Gen. Edward Daly, commanding general Army Materiel Command, met with Brig. Gen. Darren Werner, commanding general Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, and his leadership team for a quarterly update November 4. This is the first quarterly update for the two generals since both took command. Werner took the reins at TACOM in June and Daly assumed command of AMC in July.
Daly opened the session by presenting six of TACOM’s top performers with his AMC coin. He also provided some opening remarks indicating it was great to be at TACOM and that the hard work within the command and through its partners made a difference to Army readiness.
“TACOM drives how the Army runs,” Daly said.
Following his remarks, Col. Santee Vasquez, TACOM Chief of Staff, started her briefing on diversity and inclusion, which are among the Army’s top priorities for this year. She brought Daly up to date on the demographic makeup for the command and what TACOM is doing to help implement the Army’s Project Inclusion initiative.
“We’re working hard to capitalize on the drive and enthusiasm of [TACOMs] workforce for change,” said Vasquez.
One point that Vasquez highlighted is where the command was below average in employing women compared to the national civilian labor force, and that both men and women minorities are under-represented in supervisor roles.
“We are working hard to act upon the feedback right now, not just pay lip service,” Vasquez said.
The Army introduced Project Inclusion after Secretary of Defense Mark Esper spearheaded three initiatives on diversity, inclusion, and equality. Esper planned for two of these initiatives to start at the DoD level, while the other enlisted the help of civilian and uniformed leadership from around the services to present actionable ideas that the services can start implementing.
“Diverse organizations perform exponentially better, so your approach will have significant impact on how far you will take [Project Inclusion],” Daly said.
Another TACOM effort that Vasquez highlighted was the Human Capital Plan to provide a strategy that focuses on gaps in talent acquisition by increasing training for supervisors in the hiring process and help them reach under-represented demographics within the command.
For TACOM, implementing a successful Project Inclusion initiative goes a long way in helping strengthen AMC’s Soldier, Civilian, and Family Readiness line of effort and it is important to get people talking.
“We have to get people comfortable talking about the uncomfortable,” Daly said.
Next, Dave Horton, Deputy Executive Director, Integrated Logistics Support Center, addressed TACOM actions to increase to supply chain responsiveness. These actions include maximizing the organic repair capabilities, seeking contracting strategies that give the government more flexibility to procure needed items, and the commands response to decrease delinquent contracts.
“Our supply availability is continuing to rise,” said Horton, “We’re continuing to buy the right stuff.”
Horton emphasized that TACOM is dedicated to maximizing supply chain management to help generate Army readiness. He did indicate the supply chain would remain in a fragile state due to reduced funding, which could have a direct impact on that readiness.
Daly cautioned that to help support readiness, “we need to identify what it means to be a readiness driver.” He went on to indicate that the cost of sustainment must be less than the cost of acquisition.
“We have to make sure every dollar counts,” Daly said.
TACOM and its Detroit Arsenal partners have been developing a plan to implement a Prognostics and Predictive Maintenance strategy to help support AMC’s PPMx line of effort. According to Jason Duncan, ILSC’s PPMx Action Officer, incremental capabilities with PPMx could be initiated as soon as February.
Daly indicated he wanted his commanders to focus on future capabilities that are more critical to their mission sets, reduce single points of failure, and be ready to surge. They should also be ready to deliver on Performance to Promise.
“Right now, I want you focusing on P2P and driving down costs,” Daly said, “because with those two things we’ll be in a much better place.”
Performance to Promise, or P2P, measures the Organic Industrial Base’s success in meeting delivery projections.
After an explanation of TACOM’s planning so far, Daly indicated that it might be prudent to take an operational pause so that we do not waste money and we can make sure that we outline the roles and responsibilities of the main players in the PPMx effort. He suggested that to help keep the program on track that managers should make sure they outline the roles and responsibilities of each partner in the team.
“If we get this right, it could be a game changer,” Daly said.
Following a tour of the Ground Vehicle Support Center PPMx facilities, Phil Burton, TACOM’s Program Manager for Additive Manufacturing, talked about the command’s Additive and Advanced Manufacturing execution plan.
Two parts of the execution plan include augmenting supply chain responsiveness in the Strategic Support Area and empowering forward 3-D printing capabilities in the operational and tactical support areas as technology develops reducing sustainment costs while increasing Army readiness.
Burton informed Daly that the command is currently working to identify, certify, print, qualify, and deliver on more than 130 components. However, to make it more useable, the Army has to improve user interface, whether through existing systems or through developing a system that better meets the requirement so that Soldiers get what they need in the field at a Metal Working and Machining Shop Set.
“We have to think about building and sustaining capabilities,” Daly said.
Horton added that even though they are looking at a wide variety of parts for Additive Manufacturing, some parts are not candidates for 3-D printing due to other requirements those parts have to go through, such as heat treating, for them to be usable.
To finish the briefs, Daly indicated that he was impressed with the team and what they are doing for Soldiers in the field.
“You’re doing some great work here, not only with TACOM, but with our partners as well,” Daly said.