U.S. Army Materiel Command's senior leader stressed the importance of increasing synergy between modernization and sustainment to ensure Soldier lethality during his keynote remarks at the Association of the U.S. Army's 2018 LANPAC Symposium and Exposition, May 23.

"The ability to provide the maneuver commander with operational reach will enable his freedom of action and prolong his force's endurance; this is an essential part of sustainment that must be considered in modernization," said Gen. Gus Perna.

Army senior leaders are prioritizing efforts today, even those less popular, to ensure future success on the battlefield, Perna said.

"We must get involved today so that in the future, equipment on the battlefield will provide us with the greatest lethality," he said. "If we allow ourselves to follow the acquisition process and the bureaucracy that is imbedded in it, we will not be successful."

Perna emphasized that the difference between being ready and reacting will be accounted for in the loss of American lives, and in order to be successful, Army leaders have to challenge the status quo, assess the situation and make changes.

"Are we willing to wait for the next requirement against a near peer competitor to understand that we do not have the best equipment and the best trained forces on that equipment, or are we going to change the paradigm," said Perna. "I'm proud to tell you that our Secretary and our Chief have changed the paradigm."

Perna also highlighted several on-going actions taken to modernize tactical efforts within the Army, including improving the ability to deploy quickly and efficiently, changing the approach to long-term sustainment of theaters, and pre-positioning stocks around the world.

"I am convinced that we will remain ahead of the requirements and enabled to defeat our enemies," he said about the activation of the U.S. Army Futures Command. "We are a great Army, led by great leaders with great vision."

Perna asserted that the key to success within the Army is partnerships and synchronization between the modernization strategy and sustainment. This balance will drive readiness today and for the future force.