By Jacob Kriss, CECOM Public AffairsNovember 8, 2019
Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. -- In his quarterly update with the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command on Wednesday, Nov. 6, Gen. Gus Perna lauded the command's accomplishments throughout his three-year tenure as commanding general of U.S. Army Materiel Command, CECOM's higher headquarters.
"We're moving the ball without a lot of hoopla," he said. "We're solving problems, not fixing symptoms."
Still, he emphasized that given the Army's continued focus on readiness, reform and modernization, it was no time to let off the gas.
Throughout the meeting, Perna emphasized the Strategic Support Area, where military might is generated, projected and sustained during Multi-Domain Operations. The U.S. Army is adopting the MDO doctrine as a single combined battlefield across land, air, sea, space and cyberspace. He noted that as the Army begins to understand that AMC is the principal command for the SSA, and as MDO moves from concept to doctrine, CECOM will get the right resources it needs for the right things.
"Everything we do needs to connect to our role in the SSA in MDO," he said. "If it's not, we shouldn't be doing it."
Maj. Gen. Mitch Kilgo, CECOM commanding general, outlined numerous CECOM achievements in its command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) sustainment mission since Perna's last visit. In addition to the command's focus on SSA readiness priority areas including supply availability, logistics information and the organic industrial base, Kilgo noted the CECOM Information Systems Engineering Command is contributing to installation readiness by improving wireless IT infrastructure at Army depots and more.
Col. John McDonald, Tobyhanna Army Depot commander, discussed how the depot's principled reforms have led it to achieve 97% performance to promise (P2P), a measure of the depot's ability to deliver services on time.
"I equate better P2P to leadership, standards and discipline," Perna said. "I expect you to be at 100%, and then hurricanes and World War III might drop you to 97%."
CECOM Integrated Logistics Support Center Director Liz Miranda spoke to the command's success with implementing repair cycle floats, or having pools of high-priority C5ISR systems ready to issue to units in case theirs break down. Emphasizing proactive preventative maintenance, Miranda also noted the challenge in getting units to turn in their systems for overhaul at Tobyhanna when they haven't yet broken down.
Perna encouraged her to continue to press on the initiative. "Leaders don't yet know the processes and discipline, so we need to teach them," he said. "We want a constant flow so systems transition before they break down and keep the workload right."
Miranda also cited the command's success in achieving 90% supply availability for critical parts at the end of fiscal year 2019. "Strategic engagement with vendors and holding them accountable has been a change factor," she said. "We're going to continue to push."
On the software wide, CECOM Software Engineering Center employees outlined progress standing up the Army Shared Services Center, which consolidates and brings new efficiencies to support services for Army enterprise resource planning systems. They also demonstrated the tangible impact of software updates to the Joint Battle Command Platform. These included enhancing its ability to help Soldiers identify reports of improvised explosive device attacks and chart the arrival of inbound medical evacuation flights.
"We want software maintenance to become part of the battle rhythm for units in the field," said SEC Director Jen Zbozny. "If we ask them to stay up to date, and we don't make it as easy as possible, we're not doing our job."
Perna closed the briefing by praising the presenters, tempered with a challenge. "We need 100% of the right people doing the right work," he said. "Keep driving to the secretary of the Army and chief of staff of the Army's priorities."