Munitions Readiness in the Strategic Support Area Continues to Provide Lethality that Wins

By Kara Stetson, Chief of the Commander's Initiatives GroupFebruary 20, 2020

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- The Joint Munitions Command's approach to providing munitions readiness from the Strategic Support Area was the focus during the quarterly update with Gen. Gus Perna, commander, U.S. Army Materiel Command. JoEtta Fisher, Executive Director for Ammunition and Deputy to the Commander, led the brief and highlighted strategic initiatives that JMC is using to operationalize Army and AMC priorities.

"We must continue to challenge ourselves to constantly improve to ensure we are able to provide lethality that wins, today and in the future," said Fisher. "Today, we will update you on our accomplishments, challenges and objectives moving forward through the lens of readiness, modernization and reform -- with the understanding that it is our people that provide the foundation for our success in these areas."

JMC continues to synchronize and operationalize munitions readiness across the enterprise through their FY20 Campaign Plan, which focuses their efforts though objectives, tasks and metrics. A key readiness objective that was highlighted was Munitions Synchronization and the development of multiple Concept of Operations views to posture the SSA and Operational Support Areas for Large Scale Combat Operations.

"As we work with our strategic partners at the Logistics Data Analysis Center in building a holistic munitions readiness COP, we not only ensure the integrity of munitions data, we are using these dashboards and tools to inform the enterprise and tee-up decisions for Army Senior Leaders," said Katie Crotty, Planning Directorate.

JMC enhances these COPs by leveraging Artificial Intelligence through Robotic Process Automation and Machine Learning to drive efficiency in the workplace and validate the data that feeds into the various COPs and decision making tools.

"JMC is leading the way by deploying six digital workers to leverage technology to drive efficiency in the workplace," said Steve Taylor, Information Management Directorate. "This effort will increase efficiency and ultimately improve readiness."

Col. Shane Upton, McAlester Army Ammunition Plant Commander, presented key initiatives that will modernize the JMC enterprise in a more holistic manner. He said that the master planning effort is part of a larger munitions OIB modernization strategy, which will encompass infrastructure, equipment, information technology, cyber and human capital requirements while ensuring each critical JMC installation supports current Warfighter readiness gains.

"This strategy ensures JMC and the Army understand the current and future capabilities of the munitions OIB, in line with the National Defense Strategy and the Army Modernization Strategy," said COL Upton. "This will allow us to make better investment decisions and improvements for current operations, future operations and surge when needed," said Upton.

Joe Klunder, Policy Division, Sustainment Production Directorate, briefed JMC's efforts to reform the munitions allocation process. These efforts include developing the Munitions Readiness Decision Process, codifying authorities into regulations and executing analysis for strategic resourcing decisions.

"We must be positioned to meet Combatant Commander's requirements," said Klunder. "Through a synchronized ammo allocation process, we can provide commanders with the information they need to make real-time, risk-based, distribution and positioning decisions impacting Army readiness."

Another key issue discussed was JMC's focus on storage reform. Dean Meyer, Logistics Planning Division, Planning Directorate, highlighted efforts at JMC installations that increase readiness by enabling effective munition logistics operations and allowing installations to focus on critical tasks.

"Between storage reform, demilitarization operations and distribution, we've reduced the number of misaligned magazines across our network by 29 percent," said Meyer. "We've also developed a dynamic storage COP which allows us to pinpoint the magazines storing munitions required for specified contingency operations, strengthening our response to warfighter requirements."

Increasing munitions readiness is also supported by storage reform efforts and asset realignment. Command Sergeant Maj. Brian Morrison provided an update on how Operation Patriot Press is contributing to these efforts. Operation Patriot Press uses Total Force Integration with the Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserves to conduct real and relevant missions that support AMC while providing unmatched training events for Combat Support units. Through OPP, JMC uses reserve component units to realign assets to improve readiness in the SSA. This is a win-win for the Army.

Perna commended the efforts of the Joint Munitions Command on improving munitions readiness to the Warfighter. "This was a great update," said Perna. "You are successfully operationalizing my intent, and continue to hold yourselves accountable to the outputs our Army is driving to achieve. Every member of JMC from headquarters staff and all the supporting sites are making a difference. Well done."

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