ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. – Though the quarterly visit to the headquarters of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command, and the associated briefing and meeting, were virtual, the intent was the same: To update the leadership of the U.S. Army Materiel Command, ASC’s higher headquarters, on recent mission accomplishments and the way forward, and to honor some individuals here who helped make those accomplishments possible.
The May 20 event, held via a teleconference link between RIA and Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, featured a virtual return to Rock Island by Lt. Gen. Edward Daly, deputy commanding general of AMC.
Daly, who was sitting in for Gen. Gus Perna, AMC commanding general, served as ASC’s commanding general from August 2016 through July 2017. He was recently nominated for promotion to the rank of general and selected to succeed Perna as AMC’s commanding general.
Past in-person visits to ASC Headquarters by Perna and other top AMC leaders often began with the recognition of individual ASC employees for their achievements and contributions. This visit was no exception, though this time the presentations were virtual, with no physical awards handed out or handshakes exchanged.
The individuals from ASC who were recognized by Daly during his virtual visit were:
- Garry Carter, a logistics management specialist in the Acquisition and Integration Management Center, who was honored for leading an effort to use the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program to assemble a temporary medical facility in Paramus, New Jersey, in response to a need for extra capacity brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
- Robert Petty, chief of ASC’s Safety Division, who was honored for performing safety assessments of COVID-19 quarantine sites built using LOGCAP and for coordinating with contractors and other organizations to assure that safety would remain a high priority at these sites.
- Paul Levesque of the ASC Public Affairs Office, who was honored for preparing several high-visibility messages and video scripts that helped keep the ASC workforce informed about measures taken by the command to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
- Megan Osbourne, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention program manager for both ASC Headquarters and RIA, who was honored for her leadership of the SHARP team and for finding innovative ways to continue SHARP activities during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Cindy Beserra, ASC’s secretary of the general staff, who was honored for helping to sustain communications and operations within the command during a time when ASC suddenly transitioned to maximum telework due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Maj. Melissa Sayers, ASC Operations Research/Systems Analysis, who was honored for developing an automated modeling tool to assess the impact of the Army’s “stop-move” directive on permanent change of station moves scheduled for summer, traditionally the peak PCS season.
PCS moves, and the associated movement of household goods, were among the topics briefed to Daly by Maj. Gen. Steven Shapiro, commanding general of ASC. Shapiro outlined ASC’s efforts to improve quality by training employees currently involved in the household goods mission and by hiring more quality assurance inspectors.
Shapiro then demonstrated how ASC is applying automation to collect and assess data on movements down to the installation and individual level, and to then use that data to address issues as they arise.
The use of automation in ASC’s Total Equipment Management Strategy was the next topic of discussion. Daly was updated on how automated systems are being applied to redistribute excess equipment to where it is needed, and divest of equipment that is no longer needed.
“You’re making great progress,” Daly said, “and what you’re doing fits our overall strategy and takes us exactly where we’re trying to go.”
The briefing included a review of ASC’s funding as of the midpoint of the current fiscal year. Daly was told that budget execution and obligations are on schedule and that ASC realized some savings, mostly through a reduction of travel. However, higher-level support may be needed due to funding issues caused by ASC’s response to COVID-19.
Much of that funding has gone to LOGCAP, and Daly was briefed on the ongoing transition of LOGCAP IV to LOGCAP V, and on plans for LOGCAP VI, the next iteration of the program.
The briefing ended with an overview of efforts to improve the quality of life for Soldiers and families stationed at installations in Alaska, and a look at ASC’s campaign plan.
Daly concluded the virtual visit with words of praise for Shapiro and ASC.
“Steve, to you and your team, you’re doing spectacular work,” Daly said. “I know most of the people on your team personally, and I’m always excited to hear about the great things those individuals are doing. It is unbelievably powerful, and I’m proud to serve with all of you.”
Noting that he was speaking for Perna and other AMC leaders, Daly said of Shapiro, “We appreciate your leadership and your service. Your mark and your legacy will live on, because you’ve trained, coached and mentored from the front.
“This was a great update,” Daly said as he signed off. “You’ve shown that ASC is focused on the right things, is providing great service, and is staying ahead of the curve.”