By Jacob Kriss, CECOM Public AffairsMay 16, 2019
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - During each of his quarterly visits to the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, Gen. Gus Perna, commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, stresses his priorities through an established lexicon: Accountability. Readiness. Responsibility to the warfighter and to the American taxpayer.
Perna deployed these maxims decisively during a briefing update on Tuesday, May 14, in CECOM headquarters at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
Getting to Green
Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, CECOM commanding general, kicked things off by giving Perna an update on CECOM initiatives since his last visit. Taylor noted that when Perna began conducting quarterly visits to CECOM, he instituted the use of scorecards to measure various performance metrics. Taylor proudly pointed out this was Perna's first visit where CECOM was "green," or performing at a high level, across all categories.
"Two years ago, you couldn't see yourself," Perna said. "Now you can. The whole team should be proud of that."
Seeing Ourselves in Contracts
His focus on accountability came through during an update on CECOM contracting reform. Software Engineering Center Deputy Director Danielle Moyer described how the command is reviewing all contracts to make them output based.
"The question we ask is, 'What did you say you were going to do, and did you do it?'" she said. "And if you didn't, we're going to hold you accountable."
Perna was highly receptive to the contracting reform topic and encouraged CECOM to collaborate and share its practices across other AMC commands.
Shoring up Supply Availability
CECOM Integrated Logistics Support Center Director Liz Miranda outlined CECOM strategies to improve its supply performance of critical parts, in areas like reducing backorders and lowering procurement lead times. She emphasized CECOM is working hard to reach 93% supply availability by the end of the 2019 fiscal year. Perna responded that while metrics like supply availability are important, CECOM cannot grow too enamored with them.
"When this thing breaks down on the battlefield, is there going to be a part or not?" he asked. "If not, we're failing. Ninety-three percent isn't going to do it. At the end of the day, our real grade is going to be on the battlefield."
Dovetailing with Miranda, Tobyhanna Army Depot Commander Col. Nathan Swartz spoke to how the depot partners with ILSC to repair critical Army systems. He discussed how Tobyhanna is hiring more staff and expanding its depot-forward operations to bring key support services closer to Soldiers. Perna encouraged Swartz to ensure new employees working in remote locations understood they were part of Team Tobyhanna and its mission.
Other topics included a briefing on the SEC Army Reprogramming Analysis Team, which protects Army aircraft from up-to-the-minute threats. CECOM also outlined its efforts to stabilize and improve the Army's fleet of critical communications systems, including the Secure Mobile Anti-Jam Reliable Tactical Terminal (SMART-T) and Combat Service Support Very Small Aperture Terminal (CSS VSAT).
Perna Lauds Taylor, CECOM
As it was the last CECOM briefing with Taylor in command, Perna praised him and the entire CECOM workforce, who watched remotely from an auditorium, for a job well done. "I have not seen a commander move the ball like [Taylor] has over the last two years," he said.