ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, III. -- As the sustainment and logistics integrator for life-cycle management of ammunition for all Services, it's Joint Munition Command's responsibility to project lethality from the Strategic Support Area to the point of need. From management of installation infrastructure to mobilization operations, and from deployment to sustainment in the field, the munitions enterprise builds and delivers strategic readiness. This exercise enables JMC to exercise the enterprise's ability to project lethality, support the theater, and inform our processes.
As NATO Forces begin reception, staging and onward movement of allied forces across the European continent, JMC and the Army will have the opportunity to exercise its strategic munitions readiness capabilities with allies and partners through large-scale training in Europe and the Pacific as part of the multinational Defender series. This movement of combat-credible forces from the United States and across Europe will exercise the sustainment network, to include ammunition. DEFENDER-Europe 20 will be the largest deployment of U.S.-based Army forces to Europe for an exercise in the past 25 years, with more than a division's worth of equipment and over two million rounds of ammo, deploying from the continental U.S.
The strategic movement of munitions from 6 depots to the theater storage area will move across 17 states, from the Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point across the Atlantic into Germany, exercising the munitions enterprise from the wholesale to the tactical, supporting over 20,000 warfighters.
As the Joint Munitions Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Michelle Letcher commands the wholesale movement of munitions to support the Warfighter in Europe, from an inter-theater perspective from the strategic support area.
"Supporting EUCOM's assigned and rotational forces exercising throughout Eastern and Central Europe exercises our logisticians and informs and builds readiness," said Letcher. "Although tested before, DEFENDER-Europe 20 continues to train our force with the challenge of time and distance, exercising power projection of a combat credible force which includes rapidly executing large scale munitions outload from the strategic support area."
As JMC provides a supporting role in setting the EUCOM theater balanced with other global requirements, they continually assess munitions stockpiles in the U.S. and abroad to ensure strategic positioning that enables flexibility and speed. Strengthening the munitions posture not only supports our strategic readiness but also serves to reassure our allies and deter potential aggression.
"Providing the Joint Force with ready, reliable, lethal munitions at the speed of war to sustain global readiness is JMC's mission," said Joe Klunder, logistics management specialist. "Our team coordinated with USAREUR from the inter and intra theater to ensure every commander has the munitions to fight but more importantly, the munitions to win."
Sustainment excellence at echelon is decisive to winning in large-scale combat operations. The Army must be trained and ready to perform the munitions sustainment mission at the speed of war in an unpredictable environment. During the exercise, logisticians will combat threats within a multi-domain context that will inform future unit and institutional training.
"DEFENDER-Europe 20 creates an enterprise wide opportunity for JMC to demonstrate munitions readiness from the strategic support area in order to support dynamic employment of forces into an operational environment," said Col. Todd Burnley, commander of Tooele Army Depot. "We exercised a no-notice rail load outload at Tooele, Crane, Letterkenny, Blue Grass, and McAlester, testing the industry's ability to reassign railcars and expeditiously deliver to the depot for accelerated munitions movements to a sea port of embarkation for onward movement into the European theater. This informed our processes by highlighting commercial industry's ability to responsive and agile, even to the unique requirements of moving ammunition in railcars."
In addition to having all the munitions in place, JMC will be on the ground to assist as the exercise progresses. JMC provides a global presence of technical support to U.S. combat units wherever they are stationed or deployed.
"JMC will support the exercise with our Senior Command Representative and Lead-System Technical Representative, assigned to 405th Army Field Sustainment Brigade in Germany," said Donnie Brock, Chief, Logistics Assistance Division. "Their roles will be to integrate munitions logistics across the theater from the ammunition depot to the tactical units by partnering with the Quality Assurance Specialist Ammunition Surveillance throughout the United States European Command area of responsibility. Both teams will provide support to ensure the units handle, store and ship their munitions safely."
"The training event over in Europe, and later in the Pacific, will allow us to see ourselves at all three levels: tactical, operational and strategic," said Army Materiel Command Commander, Gen. Gus Perna, during a Defense Writers Group event. "It will reinforce where we think we are in terms of materiel readiness."
JMC's will continue to build readiness by projecting lethality, supporting the theater, and informing their processes by exercising precision logistics in support of DEFENDER-Europe 20, ensuring the U.S., its allies and its partners have the ability deter conflict on the continent, and win on any battlefield, any time, any place.