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Pentagon Asks Industry for Ideas to Protect Supply Lines

October 13, 2023

Laura Heckmann

National Defense Magazine

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By Laura Heckmann, National Defense Magazine / October 13, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Indo-Pacific theater stretches from the coast of California to the western shore of India, consuming more than 50 percent of the Earth’s surface with mostly water. When the Pentagon declared the region its priority theater, another challenge inevitably surfaced: contested logistics.

Al Shaffer, former deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, described contested logistics as “delivering and sustaining food, fuel, munitions and repair parts in an area of vast distances” like Indo-Pacific Command.

Supplying necessary goods across vast domains is further complicated by potential adversaries, “so we will be doing it not just with the tyranny of geography, but the tyranny of technology,” Shaffer said during a panel at the National Defense Industrial Association’s Emerging Technologies for Defense conference.

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