By Ms. Cherish T. Gilmore (AMC)January 29, 2018
TAMPA, Fla. -- Imagine you have a 15-year-old car that needs repairs, but the parts are obsolete and unavailable. Now imagine the same situation, but the vehicle in need of repair is an Abrams tank, Bradley Fighting Vehicle or a Black Hawk helicopter. If parts are unavailable, there is a negative impact on readiness.
Tabitha Horrocks, program manager for obsolescence at the Army Materiel Command, is responsible for proactively monitoring the obsolescence of parts in all Army weapon systems to ensure readiness. For her efforts, she received the Department of Defense Diminishing Manufacturing and Material Shortages Individual Achievement Award during the DMSMS Conference in Tampa, Florida.
AMC's obsolescence initiative includes training the enterprise on best practices, processes and procedures, including areas such as contract language, analytical tools, working groups, and lifecycle strategies resulting in efficiencies and maintaining readiness.
"We have to reconcile these parts when they go obsolete. If we are not monitoring and we go to do a requisition or contract, then we are not going to have it and that impacts readiness. Our mission is to mitigate any direct impacts to readiness," Horrocks said.
Managing the obsolescence of parts in all Army weapon systems is complicated, but for years this process was made even more complex by the use of multiple tracking methods. Horrocks led the taskforce charged with identifying a better method of accomplishing this task.
The taskforce selected the Multi-function Obsolescence Resolution Environment -- known as MORE -- to manage all of the parts across the materiel enterprise. Today, if a part is no longer in production, users of MORE can see what systems are affected and are able to share those solutions across the enterprise.
"We save a lot of engineering hours this way and we are able to get started on solutions sooner," Horrocks said.
For this and other accomplishments, Horrocks was nominated unknowingly and selected by DOD to receive the individual achievement award. She coordinated across DOD and personally trained more than 170 people in this effort.
"This has not been an individual effort. I've had a lot of support from the different Life Cycle Management Commands, Research, Development and Engineering Commands, and around the Headquarters AMC to get this mission accomplished," Horrocks said.
Dr. Bernard Goodly, chief of the Industrial Base Capabilities Division at AMC, nominated Horrocks for the award.
"What stood out is how Tabitha has collaborated across the Army, with the other military services, and DOD by illustrating how analytical tools used by the Army might help address obsolescence concerns," Goodly said. "Tabitha's actions contribute to warfighter readiness by helping ensure we have parts available at the lowest possible cost when our warfighters need them."
After 16 years of service, Horrocks still knows that her work directly impacts the warfighter. Quoting a previous supervisor, she said, "Soldiers are going to go into battle. They are going to accomplish the mission. It is up to us to make sure that they have what they need to execute the mission."