By Mrs. Justine A Barati (AMC)February 27, 2019
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- On Feb. 26, the Joint Munitions Command conducted its quarterly review with the Army Materiel Command Commanding General, Gen. Gustave "Gus" Perna. These quarterly meetings allow Perna to review the accomplishments and initiatives of JMC, which is of 10 major subordinate commands of AMC.
At the beginning of the meeting, Perna gave coins to select employees for their exceptional work during the last quarter. Perna stated that the coins were "combat patch color, and I can't think of a better representation of people supporting combat than through munitions. Your location in Rock Island doesn't represent the impact you have throughout the world."
The Commanding General of JMC, Brig. Gen. Michelle M.T. Letcher, led the brief and focused on how JMC is operationalizing AMC initiatives.
Key topics of the meeting included the JMC 2019-2020 Campaign Plan, carryover, overtime, using artificial intelligence and the Operational Business Review.
"Through our campaign plan, we continue to operationalize JMC to support full implementation of the National Defense Strategy, increasing lethality, strengthening alliances and partnerships, and reforming the way we do business," said Kara Stetson, Integrated Management System manager for JMC.
While the last quarterly update focused on a number of strategic objectives primarily related to Future Force, this quarterly update focused on Soldiers and People, but also included elements of Strategic Readiness and Future Force. The campaign plan topics discussed were: materiel readiness, Shape the Fight (a command reorganization initiative), readiness and resiliency, recognized munitions excellence and safety.
The materiel readiness update focused on reviews of the key ammo regulations. "We are looking for areas of opportunity nested with your intent that will allow AMC/JMC to further define, clarify, and document AMC's role as the materiel readiness integrator and decision-making authority … We are realigning responsibilities to where they are actually occurring," said Dan Brown, director for the Demand Planning Directorate for JMC.
Perna was impressed with this effort and asked AMC "to take this effort across the enterprise to include all 10 commands."
Perna also approved JMC's path forward on Shape the Fight efforts.
Maj. Dr. Frederick "Fred" Hauser, JMC's command surgeon, discussed JMC's readiness and resiliency campaign. "We are taking care of people so people can take care of the mission … We are taking stovepiped resources and bringing them into focus for the Commander. … We are making it so the Commander can visualize and effect change," said Hauser.
Perna agreed with the path forward and stated that "we must bring something to help change our behavior. Take the intent and go lead us through it."
In the area of recognized munitions excellence, Norbert Herrera, deputy chief of staff for G1 for JMC, noted that JMC has "significantly reduced our hiring time since 2016. We are currently at 74.65 days in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2019 … The use of direct hire authorities has helped us throughout our Organic Industrial Base. We have used it to fill 457 positions in FY2018 and 204 positions in FY2019."
Perna approved of the way ahead and emphasized that managers should focus on time management efforts with hiring actions.
Mike Styvaert, the director of the Safety and Risk Management Directorate for JMC, discussed JMC's Enterprise Explosives Safety Site Plan Project. This project is allowing JMC and its installations to deconflict potential explosive safety violations and lay out the appropriate requirements to improve safety at all sites, Styvaert said.
A key topic of interest to Perna is carryover of funding into future fiscal years. "We are taking a different approach to carryover. It can't be about workload, it has to be about output," said Perna.
Lisha Adams, the AMC executive deputy to the commanding general, said, "We need an incremental funding approach. With procurement dollars, we should only get the amount we can expend that year."
Overtime is another area of concern for Perna. "We need to manage the workload with standards and discipline … We need to manage the business against the output."
Walt Songaila, the Organic Industrial Base Sustainable Readiness Model project lead for JMC, said, "JMC installations have reduced their overtime plan by 23 percent from FY2018 to FY2019."
Using Artificial Intelligence
"JMC is exploring how to use advanced analytics technologies to improve operational outcomes," said Celia Hadden, director for the Quality Directorate for JMC. Robotic process automation, enterprise data lakes, and machine learning models are being explored to improve operational outcomes at JMC, she said. "Our goal is to identify opportunities for early wins and create a roadmap for the AI journey to deliver value incrementally, using small, manageable projects," she said.
Perna said that JMC's path forward with AI was powerful.
Operational Business Review
Each Government-Owned, Government-Operated installation commander then briefed Perna on the status of their installation, as well as their subordinate installations.
Perna emphasized to the commanders, "your decisions today impact the future of your installation. Commanders assess and make a decision on risk."
He also stated that "we have to get the workload smooth, rates down, and the right workforce in place."
The next quarterly brief is scheduled for May 2019.