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DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. -- The Army's senior logistician recognized U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command's efforts to attack supply availability issues and improve readiness across the force.

"I prefer to think through the problems, not the symptoms," said Army Materiel Command Commander Gen. Gus Perna during TACOM's quarterly update to its higher headquarters Aug. 30. During the update, Perna recognized four employees for their individual contributions and the entire organization for its efforts.

TACOM Commander Maj. Gen. Daniel Mitchell discussed the organization's actions to optimize the supply chain, which includes the management of more than 3,500 weapon systems. Mitchell noted the near-term focus is on driving down contracting lead times, increasing depot and contractor repair programs and engaging with vendors at the appropriate levels.

Mitchell noted supply chain demand is up 20 percent since last year, backorders shrank significantly since December, and long-term contracts rose 25 percent this fiscal year.

"We have seen our sales go up by 18 percent," Mitchell said to Perna, "so that indicates that we buy the right parts."

Perna has said supply availability issues are a top concern across the materiel enterprise.

"As everybody here knows, we have been talking about this for 18 months and it would have been very easy to try to attack the symptoms," said Perna. "We might have been mostly successful earlier, but in the long run the Army may not have been successful … because the metrics of the Army is not about charts, but how well the supply chain will support us."

As one of AMC's nine major subordinate commands, TACOM's quarterly updates ensure the command is synchronized and integrated with AMC's efforts to provide materiel and sustainable readiness to meet the Army's requirements today and prepare for the next contingency.

Moving forward, Mitchell noted TACOM will engage with the largest contractors, focus on the capital investment program and seek to reduce contracting administrative lead times further.

"That was a great update, great rundown," Perna said at the update's conclusion. "I have a lot of confidence in what you and your team are doing with supply availability."

During the update, which was conducted by video teleconference, Mitchell presented AMC coins to four employees on behalf of Perna.

"I regret that I was not able to personally hand these awards to our great people myself," Perna said. "Well done to these four!"

The following employees were recognized:

• Brandie Jackowski - for pressing the light tactical vehicle teams to achieve AMC supply availability goals for humvee and wheel assemblies.

• Julie Jacobs - for outstanding leadership and dedication in the management of ILSC physical space issues in support of the establishment of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team at TACOM.

• Kat Szalek - for efforts to get over 99 percent of the current logistics reassignment candidates reviewed, documented, and eligible national stock number candidates transferred.

• Paul Webster - for his outstanding leadership in supporting the AMC headquarters staff's submission for the Army Chief of Staff's Readiness Day.