DETROIT ARSENAL, Mich. -- Speaking to the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command's senior leadership and partners at the Detroit Arsenal via video conferencing March 1, Gen. Gus Perna, commanding general of U.S. Army Materiel Command, highlighted the importance of readiness versus resources.

Perna's comments were made at the TACOM quarterly update meeting, which is part of a series of quarterly meetings between AMC's commander and leaders of major subordinate commands as part of continuing efforts to meet the Secretary of the Army's and Army Chief of Staff's No. 1 priority, which is Army readiness.

The meeting included briefings by the arsenal and depot commanders; Maj. Gen. Daniel Mitchell, TACOM commanding general; and Marion Whicker, executive director for TACOM's Integrated Logistics Support Center.

During this second quarterly update with TACOM, Perna stated that he understands the challenging demands of planning, but at the end of the day, he asked the group, "How does planning affect Army readiness at the unit level?"

TACOM's equipment readiness charts showed Perna that the message of readiness was having a significant impact on the major subordinate command and its senior leaders.

Mitchell shared highlights of the equipment readiness execution requirements, noting that TACOM is confident in its ability to continue to increase its equipment readiness rates.

The revised charts included details that will be used to prioritize funding and, Perna said, help AMC "put a stake in the ground." He added that he wanted the information early enough for depots and arsenals to plan workload.

"This must be a readiness discussion versus a resource discussion with the Army, how we see ourselves and how we can impact Army readiness," Perna said.

Perna also discussed the importance of showing how spending a smaller amount of funds for a maintenance overhaul will have a significant impact on readiness and save more money over time by extending the use life of equipment. He said, "We can spend a dime now and save a quarter later."

When discussing depot and arsenal metrics, Perna stressed how important it is for the group to better understand its competition -- to be better than its commercial competitors -- and how important it is for the Army to have a competitive labor rate.

"We must get our business right," he said. "Decisions are made about your rates, your reputation for producing quality, and your ability to meet performance objectives."

Perna asked TACOM leaders to review labor rates and to understand that labor rates drive customer decisions on workloads. He said overtime costs must be managed and that teams must get better and faster in order to prevent overtime cost.

Perna also congratulated the commanders of Anniston Army Depot and Red River Army Depot for the outstanding job their teams did during the Secretary of the Army's visit to their installations.

The discussion then focused on production planning, process improvement and customers' expectations. Perna asked the TACOM leaders to continue to work on team building, communication and building trust with their industry partners.

"TACOM leadership is empowered to execute as they are leading their way through this effort to build readiness," Perna said.

Perna commended TACOM leaders for their quarterly report, saying "Great work presented. You have heard me and executed according to my guidance. We must collectively make decisions that are best for the Army."