By Jacob Kriss, CECOMFebruary 14, 2019
Gen. Gus Perna, commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, did not pull any punches in his quarterly update with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) on Tuesday, Feb. 12.
During the briefing led by Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, CECOM commander, Perna challenged each member of the leadership team to continue driving toward readiness, the Army's No. 1 priority.
"I'm not in debate mode," Perna said. "We're going to call the ball and hold ourselves accountable."
Since You've Been Gone
Taylor kicked off the presentation by outlining major initiatives CECOM is undertaking to support Multi-Domain Operations, the Army's warfighting doctrine that considers a single combined battlespace across air, land, sea, space and cyberspace.
Since Perna's last visit in November 2018, CECOM started operations at new depot forward maintenance locations in Germany and Korea, and it is establishing three additional locations in the U.S. At the same time, it is reducing repair cycle times and using repair cycle floats to ensure operational equipment is always available to units.
CECOM is also equipping and configuring Army Prepositioned Stocks and the Security Force Assistance Brigades with command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems, among other efforts.
The Deep Dives
Following Taylor's introduction, CECOM subject matter experts dived into their respective focus areas. Software Engineering Center (SEC) Deputy Director Danielle Moyer outlined the command's efforts to centralize contracting reviews to bring accountability to what the command buys and how much it spends.
Deputy to the CECOM Commanding General Larry Muzzelo discussed how CECOM and the Defense Logistics Agency are sustaining key systems most important to readiness. Integrated Logistics Support Center Director Liz Miranda carried that theme forward with a look at supply availability and ensuring crucial parts are available to issue immediately, not backordered.
"My expectation is if there's a part needed in the motor pool or battlefield it needs to be there within 24 hours," said Perna.
He urged attendees not to feel constrained by current processes, but to think bigger and pursue any novel solutions that were moral, ethical and legal.
Perna also heard a presentation on strategic planning at the Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD), which has experienced strong growth in its workload and employee base. He instructed Col. Nathan Swartz, the commander, to not let the additional work and training needs impact overall quality.
"It's not about cutting corners or lowering standards," Perna said. "It's about Army readiness and quality work."
For her part, SEC Director Jennifer Zbozny updated Perna on how CECOM is centralizing sustainment of critical Army software systems under a shared services center model. And to close the brief, Taylor touched on evolving plans to turn TYAD into an Army-wide warranty exchange center for commercial-off-the-shelf C5ISR technologies.
Together as a Team
Perna praised all the presenters in the briefing. He stressed the need to not only press forward with the many readiness and reform efforts, but also to ensure the entire CECOM workforce knows what the command is driving toward as a team.
"It's the workforce that must understand the tangible and intangible effects of what we're doing every day," he said.