ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, MD: In keeping with his goal to remain apprised of the challenges, needs, and accomplishments of the major subordinate commands, or MSC, of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, Gen. Gustave "Gus" Perna, AMC commander, visited the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground on August 15.
CECOM is one of nine AMC subordinate commands.

The topics covered everything from supply availability and CECOM efforts to define a strategy to sustain SFAB operations, to cost reductions and Tobyhanna Army Depot performance.
Perna made clear the intent of requiring these assessments from each MSC.

"I am here to have these conversations so you can hear my expectations, and we can move forward to address the shortfalls and issues," he said. "We need to be adaptive to new solutions. Our responsibility is to the people that work for us, whether on the battlefield, or in your headquarters, or in your depot."

He emphasized the critical need to improve supply availability at every level.
"Supply availability is a team effort," he said. "I need the guys on the front line to be active players in anticipating needs and addressing them early."

He said the need to address trends includes considering if the problem is "a design shortfall, a user issue, or something else."

"And then, we proactively assess the path forward from up here," Perna said.
Perna talked about awards and their importance in recognizing significant achievements as opposed to mere job recognition.

"I ask you to enforce high standards when giving out awards," he said, adding that leaders should consider if the individual has done more than what they are paid to do and if they have provided some type of tangible service or helped people do things better.

Larry Muzzelo, deputy to the CECOM Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, emphasized the importance of visits such as this.

"In my experience, it is always immensely productive to have Gen. Perna sitting in the same room offering immediate and direct feedback," Muzzelo said. "He has a no-nonsense style that is on point and decisive."

Muzzelo was followed by Liz Miranda, director of the CECOM Integrated Logistics Support Center (ILSC), who briefed on commodity supply availability and readiness goals. The overall commander assessment for supply availability, Miranda said, was that backorders were projected to decrease by 31 percent, and organizations were projected to achieve 89 percent supply availability overall by the end of fiscal year 2018. In addition, equipment-on-hand projections consistently remained above the Army equipment readiness goals and on track to exceed readiness goals for FY18. Aggressive FY19 DLA-managed readiness driver goals in development include a 10 percent reduction in overall backorders and a 25 percent reduction in non-mission-capable supplies.

"Supply availability is the single most important thing we will do for our Army, beyond our normal requirements, that will decisively influence our fight," Perna said.

Software readiness was another major focus area. Jennifer Zbozny, director of the CECOM Software Engineering Center, briefed Perna on this topic, specifically describing the metrics and reporting processes that are being collected in order to complete the readiness picture and support software sustainment.

Additional briefers included Walter Haczewski, director, CECOM G-8, who discussed the Budget Execution Submission Plan and Col. Tony Comello, director of CECOM G-3, who updated Security Force Assistance Brigade sustainment strategy and goals.

Perna was further briefed on cost reduction strategies, manpower initiatives, and SMART-T readiness.

Perna presented CECOM safety representatives with the Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army Safety Award. The award recognized CECOM for outstanding achievement as the Army Exceptional Organization Safety Awardee in the 2-Star Commands division.

In addition, he presented Coins of Excellence to three ILSC Civilians for their efforts in supply availability. They included James "Scott" Hornberger, a super supply chain planner; Cheryl McCall, a senior inventory manager; and Michele Marsh, senior super supply chain planner. Hornberger and McCall were credited with improving supply availability from 64 percent to 92 percent and from 69 to 93 percent respectively while Marsh helped reduce equipment excess from 18 to 8 percent and eliminated 675 backorders with a 7 percent overall supply availability increase to 86 percent.
Perna told each recipient, "Well done."

"Supply availability is my number one priority supporting my three top-level priorities of Readiness, Future Force, and Taking Care of People," he said, adding that the battlefield will affect the ability to supply as needed, and while great strides have been made in solving current problems, "We are not there yet."

"It is simple we must be able to better sustain our troops on the front line to fight and win," Perna said.

Informative discussions
Perna called the CECOM presentations, "good conversation and good input."
"Today was informative--great discussion," he said. "It demonstrated the application of leadership here at CECOM. I thank you for your team approach. You present as competent leaders who provide me the right people to answer my questions down to the appropriate level of knowledge and subject matter expertise. I always look forward to coming to APG and hearing from CECOM."

AMC and its MSCs
AMC is the Army's lead materiel integrator, managing the global supply chain, synchronizing logistics and sustainment activities across the Army. The command's mission includes the research and development of weapons systems as well as maintenance and parts distribution. If a Soldier, shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, communicates with it, or eats it, AMC produces and provides it.
Along with CECOM, the major subordinate commands of AMC include the Army Contracting Command; Army Aviation and Missile Command; Army Sustainment Command; Joint Munitions Command/Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command; Army Research, Development and Engineering Command; Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command; Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command; and Army Security Assistance Command.