Joint Publication 4-0, Joint Logistics

By Andrew Keene Joint Force Quarterly 91

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Lieutenant Andrew Keene, Navy Supply Corps, USN, is Assistant to the Strategy and Readiness Division Chief, Joint Staff J4.

Boatswain’s mate seaman apprentice assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 prepares U.S. Navy Improved Navy Lighterage System causeway ferry for on-loading during Joint Logistics Over the Shore 2016, Naval Magazine Indian Island, Washington, June 13, 2016 (U.S. Air Force/Kenneth W. Norman)
Boatswain’s mate seaman apprentice assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 prepares U.S. Navy Improved Navy Lighterage System causeway ferry for on-loading during Joint Logistics Over the Shore 2016, Naval Magazine Indian Island, Washington, June 13, 2016 (U.S. Air Force/Kenneth W. Norman)
Boatswain’s mate seaman apprentice assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 prepares U.S. Navy Improved Navy Lighterage System causeway ferry for on-loading during Joint Logistics Over the Shore 2016, Naval Magazine Indian Island, Washington, June 13, 2016 (U.S. Air Force/Kenneth W. Norman)
Boatswain’s mate seaman apprentice assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 prepares U.S. Navy Improved Navy Lighterage System causeway ferry for on-loading during Joint Logistics Over the Shore 2016
Boatswain’s mate seaman apprentice assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 prepares U.S. Navy Improved Navy Lighterage System causeway ferry for on-loading during Joint Logistics Over the Shore 2016, Naval Magazine Indian Island, Washington, June 13, 2016 (U.S. Air Force/Kenneth W. Norman)
Photo By: Staff Sgt. Kenneth Norman
VIRIN: 160613-F-QX786-1330

The Joint Staff Director, Logistics Directorate (J4), approved the revision of Joint Publication (JP) 4-0, Joint Logistics. The publication, signed by the Director of Joint Force Development (J7), is the latest keystone document of the joint doctrine logistics series since 1995. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff approved the first official version of JP 4-0 in 1995. Since then, the joint doctrine development community has revised JP 4-0 in 2000, 2008, and 2013. In 2000, JP 4-0 introduced the concept of focused logistics and sustainment for effective combat power. In 2008, the JP 4-0 update shifted emphasis by introducing the joint logistics environment and joint logistics imperatives. The 2013 revision introduced the concept of the joint logistics enterprise (JLEnt) while providing guidance on coordinating and synchronizing joint logistics.

JP 4-0 was developed to provide the doctrinal foundation for logistics planning, execution, and assessment in support of joint operations. It focuses on the integration of strategic, operational, and tactical support efforts while leveraging the global JLEnt to affect the mobilization and movement of forces and materiel to sustain a joint force commander’s concept of operations. Additionally, it provides guidance for joint logistics, describes core logistics functions essential to success, and offers a framework for combatant commanders and subordinate commanders to integrate capabilities from national, multinational, Services, and combat support agencies to provide forces properly equipped and trained, when and where required.

The 2018 version of JP 4-0 is not a radical departure from the previous version. The majority of changes ensure the publication now contains the most current figures, terms, definitions, and references based on changes to other JPs in the joint doctrine library since approval of the 2013 JP 4-0 version. Most notably, the 2018 version contains five joint logistics focus areas: warfighter readiness, competition below armed conflict, global integration, innovation, and strengthening alliance and partner networks. These will guide joint logisticians in the performance of the integrating functions needed for successful joint operations.

The joint community’s recommendations resulted in the consolidation of JP 4-06, Mortuary Affairs, into the JP 4-0 revision. The revision also incorporates updated information regarding health services from the 2017 release of JP 4-02, Joint Health Services. It updates the description of the directive authority for logistics and includes amplified information regarding the roles of U.S. Transportation Command and combat support agencies such as the Defense Logistics Agency within the JLEnt. The latest revision more adequately describes technology and how it can enable the joint force commander to effectively control logistics within the operational area, if leveraged effectively.

The technology section describes how new technologies, in the form of information systems, decision support tools, and evolving communications capabilities, can improve visibility of logistics processes, resources, and requirements and provide the information necessary to make effective decisions. Additionally, the revision includes clarifying information for base operating support integrator and lead Service support.

Because of the interrelationship between logistics and all phases of operations, JP 4-0 was developed in close collaboration with other recent versions of joint publications, ensuring continuity between keystone JPs to address strategic, operational, and tactical issues. Logistics support will continue to evolve. As the JLEnt develops updated processes in the new logistics environment, the joint doctrine development community will capture those best practices and integrate them into JP 4-0 through the adaptive doctrine process.

In an effort to reflect adaptive doctrine, this keystone now contains appendices for each subsequent JP within the JP 4-0 series. The appendices provide horizontal and vertical linkages to the keystone and within the joint doctrine publication hierarchy to best support joint operations (JP 3-0) and the foundation for joint doctrine publication hierarchy reset considerations that elaborate on or improve joint doctrine efficiencies.

The updated JP 4-0 is a big step in aligning logistics joint doctrine with the processes used by logisticians in the combatant commands and the guidance in the National Military Strategy and Joint Strategic Campaign Plan. This version provides joint force commanders and their component commanders with processes that allow for that flexibility and the ability to provide streamlined logistics support in an uncertain and challenging environment. JFQ