By Mr. Brian Beall (AMC)August 13, 2019
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Leaders of the Army's Organic Industrial Base gathered at Army Materiel Command headquarters Aug. 6-7 to discuss current and planned readiness initiatives and optimizing their facilities. At the annual OIB summit, Army Materiel Command's Commander Gen. Gus Perna set priorities for maintaining readiness today, building surge capacity and modernizing to enable the future force.
The Army's Organic Industrial Base, consisting of 26 depots, arsenals and ammunition plants, manufactures and resets Army equipment, generating readiness and operational capability throughout the Army.
Perna emphasized the bottom line for commanders is performing to the promises made to the customers of the OIB.
"We are accountable for the readiness of equipment and providing quality that will instill confidence in our Soldiers," he said.
While providing today's readiness, Perna called on OIB commanders to build surge capacity that can meet the requirements of the future battlefield under large-scale combat operations.
"The future battlefield will not be easy. We will have to expand rapidly in a very short time," said Perna, speaking to the need to sustain future combat operations within the Army's Multi-Domain Operations concept.
Perna directed OIB commanders to prepare for the future systems currently under development by Army Futures Command that will be fielded in the next 20-to-30 years.
"We have to prepare ourselves with the right facilities and equipment to sustain and maintain the future systems," he said. "What good is a cannon that can shoot 1,000 miles if we do not have the capacity to sustain it down the road?"
Ultimately, Perna described the uniting factor behind all three priorities -- the workforce of the Organic Industrial Base -- and the need to seek out the best and brightest for careers in skilled trades.
"We have programs to invite students from high schools into our facilities and teach them lifelong skills, as well as the direct hiring authority to bring them on board," he said. "Let's take responsibility for forming relationships with local high schools, technical colleges and other institutions across the country to attract our next-generation workforce."
During the summit, commanders toured defense industry facilities and collaborated with Department of the Army sustainment experts on best practices and other actions to improve depot, arsenal and ammunition plant operations. They discussed topics including Audit Readiness, Sales and Operations Planning, Repair Cycle Float and Environmental considerations.