REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. - Gary Cathcart, a logistics management specialist with the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command Logistics Center, thrives on challenges. Many of the work challenges he faces daily test his ingenuity and technical skills at the Counter-Rocket Artillery Mortar (C-RAM) Project Directorate supporting warfighters thousands of miles from Alabama.
Cathcart, who hails from Dothan, Alabama, leads the logistics efforts providing global support for the broad range of products support, logistics support, supply, training and maintenance activities sustaining the Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Systems (C-UAS) and Land-based Phalanx Weapon System (LPWS) programs.
According to Phillip White, the C-RAM Sustainment Division chief, Cathcart contributes to the life-cycle management for all the C-RAM Project Directorate's acquisition programs. The intercept capability of C-RAM is effectively a radar-controlled, rapid-fire gun for close-in protection from indirect fire. The weapon system also contains a forward-looking infrared camera to allow Soldiers to visually identify target threats before engaging the targets.
"His diligence and dependably demonstrate that he is dedicated to the warfighter while maintaining program affordability," said White. "All of the programs Cathcart supports directly contribute to combat capabilities in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria."
Cathcart heads a three-person logistics team dedicated to providing cradle-to-grave support for automated Air and Missile Defense systems used throughout the Army. The team demonstrated their creativity and dedication while trying to solve a LPWS supply and shipping challenge.
The LPWS wooden shipping containers, used to transport the systems to and from deployed locations, were fragile, highly pilferable and costly, according to White. Cathcart knew his team had to develop a better container. They constructed and tested a container prototype which now serves as the standard LPWS shipping container. It holds all the system's components securely in place during shipment and, because of its durability, can be used to store a unit's gear once the system reaches the Soldiers in the field. Cathcart and his team's efforts resulted in a savings of more than $1 million in fiscal year 2018, which exceeded C-RAM's entire savings goal for the year.
Cathcart, who has worked on Redstone Arsenal for more than 15 years, thrives on the variety of challenges he faces day in and day out.
"I enjoy the challenges that come with the broad scope of responsibilities and requirements needed to support the systems we have deployed around the world," said Cathcart.
Those challenges included providing critical sustainment support for the Army's C-UAS and Gun, Air Defense Artillery Towed (GADAT) programs. He recently completed base-line lists for insertion into C-RAM contracts which allowed for completion of contract efforts ahead of schedule and identified the correct quantities and types of parts needed to support these critical programs. Cathcart's efforts reduced the cost associated with parts acquisition by $15 million for the C-UAS program and $25 million for GADAT, according to White.
Cathcart finds the most rewarding part of his job in supporting those deployed down range.
"I love to hear from deployed Soldiers and civilians who appreciate the performance of the systems we deploy and the successful sustainment of those systems," said Cathcart.
White echoed that appreciation as part of Cathcart's nomination for the 2019 Ernest A. Young Logistics Achievement Awards. Cathcart's leadership and teamwork were highlighted throughout the nomination package with numerous examples of his dedication to the warfighter.
White detailed efforts that reduced costs associated with transportation, parts ordering and excess parts recovery that saved the Army millions of dollars annually and improved weapon system availability rates.
According to White, Cathcart's "versatile talents and abilities" greatly reduced costs associated with warehousing, accountability and care of supplies in storage.
"Gary's contributions directly support the Army's goals and objectives while providing global support and sustainment of fielded systems," wrote White. "His efforts are notable within ALC and PEO Missiles & Space, and contribute to Army readiness, sustainment affordability and mission accomplishment."