"No matter how clearly one thinks, it is impossible to anticipate precisely the character of future conflict. The key is not to be so far off the mark that it becomes impossible to adjust once that character is revealed." -- Sir Michael HowardBy DAN O'BOYLE
AMCOM Public AffairsUndaunted by looming winter weather, AMCOM commander Maj. Gen. Jim Richardson opened his command's 17th annual Industry Days event by saying, "I am a simple Soldier," on Feb. 24 in Bob Jones Auditorium.
Gathering AMCOM's top war-fighter support partners, Richardson emphasized the importance of teaming and partnership as he unveiled the path that the command will take toward 2025.
Following the commander's introduction, attendees gathered with key leaders to address the responsive mutual cooperation, requirements and optimized enabling readiness sustainment capabilities that will be needed by the materiel enterprise for weapon system life cycle management over the next 10 years.
"It's been 17 years since I was a battalion commander, and it's because of you who are here today that I was able to be successful," Richardson said. "AMCOM's whole focus -- and number one priority -- is on the brigades, divisions and corps and enabling their readiness."
Mission, vision statements
"We have looked at the operational environment and arrived at a team-crafted mission and vision for the command," Richardson said. "It's our job to support the guy on the ground. That's why we are here, and that's why we exist."
The Aviation and Missile Command also centers in on Test Measurement and Diagnostic Equipment, in addition to its Aviation and Missile war fighter support.
"TMDE is a huge, no-fail mission for us," Richardson said. "In line with that, we are responsive across the board, not waiting for commanders to call us. We cannot wait for them to call us."
Current operations were highlighted during the two-day event, despite Arsenal weather-caused closures.
"If you look at the Africa mission, that was an aviation task force from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky," Richardson said. "We knew that they were going into an austere environment. We called the division commander first, we did not wait for him to call us.
"We are devoted to optimization. We have knobs and dials that we can turn to help units; our mission statement is very important."
The command's six core competencies include: Support to Acquisition; Sustainment Logistics; Organic Industrial Base; Field/Sustainment Maintenance; Calibration; and Security Assistance. The command intends to use these to provide sustainable readiness that, in 2025, produces the end state: flexible, agile, capability -- AMCOM postured to provide integrated, responsive, world class aviation, missile and TMDE logistics support to enable joint war fighter unit and equipment readiness.
"Toward that end, AMCOM is working to get requirement integration and synchronization across the aviation and missile enterprise right at the front end," Richardson said. "It's extremely important to get that done at the start of the life cycle. AMCOM wants to partner a lot more with industry, because we can't do things without you."
Eyes and ears forward
"We have to get it right up front," Richardson said. "Seventy percent of a weapon system cost is in sustainment. And that's why our Logistics Assistance Representatives are so important. My LAR in Operation Anaconda slept right beside me, and when he told me that my airplane was good to go, I got in it and flew it."
The goal is to do things better, more effectively and less expensively.
"The bottom line is that we can see the outcomes and we can see the end state," Richardson said. "We're going to be doing things a lot different in 2025 than we're doing right now, because we have to."