By Lisa SimunaciOctober 26, 2018
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Reform and change set the tone for Army Materiel Command's semi-annual Commanders Forum as the organization is preparing to transition one subordinate command out, while welcoming another.
"The world is rotating faster than it was yesterday - faster than it was two months ago," Army Materiel Command's Gen. Gus Perna told leadership teams from 10 subordinate commands who attended the forum at Redstone Arsenal Oct. 23 and 24. "For us, the focus must always be on mission."
The Research, Development and Engineering Command is transitioning to Army Futures Command in a phased approach, expected to be final in fiscal 2019. In another move, the Army directed the reassignment of the Medical Research and Materiel Command to Army Materiel Command effective Oct. 1.
"We are getting a lot done - and it is being talked about - but we have a lot more to do," Perna said. "The total Army must be ready to train for war and go to war. There is no greater requirement."
As the Army pushes a strong message of reform, Perna noted the impact and implications to Army Materiel Command.
"I ask all of us to take on the perspective of reform and make sure we are doing the mission better, achieving more and ensuring every dollar we get is applied properly," Perna said. "Each dollar should be applied ethically, morally and legally - and to the output we need to achieve."
In the simplest terms, Perna said the command had more to do than it had money for. But he challenged leaders to be more than good stewards.
"If those were your dollars, would you spend them the same way?" he said.
Perna's message to the audience of general officers, command sergeants major and senior staff, was to do the hard work.
"As we focus on the mission every day, I expect senior leaders to solve problems, not symptoms," Perna said. "It takes hard work and intellectual capability to do that. But senior leaders are responsible. We get the hard problems."
Improving supply availability - from repair parts to medical - remains a top priority, Perna said. Boosting the depth and breadth of the supply chain beyond the measures of operational readiness also remains as a significant objective.
Perna noted the Army has laterally transferred 500,000 pieces of equipment and had even more to do to get the right equipment to the right units. When that is achieved across the Army, he said it will be the first time it has happened in his entire career.
While the Organic Industrial Base - 23 arsenals, depots and ammunition plants under the Army Materiel Command umbrella - remains a core competency, Perna directed commanders to connect output to readiness.
"We've been good enough, but we have to get better," he said. "We must make this foundation sturdy to provide readiness and maintain equipment today and readiness for the future."
During commander updates and throughout the forum, Perna reiterated the need to set the conditions for success and embrace the roles and responsibilities of the "strategic rear."
"We have some things we have to do, all of us collectively, to synchronize the capabilities of Army Materiel Command," he said. "As individual commands, we will not succeed. It is our collective effort that makes the difference."