By Kimberly HansonFebruary 5, 2019
The Army's primary logistics and sustainment command is undergoing restructuring and mission changes alongside the service's largest reorganization in decades. Army Materiel Command -- now one of four Army Commands with the establishment of Army Futures Command -- is assuming new missions while divesting of others.
To better align operational medical logistics and efficiently increase and sustain medical readiness capabilities, the Army assigned Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (MRMC) from Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) to Army Materiel Command, effective Oct. 1.
MRMC's 6,600-strong workforce is responsible for medical research, development and acquisition, and medical logistics management. Planning is underway to further transition MRMC's research elements to Army Futures Command, and develop a medical logistics capability that will remain with AMC.
"Readiness is the top priority with this transition -- ensuring medical forces have the specialized equipment and materiel they need to support Combatant Commander requirements and continue the best care for Soldiers, on and off the battlefield," said Gen. Gus Perna, Army Materiel Command commanding general.
AMC will be responsible for operational medical logistics, including class VIII supply, medical maintenance, optical fabrication, blood storage and distribution, and the respective contracting support, for the operational force. The command will not be responsible for medical logistics in support of installation-based military medical treatment facilities.
"The transition centralizes all classes of supply and sustainment functions under AMC, improving planning, distribution and maintenance to better support Army readiness," Perna said. "The move capitalizes on the logistics expertise already inherent within the Army."
The structure of the operational medical logistics capability within AMC is yet to be determined, but expected to be announced this spring.
To support the establishment of Army Futures Command, Army Materiel Command realigned two major subordinate command elements -- Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity, and Research, Development and Engineering Command -- to the new Army Command effective Feb. 3.
AMC and AFC leadership officially cased the colors of RDECOM and unfurled the colors of the newly chartered Combat Capabilities Development Command in a transition of authority ceremony, Jan. 31 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
"For the past 14-plus years, RDECOM has been an integral part of our Army Materiel Command team, developing innovative technologies that saved countless lives on the battlefield," said Perna. "When we needed our Soldiers to move more quickly, RDECOM came through. When we needed our Soldiers to communicate more effectively, RDECOM came through. And when we needed our Soldiers to do all of that more safely, RDECOM came through.
"And now, within this new organization, with its focus, and with its purpose, I am confident that the men and women of the Combat Capabilities Development Command will have an even greater impact than ever before."
What is typically a bittersweet day with the casing of colors is instead an opportunity, said Maj. Gen. Cedric Wins, the last commander of RDECOM and first commander of CCDC.
"As a command, AMC's focus on readiness, logistics and sustainment was enabled by the operational impact of RDECOM and what we provided in our research and development efforts," Wins said. "As we move into the new command, we assume the same fundamental mission that Gen. [Paul] Kern gave RDECOM almost 15 years ago: find out how to get technology to the warfighter quicker."
While the command structure will change, the synergy between the commands will not. Logisticians and sustainers will remain fully embedded within every modernization effort, driving reliability, availability and sustainability of new capabilities, as well as supply chain and sustainment efficiencies that are in lockstep with planned improvements and upgrades to equipment, said Perna.
"The reorganization improves Army Materiel Command's ability to focus on our core competency -- sustaining the Army," he said.
All of this transition comes amidst continued "Shape the Fight" efforts within AMC headquarters to better align staff functions and organize the command for future success.
"Shape the Fight is Army Materiel Command's internal initiative to reform a decades-old arrangement, created when our organization's mission was a far different one than we know today," said Perna. "We must better align the work we do to ensure our Soldiers have the right equipment in the right location at the right time. Our collective goal must be to have 100 percent of the people doing 100 percent of the right work across our enterprise."
Major internal movements resulting from Shape the Fight include the separation of G-3 operations and G-4 logistics, the merger of G-2 intelligence and G-6 communications, and a reorganization and mission change for the Logistics Support Activity, one of AMC's separate reporting activities. LOGSA, which reports to the AMC G-3, will also undergo a name change to better align with its new mission.
Following the Feb. 3 transfer and ahead of a final decision on an operational medical logistics structure, Army Materiel Command has nine major subordinate commands: Army Contracting Command; Aviation and Missile Command; Army Sustainment Command; Communications-Electronics Command; Joint Munitions Command/Joint Munitions Life Cycle and Lethality Command; Medical Research and Materiel Command; Surface Deployment and Distribution Command; Tank-automotive and Armaments Command; and Army Security Assistance Command.