(REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala.) -- Army and industry leaders emphasized that sustainment modernization priorities are aligned with the National Defense Strategy and Army Senior Leader priorities during a panel focused on supporting modernization held virtually during the Association of the United States Army’s Global Force Next symposium March 18.
Maj. Gen. Charles Hamilton, Army Materiel Command deputy chief of staff for Logistics and Operations, chaired the discussion about sustainment modernization from the tactical battlespace through the Strategic Support Area. He highlighted AMC’s role in support of modernization for the Joint Concept for Contested Logistics and Multi-Domain Operations, partnerships with other commands, modernizing the Army’s Organic Industrial Base and the need to invest in our people.
“Sustainment modernization is a key component of the Army’s modernization efforts,” Hamilton said. “Our ability to modernize our Army for the future, while simultaneously maintaining the ability to fight and win, is paramount to our nation’s security.”
Hamilton outlined five modernization efforts that AMC and the sustainment enterprise is undertaking to extend operational reach, endurance and freedom of action:
• resilient and integrated mission command;
• rapid power projection;
• set the theater;
• conduct Industrial Base modernization;
• sustainment of distributed operations.
Hamilton said the priorities balance current, surge and future Army readiness and modernization requirements to develop the future MDO-capable force by 2035, ensuring sustainment requirements are at the forefront of any new equipment or system development and fielding.
“Sustainment is at the core of our ability to answer our Nation’s call, which means being responsive is not enough – we must have the ability to anticipate requirements, drive readiness and enable operations,” said Hamilton. “As sustainers, we must always think of what is next, generate capability, and strive to be ahead of those we support.”
As the Army’s lead for strategic divestiture, he said AMC is building strategic readiness and supporting modernization by divesting of legacy platforms, programs and weapons systems, and investing in cutting-edge technology and capabilities. In support of the Regionally Aligned Readiness and Modernization Model, or ReARMM, AMC recently established the Modernization Displacement and Repair Site, or MDRS, effort where Soldiers can turn in old equipment more easily, freeing up space for new, modernized equipment.
Hamilton also highlighted the Army’s 15-year, $16 billion plan to modernize the Organic Industrial Base – the 26 arsenals, depots and ammunition plants that manufactures and resets Army equipment, generating readiness and operational capability throughout Army formations. He said the added investment in modernization would allow for transformational change that will ensure worker safety and more efficient capabilities well into the future.
Maj. Gen. Todd Royar, commanding general of U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, also served on the panel, highlighting the importance of keeping sustainment in mind as modernization requirements are developed.
"The requirements we write today are going to be what our Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Marines are going to be living with for decades to come,” Royar said. “So we need to make sure we get it right now – that includes sustainment."
Hamilton said AMC must modernize in a way that is consistent with the priorities outlined by leaders while keeping our people in the forefront.
“The Soldiers, civilians and contractor teammates of our Army must have the tools necessary to make good decisions and ensure sustainment is not a limitation to operations,” said Hamilton. “Our investment in our people has to be equal, if not greater, than our investment in the materiel solutions we obtain.”
Other panel members included Maj. Gen. Rodney Fogg, commanding general of U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command, and Donald Kotchman, the vice president and general manager of United States Operations for General Dynamics Land Systems. The panel was moderated by Mark Pearce, Special Mission Aircraft director at Northrop Grumman Defense.