ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- The Joint Munitions Command's Demand Planning Directorate hosted a semi-annual Total Army Ammunition Authorization and Allocation Committee working group meeting here, Aug. 16-18.
Senior leaders from Department of the Army Headquarters co-chaired the three-day TA4C working group, which included personnel from JMC, the Program Executive Office for Ammunition and other Army commands involved in the various aspects of managing ammunition.
The goal of the mission-critical working group was to synchronize ammunition requirements throughout the Army, based on operational and training requirements and supply availability. A total of 568 conventional ammunition items, ranging from small-caliber ammunition to large-caliber artillery rounds were reviewed.
Col. Joseph D. Blanding, JMC Chief of Staff, provided opening remarks and welcomed the working group attendees. He emphasized the importance of the working group's efforts to forecast ammunition requirements for both training and overseas contingency operations.
"I understand what it means to have the right ammunition, at the right place and the right time," said Blanding. "It's very important. That's why this working group is very important." Blanding has served in the Army for more than 23 years and has deployed four times to combat. The working group "sets the stage for effective, efficient and best value decisions. Your hard work in forecasting is key to our success."
The working group forum reduces the number of un-forecasted, execution-year requirements and allows for prioritization of all mission-critical requirements prior to mobilization training, as well as prioritizing overseas contingency operations' demands.
"The primary purpose [of the TA4C] is to synchronize Army requirements and priorities with available and projected supply," said Susan 'Sue' Carlson, Department of the Army, Munitions Division Chief. "This has been a rewarding experience for us. It's the only time the ammo people can get together and talk [directly to each other] and exchange information. The ammo expertise resides in this room," she noted.
Approximately 135 ammunition managers attended the forum, which allowed commands worldwide to meet for the dual purpose of both requesting authorizations and/or requesting allocations for conventional ammunition based on current and projected requirements and forecasted asset availability. In addition, functional ammunition experts attended to provide their expertise, receive guidance and to discuss current issues affecting the ammunition community.
In June 2006, the Total Army Ammunition Authorization and Allocation Committee working group was established by merging the Committee for Ammunition Logistics Support Conference and the Training Ammunition Authorization Conference. Each conference previously worked independently. Combining the working groups has led to a better distribution of assets and has increased the availability of ammunition for training.
"I appreciate everyone coming together to work through these important issues," said Bob Grubbs, Department of the Army. "There are significant issues being worked through the Department of the Army Headquarters that will impact training in a significant way over the next couple of years." Grubbs noted there are new requirements being established to ensure how a Soldier or unit is certified as trained. This will produce a higher demand on training ammunition.
Joint Munitions Command produces small-, medium- and large-caliber ammunition items for the Department of Defense. The primary mission of JMC is to manage the production, storage, issue, and demilitarization of conventional ammunition for all U.S. Military Services. JMC is the sustainment and logistics integrator for life-cycle management of ammunition and provides a global presence of technical support to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed.