I am personally and professionally humbled and honored to have assumed the role of the Army’s senior sustainer. I am absolutely proud to lead our great materiel enterprise and serve shoulder-to-shoulder with our tremendous Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians. Together, we enable combat operations by providing sustainment warfighting function capabilities from the strategic support area (SSA) to the tactical points of contact throughout the world.
We will continue to focus on the Army senior leader priorities of readiness, modernization, and reform, with a people-first philosophy. My challenge to the sustainment community is to remain focused on achieving effects in support of Army Command and Army Service Component Command requirements.
Army Doctrine Publication 4-0, Sustainment, provides the foundation for the sustainment war-fighting functions and principles of sustainment. We must continue to plan, synchronize, and deliver sustainment warfighting function capabilities. This will ensure freedom of action, extend operational reach, and prolong endurance in support of combatant command requirements. We must balance readiness and modernization initiatives through a deliberate campaign plan that ensures readiness for the current fight, builds to Way Point 2028, and sets conditions for Aim Point 2035 in support of the National Defense Strategy. Success will be measured on our ability to continue to deliver, at echelon, strategic and tactical readiness effects to the Army and Joint Force.
In parallel, with regard to Way Point 2028 and Aim Point 2035, we will continue our efforts to develop new concepts and cap-abilities within the doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities framework. The center of gravity unequivocally remains training, leader development, and talent management, as people are our most critical resource.
Throughout history, sustainment has always been one of America’s strategic warfighting advantages over our adversaries. As we look at 21st century warfare in a multi-domain operations environment, sustainment will continue to be one of the most important capabilities in support of large-scale combat operations. As such, the SSA will be the hub of the sustainment warfighting function. Within this battlefield framework, the SSA is where military power is generated, projected worldwide, and sustained during the fight.
The SSA extends from the 26 arsenals, depots, and ammunition plants of the Army’s organic industrial base (OIB), where equipment is maintained and manufactured, to our installations, posts, camps, and stations worldwide. It encompasses strategic air and seaports of embarkation/debarkation in the U.S. and abroad. From the artisans in our OIB facilities to the housing and child care workers at our installations, from professionals at our Logistics Readiness Centers to our field support brigades and battalions nested with tactical combat units, we are directly and decidedly linked to Soldiers on the front lines through the SSA. The Army and joint enterprise organizations within the SSA must be synchronized and linked with operational units across seven critical lines of effort (LOE): Soldier, Civilian and Family readiness; installation readiness; industrial base readiness; munitions readiness; strategic power projection readiness; supply availability and equipment readiness; and logistics information. The sustainment warfighting function capabilities should drive our actions to deliver effects across each LOE.
Sustainment leaders need to categorically understand SSA capabilities and enthusiastically embrace their roles and responsibilities. They must take personal ownership to teach, coach, and mentor their subordinate leaders and Soldiers to ensure everyone is working in unison toward achieving readiness effects. Developing the full potential of the SSA is an ongoing effort. You—the Army sustainment enterprise—are the line men and women of football, so to speak; the unsung heroes who will see it through.
Thanks for all you do each and every day in support of our Army’s mission. People First—Winning Matters—Army Strong!
Gen. Ed Daly serves as the commanding general of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. He served three years as the deputy commanding general of AMC in his previous assignment. He managed the day-to-day operations of the Army’s logistics enterprise, and also served as the senior commander of Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. He served as the commanding general of Army Sustainment Command at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, and as AMC's deputy chief of staff, overseeing the roles and functions of the headquarters staff.
This article was published in the October-December 2020 issue of Army Sustainment.