Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD -- The ties between the Army Materiel Command at the Research, Development and Engineering Command must remain strong if the Army is to achieve its vision for the new Army Futures Command and the future force, according to General Gustave F. Perna, Commander of the Army Materiel Command.

Perna visited RDECOM Aug. 16 as it was in the midst of planning its transition out of AMC and into AFC. RDECOM Commander Maj. Gen. Cedric T. Wins briefed Perna on RDECOM's planning for the transition, its progress on a number of ongoing AMC initiatives, and its own internal campaign to streamline operations and better synchronize RDECOM outputs with Army modernization priorities.

Perna noted that AMC will continue to be a customer of RDECOM's discoveries and innovations. Linkages include the long history of partnerships between RDECOM's research, development and engineering centers and AMC's life cycle management commands. RDECOM's capabilities also have to be designed with sustainment considerations in mind, meaning the two commands will remain linked across several levels for the foreseeable future.

"We have a great opportunity ahead of us, and it's important we succeed because it's the right thing to do for our Army and our country. We have to lead our way through it to be part of the AFC success story," Perna said.

Wins detailed several efforts underway to identify actions it must take to maintain those important linkages while transitioning from AMC to AFC as that command moves toward full operational capability by next summer. This is a complex, multi-layered process, Wins said.

"We are ensuring everyone understands that RDECOM is not only a large organization with almost 14,000 people conducting a complex and sometimes dangerous science and technology mission, but one with a global footprint. We have people in more than 80 locations in the continental United States and more than 30 locations overseas."

Perna reinforced the importance of detailed planning, but also used the forum to remind the assembled staff and leaders from each of RDECOM's six research, development and engineering centers and its research laboratory that there is another important dimension beyond gathering information, planning and following an execution order.

"The intangibles matter," Perna said. "The difference between great success and failure is attitude. Everyone has to let go of their egos and have the right attitude. At the end of the day it's not about defending our organizations. It's about doing what's right for the Army."


The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command has the mission to provide innovative research, development and engineering to produce capabilities for decisive overmatch to the Army against the complexities of the current and future operating environments in support of the Joint Warfighter and the Nation. RDECOM is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Materiel Command.