THE PAPER | Research on 6R Military Logistics Network by Wan Jie & Wang Wen
IndraStra Open Journal Systems
IndraStra Global

THE PAPER | Research on 6R Military Logistics Network by Wan Jie & Wang Wen

By Wan Jie & Wang Wen


The building of military logistics network is an important issue for the construction of new forces. This paper has thrown out a concept model of 6R military logistics network model based on Just in Time (JIT). Then we conceive of axis spoke y logistics centers network, flexible 6R organizational network, lean 6R military information network based grid. And then the strategy and proposal for the construction of the three sub networks of 6R military logistics network are given.

THE PAPER | Research on 6R Military Logistics Network by Wan Jie & Wang Wen

Keywords: Logistics Network, Construction of Military Logistics Network, JIT, 6R


Nowadays, for adapting to the changing world political environment and meeting the needs of information war, construction for military logistics has been accelerated. So we should follow the principles such as the scientific concept of development and rapid response as the guiding ideologies when construct our military logistics network. Intensification, specialization, information and integration,dynamic and quickly response are considered. 

JIT method is well known as synchronous manufacturing. It quests for a state of no waste and emphasizes on the rapid response for demand, which is such an entry point to build our new military logistics network.

Literature Review:

Military logistics is an old research project which can be traced back to World War II. Even thought more and more experts have concerned in this field, but most of their researches focus on definition of concept, design of hierarchy network, layout of facilities, or selecting transport route. 

On the definition of concept, Professor Wang Zongxi [1] refers to the generic terms for various types provided for meeting the needs of living or training in military operations. Gong Yancheng [2] divides the wartime military logistics network planning into three steps: the design of hierarchical structure, the plot of facility, the evaluation of facilities location. By analyzing the logistics strategies and specifications, the general principle for building military logistics network were put forward. On others fields, there were also many research results. 

After reviewing some of the most relevant literature, now we know that due to the special nature of military supplies and the deficiency of basic data, the research results are relatively poor and scattered. What’s more, there are only a few of empirical analysis which needed to be further deepened and systematized.

The Core Functions of 6R Military Logistics Network 

To build our new 6R military logistics network model included the followings: 

Purchasing Followed 5R Procurement Principles:

5R procurement principles are the right choices for"price", "quality", "quantity", "land “and "time". 

Lean Logistics:

We should eliminate the non-value added waste and reduce stock time to improve the value-added logistics service process efficiency and constantly. 

Three-dimensional Distribution:

Mainly relies on national comprehensive transport network, to integrate railways, highways, aviation, waterways, pipelines and other modes of transport comprehensively. 

Integrated Information Management:

Fully based on the information network platform, the scattered procurement planning about different logistical sector would be unified to achieve the rapid response. Information and logistics flow will be shown in Fig.1. 

Figure 1 : Information and Logistics Flow within 6R Military Logistics Network

The Concept Model Of 6R Military Logistics Network

After following the principles of the scientific concept of development as the guiding ideology, and making full use of multiple technologies, we get our concept model of 6R military logistics network based on JIT, just would be shown in Fig.2. What’s more, 6R are the model’s functions to achieve goals, which stand for Quickly Response (QR), Right Time, Right Quality, Right Quantity, Right Price, and Right Place.

From Fig.2 we can get how to design the 6R military logistic network. They are the unification of three networks and the reconstruction of 6 systems. The unification of three networks is the integrated the 6R military logistics infrastructure network, information network and organization network to form a virtual logistics network. And the reconstruction of 6 systems is the processes of rebuilding the 6 systems’framework through study and analysis of each part of the original in the military.

Figure 2: The Concept Model of 6R Military Logistics Network

In Fig.2, sign 1,2,3,…25 respectively stand for Information Technologies, Platform Software, Platform Hardware, Support Environment, 6R Military Logistics Information Network, Integrated Delivery Systems, 3D Transport Systems, Entities of Local Suppliers, Entities of Military Factories, Professional Procurement Systems, Logistics Department, Intensive Planning Systems, Compatible Storage Systems, Military Logistics Centers, Entities of Forces Users, Information Control Systems, 6R military Organizational Networks, 6R Military Infrastructure Network, Multi-suppliers, Department of Forces Procurement, Multi-military Logistics Centers, Terminal and Airport, Logistics Park, Haulage Plan and Transport Routes. 

The Constructive Strategy of the Construction of 6R Military Logistics Network 

The Layout of the Military Logistics Centers Based on JIT

The logistics infrastructure network is an important component of military logistics network. What’s more, the decisions about the logistics centers’ location and delivery strategies are also the major component part of the logistics infrastructure network. Whenever we make the choice of logistics centers’ placement scheme, it is important to pursue the balance between the total cost and the efficiency of support. That is, we should follow the maximal "expected efficiency" and the minimal "expected cost" principles. We can use the existing models such as the gravity center of location model. 

The Flexible 6R Organizational Network

6R military logistics network is an open structure which includes logistics alliance, virtual organizations and other logistics morphology, what’s more can share information and resources without borders. Our 6R concept model has proposed the six reconstruction systems; we must to achieve the "three mechanism" for guaranteeing the efficient operation. It adopts the structure which consisted of project teams. With this configuration, it can react rapidly. So, when we design the structure, it is worth noting that the flattening of organizational structure and delegating the decision making power to lower levels selectively. At the same time, we’d better set out the different size of the distribution centers stratify.

The logistics department in military region or armed services is the highest organ of regional military logistic network. There are many subordinate bodies attached the logistics department in military region or armed services. These subordinate bodies have the responsibility for guaranteeing the activities of all levels military institutions and security platforms. The leading organ of logistics department is consisted of headquarters, political department and professional logistics department. With such a structure, it is preferable to incorporate the organizations, strategic rear base and security force into a whole body. And then, it can coordinate the whole army logistics work organizationally. The logistics department in every armed service is also consisted of headquarters, political department and professional logistics department. And as the highest organ of this army, it manages the lower logistics departments to ensure the supply of all materials. The structure is shown in Fig. 3.

As shown in Fig. 3, as the second highest organization, the joint Logistics Divisions are the administrative organization. Regularly, they are made up of warehouse and some distinguishable functions military platoon or squad such as transport squad, maintenance platoon, and so on. They have the duty and responsibility to store, manage, provide the logistical materials, to complete the nearby transport tasks.

Figure 3: Hierarchical Structure of 6R Military Logistics Network

Each level of distribution center is made of human department, purchase department, Warehouse department, transport department, technical department, financial department and some different project teams. With these project teams, it can process military materials’ delivery service of different levels. The structure is shown in Fig.4.

Figure 4: The Structure of Logistics Center Based on JIT

In Fig.4, sign 1,2,3,…10 respectively stand for Superior Logistics Center, Logistics Centers, Headquarter, Political Department, Oil Department, Temporary Project Team, Military Traffic Department, Finance Department, Transport Department and Commissariat. According to the level in the 6R military logistics network, logistics centers can be divided into several stages, as shown in Fig 5.   

Figure 5: The Hierarchal Structure of Military Logistics Center

Lean 6R Military Information Network Based Grid[3]

For achieving the Visualization Management, not only the instantaneous information of demand and combats deployment are required, but also the instantaneous number and availability of materials in stock. Grid is an important international information technology in recent years [4]. It is a synthesis of standardized, interface-oriented, modularized technologies. The technologies include the management and monitoring mechanism service abstractly and rigorously, the high performance scheduling, providing structural framework and a developmental operation mode. Compared with the general Web services, the grid has the ability to create, use, detect, and manage the acquirable resources. Brought grid into the construction of military logistics information network can solve the integration of information resource effectively. One new model for lean 6R military logistics information network based on JIT is presented in this paper, just like shown in Fig.6.

Figure 6: The Model of 6R Military Logistics Information Network

In Fig.6, sign 1,2,3, … 12 respectively stand for Superior Information Service System, Demander of Logistics Service, military Account Management, Operations Management, Network Database, Geographic Information System Searching Database, Expert Knowledge Database, Global scheduling Module, Middleware of Globus, Platform of Logistics Information Service, multi-level network of military logistics centers and military logistics center. 

Generally, the grids achieve their managerial functions through logistics information service platform indirectly. As shown in Fig. 9, the military logistics information network has four major components, the demand-side of logistics service, grid of logistics service processing center, logistics information service platform and the network providing logistics service. Logistics refers to the abstract syntheses of many logistics activities. It controlled, directed and scheduled the logistics operation through managing logistics information. 

The demand-side of logistics service can log on the grid through a browser. Then it can interact with grid Logistics Services Center (part of the diagram surrounded by the dashed box). In order to achieve this functionality, we need to establish the automation network management system of the joint martial warehouse. Through this system, we link up the whole martial warehouse. And according to the differences of requirement, support capabilities and distribution of resource, we can select the best support model. Establishing the automation network management system of the joint martial warehouse is not a simple task. First it must build Local Area Network, and second the LAN, then the wide area network. It must obey this sequence and use the unified specifications, standards and codes. Step by step, finally we may set up the joint warehouse transversely, and the automation network system of headquarter lengthways. 

The Conclusion 

Building our military logistics network’s with the method JIT and other technologies is just meeting the need for adapting the changed environment. This paper has thrown out a concept model of 6R military logistics network model based on JIT and given the strategy and proposal for the construction of the three sub networks. 


The paper is supported by the 2008 Natural Science Foundation of Hebei Province (G2008000122). We especially wish to thank all the people who had helped us a lot in the course of study. 

About The Authors:

The Authors are associated with Department of Industry Engineering, School Of Management, Hebei University of Technology,Tianjin, China. Email:,

Publication Details:

 © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Peer-reviewed and Published by the Original Publisher under Creative Commons License

Download The Pdf


[1] Wang Zongxi. Military Logistics [M]. Beijing: Tsinghua University Press, 2007 

[2] Gong Yancheng. Study on the Decision on theory and Method of Wartime Military Logistics System. (PhD thesis). Xi an: Chang an University, 2004 

[3] Bian Wenliang. Study on MF Networks Adapting to Grid Environment. (PhD thesis). Beijing: Beijing Jiaotong University, 2007 

[4] Xu Jie, Ju Songdong. A Connotative Analysis on MF Network [J]. Beijing Jiaotong University (Social Science Edition), 2005 (2) 

[5] Wang Zhitai. The modern Logistics Management [M]. Chinese Workers Press, 2001 

[6] Tao Yi. Center Location Models of Military Logistics and Optimization Using Genetic Algorithm. (Master thesis). PLA Information Engineering University, 2007 

[7] Kevin R. Gue.A dynamic distribution model for combat logistics. Computers & Operations Research .2003 (30), pp. 367 381