By Maj. Gen. Clark W. LeMastersJuly 5, 2017
The TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (LCMC) is one of the Army Materiel Command's (AMC's) three LCMCs. Its mission is to deliver sustainable readiness by operationalizing essential functions at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels.
TACOM provides support across the life cycles of major end items, which are the critical systems that enable the Army to perform its missions. Many of these major end items are employed by other services within the Department of Defense.
These items include the M1 Abrams tanks used by the Marine Corps, the mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles used by the Air Force and Navy, and the small arms used by the Coast Guard. If a sister service uses a TACOM-supported major end item, TACOM will provide some level of support to that joint partner.
Sustainment is a team sport. As an LCMC, TACOM is an active member of the Army acquisition team and is partnered with supported program executive offices (PEOs) for major systems and capabilities. The PEOs and their subordinate program managers acquire major end items and capabilities for the force, and TACOM teams with them to sustain the equipment once it is fielded.
TACOM is also closely linked with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), a major joint partner that provides critical repair parts and secondary items to support the systems that TACOM is responsible for.
The most common types of support TACOM provides to joint partners fall within one of the following five essential functions: materiel fielding support, the Logistics Assistance Program (LAP), supply chain support, organic industrial base (OIB) support, and the Fleet Management Expansion (FMX) program.
MATERIEL FIELDING AND TRAINING
Within TACOM's Field Support Operations Directorate, the Materiel Fielding and Training (MF&T) Division is responsible for fielding state-of-the-art equipment to units. The MF&T Division also provides training on the proper operation and maintenance of this equipment.
The MF&T team can support any service that receives equipment acquired by one of the TACOM-supported PEOs. So far in fiscal year 2017, the MF&T team has performed more than 433 new equipment training events and supported the fielding of 169 systems across 19 program managers. Some of the support went to joint partners in the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
LOGISTICS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The LAP is an Army program managed by the Army G-4. AMC executes the program through its subordinate commands. The LAP focuses on the early detection and resolution of logistics-related problems that affect units and materiel readiness. This program provides commanders with the technical support necessary to fix weapon systems, equipment, and systemic sustainment problems.
The LAP is executed by logistics assistance representatives (LARs). These Department of the Army civilians are experts who assist field commanders in solving readiness issues at the unit level. They also elevate issues when necessary to the Army Sustainment Command or one of the three LCMCs within AMC.
TACOM has 291 LARs in the program. The LARs are located at every major Army installation around the world, to include commands at the theater, corps, division, and brigade levels. LARs support every major exercise, training event, and contingency. The TACOM LARs are aligned with Army field support brigades.
The LARs have diverse skills and experiences, but they each focus on one of these seven primary areas of expertise:
• Armament-artillery/small arms.
• Armament-armor/fire control.
Although TACOM LARs are not permanently stationed or positioned to support the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, or Coast Guard, on many occasions, LARs provide support to other services for TACOM-supported equipment. This primarily occurs during contingency operations or joint exercises in which joint forces are operating in close proximity.
It is not uncommon for LARs stationed at or near a joint military base to receive calls from other services for equipment support. On the joint battlefield of today and into the future, TACOM LARs will provide support to Army and joint force units. TACOM LARs ensure that every service member operating TACOM-supported equipment has the highest level of support possible.
SUPPLY CHAIN SUPPORT
TACOM equipment, weapons, and support systems are expertly maintained by well-trained operators and crews. Supply chain management is one of the most essential functions that the TACOM team performs. This support extends down to the tactical level for all services.
The largest portion of TACOM's DLA support comes from DLA Land and Maritime, located at Defense Supply Center Columbus, Ohio. DLA Land and Maritime manages nearly 80 percent of all secondary items and repair parts for TACOM systems, and TACOM manages the remaining 20 percent of those items. Sister services rely on both DLA and TACOM to provide repair parts and secondary items for their TACOM-supported equipment.
TACOM manages nearly 7,300 items that support the other military services. Some examples include 2,300 items supporting Marine Corps howitzers, 674 chemical and biological items for all services, and light and medium tactical truck repair parts for the Air Force.
The supply chain support that TACOM provides for these items requires close coordination with sister services to determine demand requirements, procurement through contracting or repair at one of TACOM's OIB sites, and parts management, which includes receipt, storage, and issue. This is a complex and challenging business managed expertly by the Integrated Logistics Support Center located at TACOM's headquarters in Warren, Michigan.
As part of the AMC OIB enterprise, TACOM is responsible for three depots and two arsenals. It is also responsible for the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center-Lima in Ohio, also known as "the tank plant," which is a government-owned, contractor-operated facility.
The OIB sites include Anniston Army Depot, Alabama; Red River Army Depot, Texas; Sierra Army Depot, California; the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC) at Watervliet Arsenal, New York; and the JMTC at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois.
Arsenals manufacture and depots remanufacture major end items and components that support the military. Some of the components they provide are critical repair parts that support TACOM's supply chain. These parts include recoverable items such as engines, alternators, and axles.
JMTC at Watervliet Arsenal produces all large cannon barrel assemblies for 155-millimeter artillery, the 120-millimeter main gun for the M1 tank, 105-millimeter cannon assemblies for incorporation into artillery or direct-fire systems, and mortar systems and related support components.
The JMTC at Rock Island Arsenal has multiple capabilities, including tool and gauge manufacturing, casting, forging, gear and spring manufacturing, and pliable materials capabilities.
Sierra Army Depot has more than 30,000 acres of open storage and nearly 2.5 million square feet of magazine and warehouse space to hold major end items and materiel awaiting service-level disposition.
These capabilities and many more are available to the joint force. TACOM's OIB sites receive work annually from the Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force. This work equates directly to readiness and increased capabilities within the Army and its sister services.
Some examples of joint OIB support include overhauling Marine Corps tanks and assault breacher vehicles, manufacturing 81-millimeter mortar tubes and thousands of shoes for Marine Corps assault amphibious vehicle tracks, rebuilding machine guns for the Air Force, and overhauling mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles and casting work for the Navy.
FLEET MANAGEMENT EXPANSION
The FMX program began in 2002. Since then it has evolved to provide responsive, reliable, and uninterrupted field-level maintenance for equipment used for training by the Training and Doctrine Command.
TACOM's FMX program is focused on four locations: Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Fort Lee, Virginia; Fort Benning, Georgia; and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The FMX team repairs equipment at these locations, which are used to train tens of thousands of defense personnel each year.
At Fort Leonard Wood, the FMX team supports Marine Corps and Navy detachment equipment used to train Marine Corps military police and motor vehicle operators and Navy engineers. At Fort Benning, the FMX team supports four assault breacher vehicles and 16 M1 tanks used for training Marines.
At Fort Jackson, the FMX team supports more than 2,400 small arms used by the Navy. At Fort Lee, the team supports equipment used to train Marines and Airmen operating and maintaining various materials handling and support equipment.
TACOM also manages some very unique programs that support the joint force. Its Soldier Product Support Integration Directorate manages force provider and large area maintenance shelters within Army pre-positioned stocks and war reserves. These systems provide critical life support and maintenance areas in deployed environments and support joint operational needs statements around the globe.
Dozens of force provider base camps and large area maintenance shelters have been used by Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force units during Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Noble Eagle. The systems are part of the critical infrastructure the Army brings to build up and sustain theater operations. Program manager and TACOM equipment specialists deploy to support the systems and train service members on maintaining and operating them.
TACOM's Aerial Delivery and Soldier Protective Equipment Branch provides equipment to support cargo airdrops. This equipment includes the joint precision airdrop system, which is used by several services.
TACOM also has occasionally coordinated for field support representatives from the original equipment manufacturers to support unique joint service requirements when a TACOM LAR was unable to provide support.
TACOM's support across these essential functions varies in size and scope from service to service. Although TACOM's primary mission is to deliver readiness for the Army, its support to the joint force enables readiness for the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and even occasionally the Coast Guard.
The TACOM team of sustainment professionals, linked with its many partners, provides sustainable readiness solutions globally. TACOM's motto is "Committed to Excellence," and it is committed to providing the absolute best support to service members wherever and whenever they need it.
Maj. Gen. Clark W. LeMasters is the commanding general of the TACOM LCMC. He has a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Frostburg State University and master's degrees from the Florida Institute of Technology and the Army War College. His military education includes the Ordnance Officer Basic and Advanced Courses and the Army Command and General Staff College.
This article was published in the July-August 2017 issue of Army Sustainment magazine.