By Maj. Gen. Daniel G. MitchellOctober 31, 2017
Readiness is achieved in many ways. When it comes to materiel readiness, the Army Materiel Command's (AMC's) incalculable contribution is confidence. When Soldiers order parts, they expect to receive them in a timely manner. It is AMC's job to ensure that happens. AMC's largest impact on the field is the assurance that warfighters can get the parts and equipment they need when they need it.
Responsible materiel management and a responsive supply chain build Army readiness from the ground up. The way AMC manages its inventory and supply chain from end to end can make the difference between mission success and failure.
Delivering materiel readiness is the end result of elaborate strategies, systems, tools, and actions. These factors provide visibility across the logistics enterprise to help AMC make responsible decisions. The accountability for those decisions belongs to AMC.
AMC maximizes information technology to support and inform materiel management objectives. The information AMC gathers and analyzes from all levels determines its output. From redistribution and divestiture to rethinking its industrial workload, AMC's materiel management system is keeping pace to produce readiness results.
AMC's information technology tools keep evolving. The visibility AMC has over its enterprise is better now than it ever has been. Therefore, leaders at all levels should understand not only the capabilities but also the possibilities of available systems and how those systems contribute to readiness.
AMC's Logistics Support Activity provides unprecedented asset visibility by leveraging 14 data interfaces, including those for enterprise resource planning, into the Logistics Information Warehouse to form common operational pictures.
At the unit and installation level, the Global Combat Support System-Army (GCSS-Army) transformed Army logistics much like Facebook revolutionized social media. Just like Facebook implements incremental changes to accommodate users, GCSS-Army continues to advance as it brings together supply, maintenance, and property accountability functions and their associated financial data.
GCSS-Army provides AMC with decisive advantages in logistics and supply chain management. By the end of 2017, GCSS-Army will have as many as 140,000 users.
At the strategic level, the Logistics Modernization Program (LMP) interfaces with more than 80 Department of Defense systems with fully integrated, technologically advanced functionality. LMP supports supply chain management functions across AMC's life cycle management commands and organic industrial base activities.
The program manages nearly $16 billion in Army Working Capital Fund inventory and processes more than 7 million transactions daily. LMP has more than 22,000 users across AMC and at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.
At the operational level, the Lead Materiel Integrator Decision Support Tool is a collaborative program that leads stakeholders through the planning and execution of equipment distribution and redistribution by matching equipment demands with available inventory in depots, nondeployed units, and elsewhere. The effective use of this tool enables AMC to eliminate stovepiped operations while enhancing materiel availability and increasing readiness.
AMC's information technology systems are evolving toward an integrated, end-to-end information environment that will continue to improve the Army's materiel readiness. Moving forward, the Single Army Logistics Enterprise (SALE) will provide that broader enterprise information environment.
This comprehensive program merges the installation- and tactical-level GCSS-Army and the national-level LMP to create more efficient, streamlined, and integrated business processes that directly support warfighter sustainment. The synchronized environment will provide commanders and managers with near-real-time visibility of assets, equipment conditions, finances, and supplies anywhere in the supply chain.
AMC's systems are both evolving and complex, and leaders must ensure users are properly trained to guarantee data integrity. The Army also counts on leaders to understand how these capabilities support readiness at all levels and to demonstrate their high priority by incorporating the programs' outputs.
REDISTRIBUTION AND DIVESTITURE
The clear visibility provided by technology solutions improves AMC's readiness by informing its redistribution, divestiture, and demilitarization decisions. In the way that one man's junk is another's treasure, one unit's excess is another's combat power.
Redistributing equipment to security force assistance brigades and the 15th and 16th Armored Brigade Combat Teams, building equipment on hand in existing units, and modernizing pre-positioned stocks are among AMC's top priorities. Reducing excess through divesture that, in turn, reduces the resources required to store and care for surplus is also important.
AMC leads divestiture for the Army. Reducing on-hand equipment while synchronizing distribution enhances readiness by meeting the demands of the National Military Strategy. This is no small feat. During the past year, AMC redistributed nearly 800,000 pieces of equipment to improve readiness.
AMC continues to refine its redistribution and divestiture business rules to fill equipment shortages in units. AMC's goal is straightforward: units go to war with their assigned equipment, so AMC must ensure that equipment is ready for the fight.
AMC's materiel enterprise must be able to react at the speed of war. To that end, the Army organic industrial base is being linked to Sustainable Readiness. It is being optimized to match repair, overhaul, and manufacturing outputs to Army equipping priorities.
With full visibility, AMC is reshaping its arsenals, depots, and ammunition plants into more adaptive and agile entities that modernize equipment and rapidly build combat power to meet global requirements. AMC's transition to a more deliberate, schedule-driven strategy will improve predictability while enhancing its capacity to surge when necessary.
The impact of effective materiel management on readiness is evident at each echelon of deployment and sustainment operations. AMC's materiel management solutions enable the projection of ground forces to forward operating locations to meet commanders' needs.
Continued coordination with strategic partners also guides materiel management solutions for battlefield sustainment. AMC's goal is synchronization and integration of its distribution and materiel management efforts across the range of military operations.
The command's outputs reflect the careful consideration and analysis informed by its foundational tools. These capabilities improve AMC's ability to manage materiel and improve readiness.
With continuous introspection, assessment, and a commitment to readiness, AMC's materiel enterprise remains aligned with the chief of staff of the Army's priorities and responsive to combatant commanders' requirements.
From fort to port, port to port, and port to foxhole, materiel management ensures operational commanders are enabled to achieve their objectives and that AMC remains ready to deliver materiel readiness to the total force.
Maj. Gen. Daniel G. Mitchell is AMC's deputy chief of staff for logistics and operations at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
This article was published in the November-December 2017 issue of Army Sustainment magazine.