By Kari HawkinsApril 1, 2019
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Maintaining the Army's strategic advantage across multi-domain operations requires ensuring the right equipment and supplies are positioned to generate, project and sustain U.S. forces, said the top leader of the Army's logistics and sustainment command.
In remarks made to defense leaders March 27 at the Association of the U.S. Army Global Force Symposium and Exposition in Huntsville's Von Braun Center, Army Materiel Command Commanding General Gen. Gus Perna said the Army's success in achieving its two purposes - preparing for war and executing war - requires a thorough understanding of the challenges of multi-domain operations and the opportunities of emerging technologies.
"It is really essential as we move forward to think through all the domains," Perna said. "Our adversaries are studying us. They have been studying us for years, particularly the last 17 years, and as we are ramping up readiness and modernization. They are afraid of us because we are focused on achieving a decisive victory on a large scale."
Everything the Army is doing to modernize - from standing up Army Futures Command to reorganizing capabilities - is focused on ensuring future success on the battlefield, and adversaries are well aware of those actions, he said.
"Our adversaries are paying attention," Perna said. "The easiest way to prevent us, to stop us, is to stop us at our installations, our ports and our airfields. How do you stop the greatest Army in the world from coming across your border and defeating the adversary? You stop them before they leave."
In multi-domain operations, forces generate combat power through the Strategic Support Area, namely the support functions that provide people, supply and equipment resources needed to build, project and sustain troops in the operational and tactical arenas. To maintain the Army's strategic advantage in generating, projecting and sustaining forces across all domains, Army Materiel Command is prioritizing seven focus areas:
• Installation Readiness - "The readiness of our installations directly correlates with the ability to create combat power and project combat power," Perna said.
• Soldier and Family Readiness - "The readiness of our Army depends on the readiness of our Soldiers and their families," Perna said. "Our Army families must have the confidence that we have put our arms around them and given them the ability to grow."
• Industrial Base Readiness - "Our arsenals, depots and ammunition plants must be able to operate, adapt and modernize to meet current and surge requirements," he said. "We must modernize and ensure quality, timeliness and accountability, and come in at the lowest cost possible because every dollar saved can be extended to the force."
• Munitions Readiness - The right munitions, and a ready and reliable commodity stockpile can be assured, Perna said, through optimizing the receipt, storage and issue of munitions for better delivery; positioning munitions around the world to facilitate rapid transition to armed conflict; reducing excess or outdated munitions through demilitarization; and modernizing the munitions Organic Industrial Base to keep pace with weapon modernization.
• Strategic Power Project Readiness - "We must maintain the ability to rapidly project expeditionary and follow-on forces from fort to port, port to port and then port to foxhole to better integrate equipment and supplies on the battlefield," said Perna. "We must use everything in our means - roads, railheads, airfields and ports - to rapidly link our people to equipment."
• Supply Availability and Equipment Readiness - "This is the foundation of materiel readiness," Perna said. AMC is focused on establishing the right breadth and depth of repair parts available so there are no equipment shortages at any time, and battle damaged equipment can be rapidly repaired.
• Logistics Information Readiness - Information readiness must be reformed to ensure the right information at the right time from the Army's Enterprise Resource Planning systems. "We have a massive amount of data at our fingertips," Perna said. "Our ability to see ourselves is the first step in assessing ourselves. We need to be able to bring the data to bear quickly."
The Multi-Domain Operations concept will ensure the Army's ability to fight and win in any conflict, Perna said.
"Multi-Domain Operations require us to effectively generate combat power, quickly project our forces, and then sustain systems and formations for extended durations along multiple dispersed routes, against an enemy laser-focused on disrupting our abilities," Perna said. "Maximizing our capabilities in these seven focus areas will assure our advantage and allow us to execute the expeditionary logistics and sustainment operations necessary to fight and win on a multi-domain battlefield. Our efforts in the Strategic Support Area will reach the target, and drive and support success."
Perna thanked AUSA for hosting events such as Global Force Symposium and Exposition as a platform where Army leaders and defense contractors can come together to further solidify partnerships.
"AUSA events like this allow us to illuminate our efforts to increase readiness and to bring to the attention of the world all the great things our Army is doing," Perna said. "This event allows us to solidify partnerships with industry. I firmly believe that only in our partnerships will we be successful. Together, we will hold ourselves accountable to our responsibility to the Army's future execution on the battlefield."