By Jon Micheal Connor, ASC Public AffairsAugust 21, 2019
An expanded role for a logistics program that ensures Army scalability and flexibility regardless of operational tempo was discussed by Gen. Gus Perna, commanding general, U.S. Army Materiel Command, during an Aug. 14 quarterly update at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, with leaders of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command.
The quarterly update wrapped up Perna's two-day visit at ASC. Maj. Gen. Duane Gamble, commanding general, ASC, led the briefing via teleconference.
The briefing began with input from ASC's seven Army Field Support Brigades located around the globe.
The transition to the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program V will use contractor support to augment theater sustainment, engineering and base operations support forces with a capability that can rapidly respond to multiple global contingency and non-contingency missions across the entire continuum of military operations.
LOGCAP V will provide a dedicated regional sustainment capability with a 72-hour response time, allowing scalability and flexibility that can change with the Army's operational tempo.
While the contract award to several companies is under "protest" in the court of federal claims, should the court rule in favor of the U.S. Government, transition can begin in early 2020.
Despite the events going on around the globe, such as Afghanistan where there is a presidential election slated for September, Perna said everyone needs to keep "their eyes on target" regarding the services needed to support leadership in its various missions.
Perna also said he would like to see LOGCAP implemented in other areas.
"I have plans about LOGCAP in NORTHCOM," he said referring to the U.S. Northern Command, a Unified Combatant Command of the U.S. military tasked with providing military support for non-military authorities in the U.S., and protecting the territory in the air, land and sea approaches to these areas.
"There are lots of things we can do, why not LOGCAP?" he asked rhetorically, later adding that he has "thoughts of LOGCAP in AFRICOM," referring to the U.S. Africa Command, headquartered at Stuttgart, Germany. It is in charge of U.S. military operations on the African continent, including fighting regional conflicts and maintaining military relations with 53 African nations.
Perna told attendees to "think big" in thinking of ways to reform.
ASC must be "focused" and "support the warfighter," and not be "constrained by current situations," he said. "It's about preservation. Our responsibility is to the warfighter," he said, adding, "We must drive ourselves to a high output for the Army."
Gamble added that LOGCAP V will help with "efficiency" and "effectiveness" in carrying out current and future missions.
Also discussed was "APS" or Army Prepositioned Stocks.
Perna said AMC/ASC's responsibility with APS is to ensure all equipment is "ready to be issued for war."
The Army has already begun issuing equipment in a combat configuration.
ASC's 401st Army Field Support Brigade issued the first combat configured equipment set from Army Prepositioned Stocks-5 to the 1st Battalion, 1st Armored Division at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, in May 2018.
It marked the first time a fully combat configured equipment set was issued from APS-5 since the transition from Care of Supplies in Storage to combat configuration began a year earlier.
Perna said it needs to be understood that when equipment is turned in, it must be ready for combat. He explained that the Army can't tell America's adversaries it must first have to wait for the U.S. to recover after equipment is turned in.
"We totally understand your intent and we will work toward that goal," Gamble said.
Perna explained the Army has two purposes -- to prepare for war and go to war.
"Winning is important both in war and in preparing for war. Don not forget we have to win in preparing for war, or we will not win in war," Perna said.
Gamble also updated on the status of ASC's goal of reducing overhires in support of Perna's "Shape the Fight" directive of reorganizing units and reducing surplus manpower for greater efficiency and effectiveness.
Gamble said 601 people were identified as overhires and that has now been reduced to 372.
He stated at the last quarterly update that ASC's plan is to reduce the number of overhire positions down to roughly 175 by late 2020. He said most of that will be through eliminating vacant and term positions. Most of the positions eliminated so far were from ASC's portion of the Logistics Assistance Program, which has undergone significant changes across AMC over the past year.
ASC announced this summer a command-wide VERA (Voluntary Early Retirement Authority)/VSIP (Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments) offer for qualifying individuals.
VERA temporarily lowers the age and service requirements in order to increase the number of employees who are eligible for retirement. VSIP allows an organization to offer employees lump-sum payments up to $40,000 as an incentive to voluntarily retire or resign.
Those participating must be off the personnel rolls by Sept. 30. ASC is also factoring in natural attrition too.
Ultimately, the goal is to lower the number of overhires from 9% to 2% of the total workforce, Gamble said.
Overall, Perna said that ASC's last commanding general, then-Maj. Gen. Ed Daly, now AMC's deputy commanding general, and Gamble, have made great progress.
"ASC has moved the ball in the right direction the past three years. You have conceived of reform, but have also executed it. Remarkable headway," he said.
"I want to say thanks to the team here. Itis a direct reflection of the leadership of Ed Daly and Duane Gamble."
With Gamble relinquishing command Aug. 29 and heading to the Pentagon to become the Army's chief of Logistics, Perna said it will be a "great collaboration."
Prior to the briefing, Perna recognized two ASC personnel for outstanding support with his four-star coin.
Rachel Bjurstrom was the sole human resources specialist managing the reform of the ASC Logistics Assistance Program. Bjurstrom worked diligently to match personnel to vacancies based on their preferences and ensuring a fair and transparent process for placement of the Logistics Assistance Representatives into Non-LAP vacancies.
Brandon Streeter was recognized for his efforts to transform the management of General Services Administration long-term non-tactical vehicle leases across the Army to directly align resources with the requirement, reduce audit risk, hold requirement owners accountable and increase current year buying power for ASC.