India needs to have a national logistics network, combining the civilian and military resources, to effectively deal with any crisis situation in the future, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General CP Mohanty said on Saturday. In an address at a seminar, Lt Gen. Mohanty said a national logistics policy is being deliberated upon as the country cannot afford to separate national logistics from the military logistics networks.
“My vision of operation logistics in a few lines — it has to be completely networked to connect the frontline soldiers and all service providers with a click of a button,” he said. “To do so, it has to be modelled on telemarketing on the lines of Amazon, Flipkart, Big Basket etc.,” the Vice Chief of Army Staff added.
Lt Gen. Mohanty also emphasised on the use of best technologies to enhance India”s military capabilities to confront various challenges, including along the western and northern borders. “As we look to enhance the capabilities of our armed forces to meet the dual challenges on our western and northern borders, we are deeply conscious of the fact that it is with technology alone that we can prepare ourselves for all scenarios,” he said.
The Army Vice Chief said the incorporation of automation to reduce inventory, artificial intelligence for better predictive maintenance, block chain for more efficient logistics supply chain management, fuel cells for energy management are some of the issues that are being looked at. He said a frontline commander in the thick of a battle cannot afford to contact multiple service providers.
“All services such as food, fuel, warlike stores, weapons, ammunition, casualty evacuation, medical services, repair and recovery of vehicles and equipment have to be integrated into one large web,” Lt Gen. Mohanty said.
“It would involve multiple warehousing facilities, transportation by land, air and water, workshops, hospitals with round-the-clock transparency,” he added. Lt Gen. Mohanty said the requirement of nurturing jointness and integration, particularly in the evolution of joint logistics structures, has been accorded priority.
“We, as a nation, cannot afford to divorce national logistics from military logistics — especially when a war or any major crisis in effect is a national effort,” he said.