Sometimes, work done behind the scenes is the critical factor to getting the job done at all.
Andrew Santana is one of many U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command employees whose professions don’t usually get much attention, yet are essential to the organization’s efforts to develop and deliver responsive materiel readiness for warfighters at the point of need.
Santana serves as a logistics management specialist assigned to the AMCOM Logistics Center. He supports the Program Executive Office Missiles and Space, Strategic and Operational Rockets and Missiles (STORM) Project Office.
The STORM Project Office provides total life cycle management of the Army’s fleet of long-range, surface-to-surface launch platforms, as well as its associated suite of rockets and missiles, to fulfill the long-range artillery requirements for U.S. warfighters and our allies.
Santana’s recent work to coordinate the supply of government-furnished equipment required to support the Army’s effort to expand and modernize the Multiple Launch Rocket System fleet may have been invisible to most, but was key to the success of setting up the contractor’s new production facility at the Red River Army Depot in Texas.
“Managing the GFE requirement for this contract is huge, because the government is on the hook to provide these items on time so that the delivery schedule and fielding schedule stay on track,” said Joseph Siebern, PFRMS Field Support Branch chief, who nominated Santana for recent recognition as one of AMCOM’s Most Valuable Players. “As our supply lead, Andrew’s a critical cog in every process we are involved in.”
Santana, a native of San Germán, Puerto Rico, started working for AMCOM in 2009 as a logistics specialist intern, after earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Puerto Rico.
“AMCOM was one of the first organizations that offered me not just a job, but an opportunity to become a professional in the career field that I had studied,” said Santana.
Since then, he’s taken every opportunity to learn new tasks, expand his expertise and increase his contribution to mission accomplishment, said Santana. His career experience encompasses Army helicopter and missile systems.
After serving five years as an item manager for Army utility helicopters, he was offered a major item manager position in 2014 at the PEO MS.
“That wasn’t just a promotion for me – it was a significant growth opportunity,” he said. “I learned Class VII major items and new systems, gained acquisition experience and developed new relationships within a completely different suite of weapon systems and munitions.”
While working with logistics management program data, weapon systems detail charts, Class VII depot maintenance programs forecasts, funding justifications, and engaging vendors to expedite delivery of critical supply parts, Santana completed a master’s degree in logistics management from Florida Institute of Technology in 2016. He accepted a promotion to supply lead for the STORM Project Office in 2018.
“Andrew’s focused on excellence in everything he does, and it shows in sustaining very high supply-availability rates for the systems he supports,” said Siebern. “He’s always looking for ways to improve processes to gain efficiencies and improve readiness rates.”
Recently, Santana improved management of a commercial repair and return contract by establishing a process for a three-day turnaround time on quotes, resulting in reducing lead times and providing a more consistent supply throughput, Siebern noted.
While Santana enjoys improving processes and facilitating warfighter readiness, he said the people he works with are his favorite thing about his job.
“Every job has its ups and downs; however, it is the people you work with that make the difference,” he said. “Ever since I started working for AMCOM back in 2009, I've been surrounded by great people. There've been some that inspire, others that lead, others that teach you lessons, and others that believe in you and motivate you to become the best you can be. You know who you are.”