By Kimberly Hanson, AMCMay 23, 2014
ARLINGTON, Va. (May 23, 2014) -- "We've been to war, continue in war, on the back of the industrial base," the Army Materiel Command's top leader told an influential audience gathered Tuesday, at the Association of the United States Army's Sustainment "Hot Topic" Forum, here.
Closing a day of discussion and dialogue between current and retired Army and industry leaders, Gen. Dennis L. Via, AMC commander, stressed partnership, collaboration and communication with industry as the key to navigating the challenging times currently faced by the Army.
"The decisions we're making today will directly translate to the type of Army we'll have, not only in 2025, but in the next 30 years and beyond," Via said. "The burden of sustaining that force will fall upon the shoulders of the people in this room, and the organizations you represent."
Challenged with sustaining the capabilities and systems developed over the past decade of war, the Army is looking to industry to play a large role, Via said.
"The U.S. Army can recruit the best force," he said. "The U.S. Army can train the best force. But we're depending on the industrial base to help the U.S. Army equip the best force, and sustain it as we move forward."
Strategic Mobility now to 2025, the topic of a panel discussion earlier in the forum, is a critical factor of sustainment that Via said weighs on his mind.
"Strategic changes in how our Army organizes, equips, trains, and operates present significant challenges in ensuring the right mobility capabilities at the right levels are ready to deliver Army forces, when and where needed," he said.
To sustain the Army Organic Industrial Base, Via said AMC is focused on increasing Foreign Military Sales, and Public-Private Partnerships. In fiscal year 2013, Foreign Military Sales generated more than 4,600 cases in support of 145 countries, totaling more than $10.6 billion, with expected growth in fiscal year 2014.
"Key to our ability to sustain the force of tomorrow is to protect our industrial base of today," said Via. "The bottom line is that AMC is open for business."
Echoing the words of Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. John Campbell, who opened the forum with remarks, Via said the Army must be faster, more agile, responsive to the need, and expeditionary.
Continued collaboration is the most important thing the Army and industry can do, Via asserted.
"Our Army understands that it takes a team, government and industry, to sustain the force of today, and it will continue to take a team effort to support and sustain Force 2025," he said.