ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- The U.S. Army Materiel Command approved the U.S. Army Sustainment's new campaign plan after its commanding general was briefed as part of his quarterly visit here to meet with subordinate commands Nov. 19.

Gen. Gus Perna, who leads AMC, received an update from the U.S. Army Sustainment Command mid-afternoon on a number of topics. Prior to the briefing, Perna met with Maj. Gen. Steven Shapiro, ASC commanding general, in his office and approved the new mission, vision, and what's called the "center of gravity" under the new ASC campaign plan.

ASC's new mission statement is: "Synchronize and integrate key elements of the Sustainment Enterprise to delivery ready forces, enable strategic power projection, and sustain operational reach in order to win during large-scale combat and multi-domain operations."

The new vision is: "ASC achieves something bigger than the sum of our pieces. We synchronize and integrate capabilities (military and commercial) across the sustainment enterprise from Strategic to Tactical levels."

The "center of gravity" is: "The ability to synchronize AMC capabilities across the sustainment enterprise (military and commercial) into Supported Unit Integrated plans in order to win during large-scale combat and multi-domain operations."

The campaign plan is nested within AMC's strategy to set the Strategic Support Area across seven key focus areas and operationalize tasks to project power from the SSA and sustain this in the Joint Sustainment Area.

During the briefing, the upcoming DEFENDER-Europe 20 exercise was discussed. The acronym stands for Dynamic Employment of Forces to Europe for NATO Deterrence and Enhanced Readiness.

It is a U.S. Army Europe-led multinational training exercise with more than 37,000 allied and U.S. service members anticipated to participate, with the deployment of more than 20,000 U.S. service members from the continental U.S.

DEFENDER-Europe 20 will begin early next year, bringing a combat division-sized force from the U.S. to Europe in rapid fashion to support the ability of the U.S and its allies to deter aggression.

This is the first such type of an exercise of this magnitude in decades and modeled after REFORGER -- Return of Forces to Germany -- Cold War exercises during the 1970s-80s which also defended against aggressors in the former Warsaw Pact.

AMC/ASC/405th Army Field Support Brigade will have a major role in the supply/logistics to support the force.

The 405th AFSB is headquartered in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and provides Materiel Enterprise support to U.S. forces throughout Europe and Africa, providing theater sustainment logistics; synchronizing acquisition, logistics, and technology. It does this in part through maintaining Army Prepositioned Stocks and executing Logistics Readiness Center operations.

Personnel and equipment will begin movement in February with the main exercise lasting April -- May. It is expected to take place in Belgium, France, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

A successful end state will be executing DEFENDER-Europe 20 with timely sustainment and materiel readiness, a briefing slide stated.

"I want him to have a clear definition of success," Perna said, referencing the 405th AFSB commander.

"DEFENDER [-Europe] 20 is important. This is the first one. We have to get it right," Perna said.
Another topic brought up was the movement of household goods during a PCS as it's commonly called in the military. PCS -- permanent change of station -- is an area of concern that Perna said he wants to greatly improve.

At an Association of the United States Army annual meeting earlier this year, coupled with findings from the Army Audit Agency, Perna learned of systemic problems with the overall moving process.

Hence, the Army has made changes to increase staffing so that 50 percent of the move phases during packing and delivering will now have quality assurance inspectors. Previously, only 25 percent of those events had inspectors on site.

Additionally, there are initiatives for increased funding to bolster staffing in the transportation field to have 100% face-to-face entitlement counseling for those moving. Currently, counseling is done for only first-time movers and those departing the service.

Perna also expressed his plan for AMC's major subordinate commands to produce short videos to help Soldiers and families learn how they can improve their quality of life through Army services.

ASC has been tasked to explain the moving process at its various stages and the claims process for damages and missing household goods.

Perna said the Army must "facilitate and eliminate stress Army Families experience on the move … I want to be enamored that we solve the problem."

He said the videos must be simple, something young Soldiers and their families can understand and watch on YouTube.

"Help me, help you, help us," he explained, adding he didn't want Hollywood-quality videos but something that the audience can relate to.

Regarding Army Prepositioned Stocks, Perna said "APS is worthless unless it's ready to fight."

He explained that AMC/ASC exists to get the units to the fight; supporting the execution of the fight; and, supplying to sustain the fight. We "move the force to fight," he said.

He said a unit going off to war must know that "everything is there for them … the solution in Europe is the solution in Korea."

On a variety of other topics, Perna significantly praised ASC's overall work since the last quarterly briefing.

Perna emphasized the big picture at times of fluctuating world affairs.

"My head is wrapped around Russia, North Korea and China," emphasizing the importance of getting it right for logistics and sustainment. "We need to hold ourselves accountable," he said.

Prior to the briefing, Perna recognized four ASC personnel for their outstanding work. Each received a four-star coin, and civilians also received an AMC lapel pin:

-- Sgt. 1st Class Lakeithia Thomas, ASC Religious Affairs noncommissioned officer in charge. Citation stated: " … distinguished herself in the creation and approval of the first Command Religious Support Plan at ASC in seven years. Her work was critical in acquiring quarterly Strong Bonds events for ASC and the RIA Community. A strong advocate for community building, she worked tirelessly towards receiving Non-Appropriated Funds towards greater ministry resourcing on RIA; a location with zero NAF funds until her efforts. The consummate team player, her cooperative work has led to the synchronization of Religious Support operations with the G1 Ready and Resiliency Program.

-- Tod Snarr, Army War Reserve materiel integrator, ASC-Support Operations-Lead Materiel Integration Directorate. Citation stated: " … continues to distinguish himself through his superior analysis of sourcing solutions and divestiture efforts in support of worldwide Army Prepositioned Stocks. His daily efforts resulted in an increase to APS readiness as he tirelessly works to support ongoing operations and exercises that are employing these stocks. This energetic effort involves Mr. Snarr's linkage with materiel integration partners to assist in filling requirements through new equipment fieldings, managing the redistribution efforts within APS, and finally identifying the modernization priorities throughout APS."

Sgt. 1st Class Jeffery Schwind, NCOIC, Material Readiness Division. Citation stated: " … responsible for training the Division Officer in Charge and another senior NCO on the daily operations of the Materiel Readiness Division of the SPO Materiel Readiness Directorate. During the two-month absence of his immediate supervisor, Sgt. 1st Class Schwind took the lead as the OIC for the materiel management of Army Prepositioned Stock and tactical units regionally aligned under the Army Field Support Battalions tracking key performance indicators, and readiness for over 150,000 pieces of equipment. Maintained a 96% readiness rate, over 40 missions and task at that 0-8 level."

Gil Ponce, Africa Command and European Command branch chief, Logistics Civil Augmentation Program Operations. Citation stated: " … consistently places support to Soldiers and civilians as his first priority, and exemplifies Army values. He has ensured the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen conducting operations in Africa have received the highest quality of base life support and sustainment services being provided through LOGCAP. Additionally, he has volunteered for several critical missions including being the lead for LOGCAP supporting Hurricane Maria relief operations in Puerto Rico, and most recently volunteering to serve as the LOGCAP lead in the Central Command area of operations.