Operation Inherent Rescue – Humanitarian Supply Chains in Action

Imagine there is suddenly a real opportunity to stop the fighting in Syria. After months of tense negotiations and years of carnage, all the parties reach an agreement. But unless this agreement is implemented quickly it will collapse into chaos once again. The diplomats and politicians have reached agreement on strategy, now they need professionals to make it happen. And that means logistics and supply chains to support the movement of 500,000 refugees. Immediately.

SITUATION REPORT:  The UN Security Council has approved the Munich Security Conference recommendation previously endorsed by the 17-nation International Syria Support Group. In this UN Security Council resolution, a Chapter VII Peace Enforcement mission is authorized with participant nations committing Peace Keeping (PK) forces as part of the approved Peace Support Operation (PSO). The mission has been assigned the code name “Inherent Rescue”.

Since the mobilization of the aforementioned PK units will take 90 -120 days from implementation, the President of the United States (POTUS) has directed the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF), in concert with the Secretary of State (SECSTATE) to map out the requirements to: (1) begin de-escalation of combat operations within specified corridors of the contested areas within Syria to allow the safe migration of refugees; (2) allow for the safe passage and transit of NGO (Non-Governmental Organizations) and medical support as part of the Humanitarian efforts within the contested zones; (3) set up ‘safe haven’ areas for the refugees to be housed, clothed, fed and medically supported in a secure environment; and (4) act as advance logistics support force for the pending arrival of the UN Chapter VII PSO.

SECDEF has ordered the Commander, US Central Command (COMCENTCOM) to immediately begin planning and implementation of the POTUS directive.  Initial forces are to be enroute to the revised CENTCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR) within 48 hours.

What would you do?

What if you were the person responsible for planning the logistics and managing the supply chains that will enable this mission? You might feel completely overwhelmed at the size of the task, and all the complexity, and the seemingly impossible challenge of being ready to go in 48 hours. But nobody wants to hear your excuses… so you have to do something.

You decide to use an approach that combines a commercial off-the-shelf, cloud-based modeling and simulation application with a concise five-step mission and operations planning (M&OP) process as described in the video above. You use the resulting capability to explore options and make good decisions in a timely manner. You go with the best plan you can devise with the time and information available. Then you implement that plan and continue to monitor the situation and explore new options as the situation evolves.

It’s a far better thing to make the best decisions you can in a timely manner (when it really counts), rather than trying to make perfect decisions later (when it’s too late anyway). The five-step M&OP process combined with supply chain simulations makes that possible.

Case Study Challenge: From watching the short video above you have an idea of how mission planners can design and create a supply chain to support a mission such as this. The issues involved here are explored in a case study and a working model of this supply chain is available in the SCM Globe library – http://blog.scmglobe.com/?page_id=4672


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