By Gen. Gustave "Gus" PernaMay 1, 2017
As the Army Materiel Command (AMC) commander and the Army's senior logistician, my number one job is to synchronize and integrate the total capabilities of the vast materiel enterprise in support of the chief of staff of the Army's priorities and combatant commander requirements. My intent is to operationalize the enterprise by focusing the Army's efforts on output to ensure Army materiel readiness.
At the AMC Senior Leader Forum in February, I introduced six strategic objectives: materiel readiness, Sustainable Readiness, force projection, battlefield sustainment, materiel development, and Armywide sustainment. These strategic objectives synchronize Army and AMC priorities and establish AMC's organizational strategy to operationalize the command as the Army's materiel integrator.
In the next few editions of Army Sustainment, I will explain and expand on each strategic objective. In alignment with this edition on readiness, the first two objectives are materiel readiness and Sustainable Readiness.
Materiel readiness means providing the right equipment, materiel, and capabilities to ensure the Army's ability to fight and win. We achieve materiel readiness when combat-ready forces are sustained and equipped to support global requirements through the provisioning of materiel that is synchronized from the strategic level to the tactical level. Materiel management is capabilities-centric, and it requires the life cycle management commands to actively and effectively manage the Army's fleets of equipment.
Strategic initiatives within the materiel readiness objective further define how the Army will achieve its end state. First, we must optimize the supply chain, energizing and focusing the wholesale supply system on critical warfighting fleets. To do this, we will optimize supply availability, working toward having 100 percent of requisitions filled by the required delivery dates. Additionally, maximum use of the Materiel Common Operating Picture will provide predictive readiness for units and commanders.
Second, we will plan and execute redistribution to build equipment on hand and divest and demilitarize excess items to best meet Army needs and requirements. Through fully funded and executed demilitarization, we will reduce required storage space and care of stocks.
Third, the Army must aggressively shape sustainment modified tables of organization and equipment in order to support the requirements of future land forces.
The Sustainable Readiness objective ensures the readiness of total-force formations through the delivery of required capabilities. Sustainable Readiness is unit and brigade combat team-centric and driven by the Sustainable Readiness Program (SRP) to enable combat power. The end state is that Army formations are ready to deploy immediately and are postured to meet combatant commanders' requirements.
Key to the Sustainable Readiness objective is ensuring unit equipment is ready to use for Army missions. By providing stable and predictable workloads for the depots, arsenals, and ammunition plants, we ensure a viable organic industrial base (OIB) to meet current and future requirements.
We must decisively link OIB outputs with SRP priorities. Aligning the workload to brigade rotations through the SRP will allow the Army to reset brigade fleets to ensure they are ready when needed, rather than when funding is available for individual types of equipment.
Likewise, the SRP focuses on managing workload to ensure the right work is done to contribute to Army readiness. Optimizing the OIB also includes assessing and scrutinizing the infrastructure and leveraging product-support capabilities.
To achieve materiel readiness and Sustainable Readiness, leaders must enforce standards and discipline, be experts in the Army's processes, and ensure that Soldiers across all formations are trained and equipped to sustain the forces on the battlefield. Across the materiel enterprise, commanders must clearly identify requirements, conduct risk assessments, develop courses of action, and ultimately provide the right output. When this is done, we will be successful at providing materiel readiness for the Army and joint force.
Gen. Gustave "Gus" Perna is the commander of the Army Materiel Command at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
This article was published in the May-June 2017 issue of Army Sustainment magazine.