REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The Army’s Organic Industrial Base must continue to set priorities for maintaining readiness today, building surge capacity and modernizing to enable the future force.
That was the message Army Materiel Command senior leaders had for OIB commanders attending the annual OIB Commander’s Summit, hosted by AMC’s Commander Gen. Ed Daly virtually Nov. 3 and 5.
The Army's OIB, consisting of 26 depots, arsenals and ammunition plants, manufactures and resets Army equipment, generating readiness and operational capability throughout Army formations. Daly emphasized the importance of the OIB in providing Army readiness and the need for commanders to set strategic visions to meet both the Army’s needs today and in the future.
“We can’t let 20th century processes and systems drive our way of approaching things in today’s 21st century environment,” said Daly. “I need you to keep one foot in the present and one foot in the future, so we can continue to balance our investments.”
To do this, Daly set priorities for the OIB commanders including: the importance of meeting Performance to Promise (P2P) metrics, establishing a predictable workload, driving down costs to remain competitive, and using entrepreneurial ways of thinking to find solutions for todays and tomorrow’s problems.
“What got us here is not going to get us to 2035 and beyond,” he said. “Take a look at your value streams and mission areas to figure out things that are most important to modernize and focus on those.”
Daly discussed the recently announced OIB Modernization Strategy, an aggressive $16 billion, 15-year transformation strategy that aims to upgrade processes at ammunition manufacturing facilities.
“We need to look at the right areas to move the OIB into the 21st century,” he said. “It is about getting funding for the right projects, for the right effects.”
Commanders from across the OIB heard from AMC leaders and headquarters staff, as well as from each other, about current initiatives and efforts, including facility investment planning, environmental considerations, direct hiring actions and data systems for tracking OIB metrics.
AMC’s Executive Deputy to the Commanding General Lisha Adams, who chaired the summit, said the purpose was to provide a flow of new information and help drive the OIB facilities’ focus, alignment and sustainment efforts.
Adams said that importance of planning and re-planning has been particularly critical this year as the OIB has responded to and adjusted to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What we have achieved by the end of fiscal year 20 is remarkable, in terms of our P2P we ended the year better than we started,” said Adams. “We could not have done that, especially during a pandemic, if you had not understood your installation’s processes and planning.”
She emphasized the importance of each commander looking ahead and setting visions and goals beyond what their needs are today.
“The OIB generates combat power in terms of readiness, and we need to start now to determine what is required, in terms of equipment and facilities, to sustain the Army of the future,” she said. “Think about the new systems coming into the Army and ask what do we need in the OIB to repair that equipment? It is not just about what you need for today, but also what you need to support the Army’s future strategy.”
A key part of that strategy is also workforce planning, Adams challenged the OIB commanders to think about what jobs and skills sets their installations will need to repair the Army’s future equipment.
“Just as with your facilities, think about how you are investing to make sure your workforce is ready to meet the Army’s future requirements,” she said.
Daly echoed her comments, emphasizing the importance of the OIB’s artisan workforce.
“Make no mistake, people are our most precious asset and paramount to having a viable OIB,” he said. “Don’t lose sight of your workforce as we modernize, because they are the foundation of everything we do.”
Also speaking to the commanders, Maj. Gen. Charles Hamilton, AMC deputy chief of staff for logistics and operations since July, underlined the OIB’s high operational tempo he’s seen during his short time at AMC.
“One thing I’ve really come to recognize in my short time here was importance of OIB in support of joint force,” he said. “I think the OIB is really one of the linchpins in our next big fight. And to that, it is very important that the OIB is strong, modernized and ready to surge and project equipment onto the battlefield.”