By Dr. Paul-Thomas FergusonSeptember 3, 2019
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - In 2017, as U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley created eight Cross Functional Teams, reporting to Army Futures Command, to consolidate capabilities development, fielding and sustainment expertise from across the Army. Six CFTs correspond to Gen. Milley's Big Six Modernization priorities, while two "cross-cutting CFTs" specialize in technical areas supporting the other six.
U.S. Army Joint Munitions Command, with responsibility for the distribution, storage, demilitarization and production of munitions, and as the logistics integrator for life-cycle management of ammunition, has identified munitions equities in six of the eight CFTs. JMC's support of these CFTs further advances the modernization of munitions.
The first CFT focuses on long-range artillery and missiles. With its specific focus on munitions, this CFT was the most obvious place for JMC to initiate support, especially since it corresponds directly to Gen. Milley's number one modernization priority.
"The former Chief identified capabilities that we will need in order to maintain overmatch against near peers in the future, (e.g.) long-range precision fires to maintain range and rate of fire over and above any potential adversary," explained Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy.
As the lead for munitions materiel readiness, JMC provides a global presence of technical support to frontline units and supports the Army's number one priority: readiness. JMC's effective integration with all relevant CFTs enhances future force modernization of all ammunition programs and munitions readiness by: improving ammunition acquisition with increased effectiveness over the life cycle; improving coordination and collaboration with all enterprise stakeholders during the earliest stages of development; increasing focus on sustainment of munitions (which is often overlooked); increasing visibility of ammunition management activities and the ammunition capabilities development process; decreasing the acquisition timeline; identifying facility requirements; and identifying workforce skillsets related to emerging technologies.
Brig. Gen. Michelle Letcher, Commanding General of JMC, pledged JMC's support to all relevant CFTs. JMC is actively providing support to four of the six CFTs already identified as having munitions equities. Efforts are ongoing to engage and support the other two.
"Supporting CFTs that have munitions equities is one way JMC provides readiness, allowing the Army to stay ahead of the curve in meeting the emerging needs of multi-domain operations," said Letcher.
JMC has dedicated personnel serving as primary points of contact for each CFT. With JMC's support, integration with the CFTs will enhance the Army's ability to provide needed programs that are resourced, responsive and effective, and provide lethality that wins.