit.

Civilian Maritime Accidents Another area in which the flexible and transportable radar station is often used in is the aftermath of civilian accidents. The high-tech radar can simulate a given vessel’s visibility and field of vision, to create a detailed reconstruction of the events leading up to an accident. The versatility of the radar station in civilian and 8 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

DC-Supply applied its long experience within container-based defence materiel to design the optimum workstation for this vital tactical radar unit

military fields makes easy, rapid and safe logistics to parameters which are almost as important as the state-of-the-art radar equipment built into the container.

Used Throughout Scandinavia The flexibility of container-based radar is demonstrated by Denmark’s close partnership


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

with the other Nordic and Scandinavian countries who often borrow it. As with other container-based materiel solutions from DC-Supply, this product is particularly easy to connect and set up and transport to the numerous deployment sites throughout the region and is easily handled using ordinary road transport.

FACTS: CUSTOMER: The Danish Navy PURPOSE: Mobile radar station for research and simulation YEAR: Developed 2011 QUANTITY: One SPECIAL FEATURES: Air conditioning, complete office and radar workstations, fully prepared by DC-Supply for fitting existing radar technology. DEPLOYMENT: The Danish Navy uses the unit for exercises and training in reduction of radar visibility for personnel and materiel and reconstruction of civilian accidents at sea.

As with other container-

We don’t just find container-based

based materiel solutions

hardware

from DC-Supply, this

solutions

product is particularly

for tactical defence needs.

easy to connect and set up and transport to the

We invent them!

numerous deployment

Many Meetings Necessary The process of building such a complex unit as a radar station is a long one, which requires a close, confidential relationship between the customer and DC-Supply. Consequently, a large number of meetings were necessary just to define how the job could be done. And DC-Supply’s role is not just to undertake the work, but to define and design the product, long before the order is placed. CEO Klaus Fossing summarises DC-Supply’s role as follows: “Flexibility, security, functionality and simple logistics are just some of the many advantages achieved by container-based materiel solutions. In many instances, there is no limit to what can be built-into and customised within a 20 foot ISO container. That’s why we are often working completely from scratch at the start of a project, as there is no existing solution to be found. Our job is to find one…”

sites throughout the region and is easily

For more information: Søren Trads

handled using ordinary road transport.

Sales Manager T +45 9632 6403 M +45 4080 9809 st@dc-supply.dk

Contact DC-SUPPLY A/S Virkelyst 8 DK-9400 Nørresundby Tel: +45 7023 1380 Fax: +45 7023 1381 info@dc-supply.dk http://uk.dc-supply.dk

DC-SUPPLY.DK

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 9


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

The Military Container Revolution: From First to Last Mile Mary Dub, Editor

This adaptable metallic container became the workhorse of military logistics and the critical infrastructure that allowed a rapid and flexible response to international military and humanitarian crises.

T

he global commercial use of ISO (International Standards Organisation) containers to move cargo led to the early adoption of the same containers by the military. They created a logistics revolution. They dramatically reduced pilferage and wastage of goods and facilitated the intermodal transport of materiel between truck, rail, sea and air. Indeed, this adaptable metallic container became the workhorse of military logistics and the critical infrastructure that allowed a rapid and flexible response to international military and humanitarian crises. Some go so far as to assert that the ISO container underpinned the international power projection that was so much a part of the United States military role in the late 20th and early 21st century. During the 1982 Falklands War, containers were uploaded onto barges in Stanley harbour in the Falklands for accommodation. Similarly, troops were housed in specially equipped containers during the Gulf War when the Allied Forces arriving in Saudi Arabia found that accommodation was very limited. The containers were used in the same conflict to store weapons, ammunition and hazardous materials. In Bosnia and Kosovo shipping container conversions were delivered as living accommodation, bedrooms and bathrooms to nearly all the camps. The US Army used similar conversions throughout and the Australian Army uses Medical Operating Theatres in shipping containers, which they move to wherever they are needed.

The Development of Today’s Intermodal Container It was the movement of coal on and off Britain’s newly built canal and rail network that started the development of closed wooden stackable boxes. The modern metal containers that are shuttled over the world today originated in the drive to facilitate the movement of boxed freight from truck flatbeds on to the various American railroad networks. Before the Second World War, the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railway led the way followed in 1953, by the CB&Q (the 10 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad), the Chicago and Eastern Illinois and the Southern Pacific railroads. During the Second World War “transporters”, refillable rigid steel containers, were used. In 1952, during the Korean War, the US Army began using the term CONEX, short for “Container Express”. The first major shipment of CONEXes (containing engineering supplies and spare parts) were shipped by rail from the Columbus General Depot in Georgia to the Port of San Francisco, then by ship to Yokohama, Japan, and then to Korea, in late 1952. Shipment times were cut almost in half. By the Vietnam War, the majority of supplies and materials were shipped with the CONEX. Later the U.S. Department of Defense standardized an 8’×8’ cross-section container in multiples of 10’ lengths for military use, this measurement was later standardised.

ISO Containers and Operation Desert Shield or Desert Storm The military’s recognition of the logistics value of standardized containers was clearly evident in the 1990/1991 Operation Desert Shield or Desert Storm, during which ISO containers were the primary method for shipping supplies and materiel. Evidence of “the container contribution” to that conflict was noted in a September 1992 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO): “At the completion of Operation Desert Storm, the DoD (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.1

Container Construction Standard ISOs during this period tended to be steel structures (other designs included aluminium/steel and fiberglass-reinforced plywood). These containers provided cargoloading access through end-opening doors. The typical containers could be 10, 20, 30, or 40


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

We don’t just find container-based hardware solutions

The modern metal

for tactical containers that are

MRS control container

defence needs.

shuttled over the world

for Modular Radar System

feet long by 8, 8.5, or 9.5 feet high. The standard width of the intermodal container was 8 feet. In terms of construction, the walls of a typical steel container were usually constructed of corrugated sheet steel panels welded to the main structural steel top and bottom side rails and end frames. The end frames were fitted with standard corner fittings (steel castings) at all eight corners that were welded to the four corner posts, top and bottom side and front rails, and rear door sill and header. They could be transported together as quadcons2 or tricons. These provide an efficient means of consolidating legacy loads and transferring large volumes of cargo between ocean and overland platforms.

The Adaptability of Tricons and Quadcons These tricon ISO container units have been adapted to provide mobile, flexible facilities for armed forces wherever they are required. For example, there is the Expeditionary Shower System (ESS), the Expeditionary Latrine System (ELS), Expeditionary Batch Laundry (EBL), the Shower Water Re-use System (SWRS), the Kitchen System and many other special adaptations. Many of these specially adapted containers have been transported by road, rail, sea and air to Iraq and Afghanistan by military and civil cargo contractors, although in 2012, IATA reports a slowing down in global cargo trade. Cargo profitability came under increased downward pressure early this year, as fuel prices rose sharply, while yields declined. Falling asset utilization has also been a key factor undermining

We invent them!

today originated in the drive to facilitate the movement of boxed freight from truck flatbeds

For more information: Søren Trads Sales Manager

on to the various American

T +45 9632 6403 M +45 4080 9809 st@dc-supply.dk

railroad networks.

cargo profits over the past year.3 Nevertheless, there has been a growth in key hubs, like Dubai’s Jebel Ali Sea Port, which helps cement Dubai’s role as an ultra-efficient commodities trading hub that links Africa with Asia. Moreover, the air cargo terminal is linked to the world’s sixth-largest container terminal, where containerized goods can be transferred from sea to air for transfer to the military destinations in Iraq and Afghanistan or to commercial destinations of China and Asia.

DC-SUPPLY.DK

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 11


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

21st Century Warfare and the Mobile Container Meredith Llewellyn, Lead Contributor

“Support for our forces in Afghanistan is the most difficult logistics assignment we have faced since World War II.” Hon. P. Jackson Bell, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Logistics and Materiel Readiness, U.S. Department of Defense.

Repatriating $60bnworth of equipment, including 130,000 containers packed with non-lethal matériel, from camp beds to air conditioning units, and 70,000 vehicles, is one of the biggest and most complicated logistical tasks in modern military history.

D

espite the planned drawdown of forces, ISAF forces are still fighting and mentoring Afghan National Forces in Afghanistan. Ensuring delivery of supplies and materiel to Afghanistan remains an ongoing challenge, because of the nature of Afghanistan’s terrain and its rail and road infrastructure. Afghanistan’s ground and airlines of communication are fraught with political problems and have resulted in a slow and expensive overland journey for containers destined for ISAF troops on the ground and at forward operating bases. Approximately 75-80 per cent of all NATO and U.S. supplies bound for Afghanistan, including fuel, food, construction materiel, and unit equipment move overland through Pakistan. The U.S. Air Force or contracted commercial air transport flies the remaining 20-25 per cent of supplies into airfields at Bagram, Kabul, and Kandahar. Materiel transiting by ground arrives at several terminal logistics hubs in Afghanistan operated by U.S. Army cargo transfer detachments. Twenty or forty-foot SEALAND containers, the shipping industry standard, offload from commercial, feeder ships in Pakistan, transit the Pakistani GLOC via commercial trucks, and terminate in Afghanistan. The U.S. contracts with three international commercial shipping companies, Maersk, American President Lines, and Hapag-Lloyd to deliver materiel from its point of origin to Afghanistan. USTC and DLA contract the majority of Afghanistan-bound U.S. Government container-shipping requirements.4

Afghanistan: a Hostile Terrain for Logistics Movements From a distance, it is difficult to ascertain just how difficult it is to establish a smooth supply chain to soldiers in Afghanistan. Three officers from 45th Sustainment Brigade describe the challenge. “The weather and terrain must be considered in all phases of operations, from tactical movements

12 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

to simple logistics resupply. Winter in Afghanistan adversely affects logistics for at least 5 months, from the beginning of November into March. Many of the smaller locations of U.S. forces depend on containerized delivery system (CDS) and lowcost low-altitude (LCLA) airdrops or sling loads for resupply. Throughout the summer, at least 15 COPs are resupplied by air, and this number more than doubles during the winter as the heavy snows close the mountain passes leading to them. 
In the spring, the snow melts and runoff creates the potential for flash floods in valleys and low-lying areas. Floods deposit water and mud on roadways and wash out bridges, leaving COPs isolated from ground resupply.”5 


Political Sensitivity of Lines of Communication to Afghanistan The access to Afghanistan for important container shipments of materiel has also been held up by the difficulties in the American-Pakistan strategic relationship. In July 2012 the New York Times reported the end of a seven month stoppage in truck access to NATO troops. “Pakistan agreed to reopen NATO supply routes on Tuesday after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made a telephone call to Pakistan’s foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, and said she was sorry for the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers who were killed in an American airstrike along the AfghanistanPakistan border in November.”6 Significantly, ”thousands of containers have piled up at the southern port city of Karachi since NATO supply routes through Pakistan were shut down in the aftermath of the airstrike.”

Managing Afghan Truck Contractors Driving Containers in Afghanistan Entering Afghanistan is just one stage of the process. Getting the containers on trucks through the roads to bases in Afghanistan is an equally difficult journey and illustrates the key importance of the strict locking and tracking of each container.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

We don’t just find container-based hardware solutions According to Captain Rose7: “Eight carrier companies operated under the host nation contract. They had varying rates of reliability, and none was particularly distinguished in the quality of its performance. The carriers used many local drivers, who frequently switched between carrier companies and had no loyalty to any one carrier. The quality of the trucks supplied by the carriers under the host-nation contract was deplorable in every sense of the word. The age of the fleet and the general condition of the trucks resulted in frequent breakdowns during missions. Most of the HNT (Host Nation Trucking) drivers had no proof of qualification or licensure on the trucks they operated. To see teenagers operating these trucks was quite common and left one to question the authenticity of the carriers and their commitment to the contract. The performance work statement said that operators would be properly licensed for the vehicles they operated, but I never saw an Afghan driver’s license.”

Military Security on the Road for Containers Captain Rose of US Army Engineers describes the process: ”Driving the trucks through some areas was dangerous, and at times some drivers refused to travel certain routes. The fear of being identified as sympathetic to the United States and labelled as such by the Taliban, coupled with the bribes being paid to Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army officials at checkpoints, contributed greatly to the unwillingness of the drivers to travel along certain routes.”

The Parallel Difficulties of the Return Route Once the equipment has arrived in Afghanistan a great deal of it has also to be cleaned, reloaded and returned to the United States or Europe as part of the drawdown of American troops from Afghanistan. In an article for the Financial Times, Carola Hoyos writes that repatriating $60bn-worth of equipment, including 130,000

for tactical defence needs. We invent them! MCM control container for mine clearance

containers packed with non-lethal matériel, from camp beds to air conditioning units, and 70,000 vehicles, is one of the biggest and most complicated logistical tasks in modern military history. Senior military officials will have to make billion-dollar calls about what to scrap, what to sell and what to bring home to repair for future use.8 And she reiterates the problem of ground lines of communication. “A glance at a map shows that there are no easy answers. There is an accessible port to the south at Karachi in Pakistan. This is the quickest and cheapest option. But the routes to get there are made unpredictable by heavy insurgent attacks and Pakistan’s insistence until recently that the border be closed until the US apologises for the deaths of local soldiers in a NATO air strike. The alternative, the so-called northern distribution network through Central Asia, is also problematic. Afghanistan is surrounded by autocratic regimes, steep mountain passes and criminals ready to pilfer from passing convoys. The six-month closure of the border with Pakistan meant most supplies to and from Afghanistan had to make the geographically and politically perilous 5,000km trek through Central Asia and out to sea via Russia and the Baltic or across the Caspian region towards the Mediterranean.”

For more information: Søren Trads Sales Manager T +45 9632 6403 M +45 4080 9809 st@dc-supply.dk

DC-SUPPLY.DK

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 13


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

Containers and Supply Chain Management for Combat Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

“Plan properly or die” attributed to Alexander, the Great 320BC

It is in these situations when ground or sea lines of communication may be disrupted that the airlift of flexible containers or the timely arrival of critical communication infrastructure in containers can provide essential supplies.

F

or millennia the role of resilient supply chain management has been a fundamental tenet of any strategic plan for successful military action. Indeed, the use of airlift, sea-lanes and truck routes has been a hallmark of 21st century global power projection. And these supply chains must be both robust and resilient. The assumption that ruggedness, or the ability to withstand attack is enough, might be a mistake. Resilience implies that a supply chain can return to work after disruption, a critical capability in long distance power projection with the vagaries of war and the necessity to turn to Plan B. Asymmetric warfare requires agility and flexibility not only from its war fighters but also their supply chain.

Flexibility and Customised Response Essential for Asymmetric Warfare Major Michael Hammond, US Army, makes the point: “Insurgency and counterinsurgency environments require adaptable support units and sense and respond logisticians to meet the unpredictable support requirements of the soldiers in the field. Conventional warfare, although not impossible today, seems unlikely, and so the Army requires a new type of military planner. When unit requirements are unpredictable, logisticians must shift from a planned response to a customized response.”9 Any commercial or civilian supplier that can facilitate that flexibility is going to be able to enhance military capability. And that supply chain must be modern and effective.

Focussed Logistics “Lean Logistics and Focussed Logistics as developed by the US Department of Defense and acknowledged by the UK Ministry of Defence in so-called Smart Procurement, recognise the importance of logistics within a ‘cradle to grave’ perspective. This means relying less on the total integral stockholding and transportation systems, 14 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

and increasing the extent to which contractorised logistic support to military operations is fanned out to civilian contractors.”10 The importance of civilian and local contractors in delivering logistic support is critical for any national army and in the security environment of Afghanistan, the growth and establishment of local security forces both the Afghan National Army and Police and local civilian contractors to facilitate them are well on the way to being established.

Logistics in Low Intensity Conflict (LIC) and High Intensity Conflict (HIC) The speed and tempo of 21st century warfare requires a different pace of logistics support. An Israeli perspective on the role of modern military logistics support is insightful. “Unlike conventional conflicts, most asymmetric conflicts take years to end. It took 3 weeks to crush the Iraqi army in 2003, but the ensuing operations in Iraq continued for 8 years. Because of the longevity of asymmetric conflicts, there is time to learn lessons (which insurgents do as well) and adopt new tactics regularly…The changing intensity of LICs requires militaries to use a wide range of logistics solutions to sustain combat forces. Maintaining flexibility to sustain combat forces is needed at all times using a wide range of supply, medical, maintenance, and transportation solutions.”11

Logistics for Humanitarian Assistance or Responsibility to Protect (R2P) Missions One of the central functions of the armed forces is availability to provide assistance when needed in times of crisis, either during civil conflict or natural disaster, like the Haiti earthquake. It is in these situations when ground or sea lines of communication may be disrupted that the airlift of flexible containers or the timely arrival of critical communication infrastructure in containers can provide essential supplies. In some of the LICs,


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

We don’t just find container-based hardware solutions for tactical

humanitarian aid was the priority mission and logistics played a major role in providing that aid. An example is Operation Provide Relief in Somalia. During LICs that were not oriented toward humanitarian aid, providing supplies and medical treatment to civilians eased the pressure for logistics support from combat troops and local political leaders by preventing humanitarian catastrophes.

Refrigeration Boot Camp As has been noted by many commentators, containers have rarely been used as extensively as they have been in the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Such is the extent of summer heat in Helmand and elsewhere that cooling and refrigerating containers has become a highly tuned skill. Carrier, a container manufacturer specialising in cool containers, sent out two engineers to facilitate operations on the ground. For the U.S. Army, refrigeration units are typically installed on 20-foot containers. Many are equipped with PowerLINE® RG “clip on” generator sets, which are required for back up or when bases have limited or no power supply. “Using reefer containers gives the military the ability to quickly move in cooling equipment without putting down a fixed asset,” explained a Carrier engineer. “It’s 100 per cent mobile, it’s reliable, it’s durable and it’s built for a rugged marine environment. But the application and the demands placed on the refrigeration units is nothing like typical shipping applications, where containers run undisturbed for a limited-duration voyage, some in direct sunlight, others not.” In Afghanistan, the stationary units are exposed to scorching 49 degrees C daytime desert heat, dust and sand, and doors are opened multiple times throughout the day. Frequent door openings, combined with container temperatures of -20 degrees C and humid air, can quickly frost an evaporator. This problem required flexibility and a custom approach on the ground. “The maintenance of this equipment is totally different

defence needs.

Communications container – a specially-built 3-in-

We invent them!

one container optimised and developed to create a large, flexible working space

For more information: Søren Trads Sales Manager T +45 9632 6403 M +45 4080 9809 st@dc-supply.dk

Kennel container based on a 20’ ISO container fitted out with individual boxes for dogs

from any other place in the world,” a Carrier engineer said. “Everything needs to be properly cleaned to ensure sufficient airflows. Every little bit of sand and dirt takes away from the unit’s efficiency, especially with the high ambient temperatures.” To ensure a supply chain of food, pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and other products, a very high level of attention to detail is required.

DC-SUPPLY.DK

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 15


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

The Logistics Revolution and Customised Containers Don McBarnet, Staff Writer

“The transformation objective is to field a force that is strategically responsive and dominant every point on the spectrum of operations.” To support this vision, army logistics requires a quantum leap in strategic responsiveness. This change is called “the Revolution in Military Logistics,” to know what the customer, the War fighter, needs before he requests it.” General Eric Ken Shinseki, Chief of Staff of the US Army 2002

The central driver of

‘Obama’s Pivot to Asia’

US foreign policy is away from traditional economic interests in Europe towards emerging economic interests in Australasia and the Pacific Rim.

DC-Supply specialises in custom-designed solutions for all sorts of purposes

T

he quotation at the top of this article is ten years old, yet the essential point that logistics needs to anticipate the needs of the warfighter remains relevant to this day, ten years later. The question at the front of every strategic planner and logistics contractor is what will the future role of the United States and its allies’ forces be in the medium to short term future? January 1st 2013 brings the currently unsurmounted risk of the ‘fiscal cliff’ and its potential consequential dramatic cut in defence spending. Combined with the uncertainties about the fiscal cliff is the central uncertainty about the US Army’s role. ‘Boots on the ground’ policies seen in the last decade in counter insurgency campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq have been replaced by ‘leading from behind’ in the allied Operation Unified Protector over Libya in 2011. In 2012 officials have renamed Obama’s military strategy a “light footprint”. But the lightness of touch, by boots or anything else, produces a deep uncertainty among planners and contractors about the future role of the US Army and, therefore, its logistics planners.

16 | www.defenceindustryreports.com

The central driver of US foreign policy is away from traditional economic interests in Europe towards emerging economic interests in Australasia and the Pacific Rim. Later in this second Obama administration as new sea, air and land bases are developed, it will become clearer to commercial contractors, what to prepare for. However, for many of them anticipating the war fighter’s next need is a difficult guessing game with too many unknowns.

New Certainties The New York Times newspaper writing earlier this month, November 2012, noted a profound change taking place in Afghanistan as a result of the approaching drawdown of ISAF troops from the country in 2014. Total American spending in Afghanistan was budgeted at $159.4 billion in 2011, and the estimate for 2012 is $126.5 billion, (according to the White House Office of Management and Budget). By 2013, that will have dropped to $96.7 billion. More difficult to quantify is how much other countries’ international spending in Afghanistan, as well as private investment, has fallen.12 These kinds of reductions lead to a deep decline for local Afghan contractors and other civilian logistics contractors.

New Products for Civilian and Military Markets While strategic uncertainty and real and threatened budget cuts hold back military logistic planners, some manufacturers like Envirotainers are developing new highly engineered containers to safeguard and transport temperature sensitive products like pharmaceutical and medical supplies. The


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

We don’t just find manufacturers argued that extreme weather conditions and disrupted flight schedules provide a commercial opportunity to demonstrate their new containers’ features. With flight delays due to poor weather, a container was stored in the warehouse and connected to the mains while awaiting the next available flight. No other precaution was necessary to protect its sensitive and valuable cargo as the RAP e2 electrical heating and cooling container only uses electrical power to run, either from its own internal batteries or from the power grid. Over several days the container kept the temperature at the desired level before it was shipped to the US when improved weather conditions permitted flights to resume. The RKN Cooltainer is in the same market and has slightly different features. Cooltainers facilitate a safe transport of vaccines, drugs, blood plasma or foodstuff to assist in medical relief and catering services. High levels of insulation are combined with cooling via a dryice based system. Regular D-cell batteries allow users to set temperature at a recently updated digital control unit which controls fans and stores temperature data. For ultimate proof of safe shipments with an unbroken cool chain, the data measured from calibrated sensors can be exported using a memory stick via a USBconnection interface.

The Smart Container The former Ministry of Defence owned company QinetiQ, has developed what it calls a Smart container for the American Department of Defense. It boasts very high levels of digital tracking and sensing of the container and the state of its contents on its journey to its destination. “Our solution combines next-generation shipping container construction, COTS sensing, tracking, and communications capabilities. It supports a seamless vision for materiel and equipment state-of-readiness, contained in ISO-compliant polymer-and-steel, twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) shipping containers. The Smart Container’s physical and environmental characteristics are monitored using satellite, cellular, adhoc mesh communications networks, global positioning, environmental sensors and Automatic Identification Technologies (AIT), including active RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification).

container-based

The steel cased,

hardware

intermodal, container

solutions for tactical

delivers infinite flexibility

defence needs. to ingenious engineers

We invent them!

to refine function to meet the war fighter’s needs.

This allows the military to enhance the container management process, knowing where the container is, what’s inside, and what environmental conditions it is being subject to during shipment. The new Smart Container will dramatically improve the military’s capability to monitor items in-transit and ensure the right materials reach the intended destination in proper condition throughout the world.13”

The ‘Fog of War’ May Challenge the Best Designed Containers It is quite clear that there is a strong demand for ISO containers for a host of uses, and this will no doubt be the case for Asian bases as and when they are brought forward. Nevertheless, the reality of logistics in emerging countries in conflict will always be a process with high levels of uncertainty and relatively high levels of dysfunction. This will call upon good flexibility from contractors and a constant demand for tailor made containers for specific functions, whether it is housing soldiers, kennelling dogs, keeping stores fresh or medical supplies between a range of temperatures. The steel cased, intermodal, container delivers infinite flexibility to ingenious engineers to refine function to meet the war fighter’s needs.

For more information: Søren Trads Sales Manager T +45 9632 6403 M +45 4080 9809 st@dc-supply.dk

DC-SUPPLY.DK

www.defenceindustryreports.com | 17


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION MOBILE CONTAINER SOLUTIONS

References: 1

 http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/shipping-out-iso-based-deployment-systems/ The quadcon mini-container, which was originally developed for use by U.S. armed forces, is configured to enable four containers to be secured together

2

3

with the resulting package having the same footprint as a standard 20-foot ISO intermodal container. http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/Documents/economics/eChartbook-Q1-2012.pdf

4

ABSTRACT Colonel Kurt J. Ryan Exploring Alternatives for Strategic Access to Afghanistan Strategy Research Project 20 March 2009

5

http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/issues/NovDec10/45th_supplydistrib.html

45th Sustainment Brigade: Supply Distribution in Afghanistan by Major Kerry Dennard, Major Christine A. Haffey, and Major Ray Ferguson New York Times: NATO Supply Trucks From Pakistan Resume Trek to Afghanistan

6

By SALMAN MASOOD Published: July 5, 2012 http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/issues/MayJune12/Logistics_Movements.html

7

Professional Bulletin of Army Sustainment May/June 2012

Logistics Movements in a Changing Afghan Environment FT.com May 16, 2012 8:08 pm

8

9

Afghanistan: Bringing it all back home By Carola Hoyos http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/87d83edc-9f39-11e1-a455-00144feabdc0.html Part 2 of Sense and Respond Series Sense and Respond: Logistics on the Insurgent Battlefield

by Major Michael F. Hammond www.almc.army.mil/alog/issues/NovDec08/log_insurgfield.html

10

http://www.rickard.karoo.net/articles/concepts_logistics.html

11

Logistics in Asymmetric Conflict by Eyal Ziv An Israeli and his colleagues examine several contemporary operations to determine what characterizes

12

13

logistics in low-intensity conflicts. As NATO Nears Exit, Construction Dries Up http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/05/world/asia/as-nato-nears-exit-afghan-construction-dries-up.html?_r=0 Mauricio Lima for The New York Times QinetiQ website

18 | www.defenceindustryreports.com


Defence Industry Reports… the Defence Industry Reports….the leading specialist combined leading specialist online research andcombined networking online research and networking resource for senior military and resource for senior military and defence industry professionals. defence industry professionals.

 •p toUpthe U minute Industry News other content available to the minute Industryand and Technology Technology News andand other content available to to allallsite users on a free of charge, open access basis. site users on a free of charge, open access basis.

 •ualified Q signed upupmembers abletoto access premium content Qualified signed members are are able access premium content SpecialSpecial Reports andand interact with usinga variety a variety of advanced Reports interact withtheir their peers peers using of advanced onlineonline networking tools. networking tools.

Designed to help usersidentify identify new solutions, understand the the  •esigned D to help users newtechnical technical solutions, understand implications of differenttechnical technical choices select the the bestbest solutions implications of different choicesand and select solutions available. available.

Thought Leadership Advice and from internationally recognised  •hought T Leadership – -Advice andguidance guidance from internationally recognised defence industry key opinion leaders. leaders defence industry key opinion

Input - Contributions from senior military personnel and defence industry  •eerPeer P Input – Contributions from senior military personnel and defence professionals industry professionals.

Independent Editorial Content – Expert and authoritative analysis from winning journalists and leading industry commentators award winning journalists and leading industry commentators.

Unbiased Supplier Provided Content.

Designed debate. • Writtento tofacilitate the highest professional standards

Written to the highest professional standards.

Independent Editorial Content - Expert and authoritative analysis from award

Unbiased Supplier Provided Content

Designed to facilitate debate

Visit: www.defenceindustryreports.com


Special Report – Next Generation Mobile Container Solutions  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Next Generation Mobile Container Solutions

Special Report – Next Generation Mobile Container Solutions  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Next Generation Mobile Container Solutions