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Combat service support is a subset of military logistics. Combat service support is more limited in depth than logistics, as it primarily addresses those factors directly influencing combat operations.

United States Army[]

In the United States Army, the term combat service support was until 2008 defined as the essential capabilities, functions, activities, and tasks necessary to sustain all elements of operating forces in theater at all levels of war. Within the national and theater logistics systems, it includes but is not limited to that support rendered by service forces in ensuring the aspects of materiel and supply chain management, maintenance, transportation, health services, and other services required by aviation and ground combat troops to permit those units to accomplish their missions in combat. Combat service support encompasses those activities at all levels of war that produce sustainment to all operating forces on the battlefield. Within the United States Army, the traditional combat service support branches are the following:

Replaced by Sustainment[]

"Combat service support" as a classification was replaced by "sustainment" with the publication of FM 3–0, Operations in February 2008.[2] Sustainment is one of the six warfighting functions, which also include movement and maneuver, intelligence, fires, command and control, and protection.[2]

United States Marine Corps[]

In the United States Marine Corps, combat service support has a similar definition to that of the United States Army. The Marine Corps Logistics Command (MARCORLOGCOM) is the preferred provider of supply chain management, collaborative maintenance management and strategic prepositioning to the operating forces of the United States Marine Corps and other services and agencies.

The Logistics Combat Element (LCE, formerly Combat Service Support Element OR CSSE) is the portion of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) responsible for providing logistical support. The LCE provides all support functions not organic to the ground combat element (GCE) and aviation combat element (ACE) units of the MAGTF. Functions include: communications, combat engineers, motor transport, medical and dental, supply, maintenance, air delivery, and landing support.

Logistics Groups[]

There are four logistics groups in the United States Marine Corps:

See also[]


Further reading[]

External links[]

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