Kelly, Romney Introduce Legislation to Shore Up U.S. Military Supply Chains in Indo-Pacific

Would mitigate vulnerabilities in a potential contested logistics environment

This week, Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ), member of the Armed Services Committee, and Mitt Romney (R-UT), ranking member of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific, teamed up to introduce the Bolstering Indo-Pacific Capabilities Act, bipartisan legislation that would shore up U.S. military logistics lines and improve readiness, particularly in the Indo-Pacific. Specifically, the bill aims to help the Department of Defense (DOD) expand its ability to mitigate logistics vulnerabilities now to better enable operations should a conflict break out in the future. 

“Ensuring our military supply chains are resilient and robust is critical to our national security,” said Kelly. “As China’s military capabilities continue to expand, this legislation will help us address vulnerabilities and maintain our readiness in contested environments. By strengthening partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region, we can better support our troops and uphold our commitments to allies in the Indo-Pacific region.” 

“With each passing day, China’s military continues to improve and expand its capabilities—its ambitions are clear,” Senator Romney said. “In the event of a conflict in the Indo-Pacific, the United States could face challenges effectively moving personnel and equipment in an area that comprises about half of the earth’s surface. By bolstering and protecting supply lines now, the United States would be better able to address a potential contested logistics environment in the future.” 


China’s military is rapidly gaining the size and capabilities it needs to dominate the Indo-Pacific. This threat, in addition to vast geographic expanses of the region, means the United States could be forced to operate in a contested logistics environment in critical areas of the Indo-Pacific should a conflict break out. 

A “contested logistics” environment refers to one in which an adversary presents challenges in all domains and directly targets our logistics operations, facilities, and activities. Threats to logistics could mean troops cannot be moved, equipment cannot be repaired, and ammunition cannot be resupplied. 

The Bolstering Indo-Pacific Capabilities Act would: 

  • Require a DOD review and report of contested logistics efforts across military departments to better inform Congress. 
  • Include Japan and South Korea in the group of allies (current DOD program includes Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom) that could provide product support to the U.S. in a contested logistics environment. Receiving spare parts from allies would enable the U.S. to more efficiently and quickly repair its equipment in a conflict. 
  • Authorize DOD to conduct maintenance on certain surface vessels in foreign ports under the SWaRM program. The ability to repair and maintain ships plays a critical role in sustaining Navy readiness. 

Kelly has championed efforts to support the U.S. Maritime Industrial Base. In January, Kelly and Congressman Mike Waltz (R-FL-6) sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter to President Biden urging the administration to develop a whole-of-government maritime “de-risking” strategy to reduce reliance on Chinese shipbuilding and invest in the American shipbuilding and ship repair industry. In May, Kelly released Congressional Guidance for a National Maritime Strategy with Waltz, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-8), and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), which highlighted steps Congress should take to revitalize the maritime industrial base.  

Text of the legislation can be found here