REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – The Army’s senior sustainer highlighted how the force’s lead sustainment organization is investing in the future by focusing on new capabilities all while ensuring the materiel readiness of today’s Army.
During the Association of the U.S. Army’s 2021 Global Force Next, Army Materiel Command’s Commanding General, Gen. Ed Daly, shared how AMC plays a leading role in the virtual symposium’s theme of “Protecting Tomorrow through Persistent Modernization,” and how as the Army looks to the future, modernization and sustainment capabilities are an everyday priority.
“We’re balancing not only materiel and non-materiel modernization initiatives, but also continuing to look deep through 2035 and beyond,” Daly said. “Our Army is undergoing its greatest transformation in 40 years with a Soldier-centered approach, scaling not only for the Army, but for the joint force.”
Before there can be persistent modernization of the Army, there has to be persistent sustainment, said Daly. AMC is the lead for force sustainment and strategic divestiture, and supports other commands to propel sustainment across all platforms. From divesting legacy systems and retooling the Organic Industrial Base to prepare for new equipment, to upgrading housing and infrastructure, AMC is implementing transformational change.
“From a sustainment perspective, I am very confident our direction, effort and outcomes will ensure sustainment continues to be an enabler, from competition to conflict, and give continued focused on applying direct resources, to ensure we stay on track and on point for AimPoint 2035,” Daly said.
The AimPoint initiative will drive Army modernization and force structure as the Army looks to achieve a full Multi-Domain Operations capability by 2035. As the Army continues to look deep through 2035 and beyond, emerging warfighting concepts align the force’s focus on the future.
“Modernization is without a doubt a team effort,” Daly said. “We are focused on transformation as much as any other warfighting function.”
During his keynote remarks on March 18, Daly pointed to several sustainment capabilities that the Army must continue to develop and improve. Including how in the tactical battlespace, the need for petroleum, oils, and lubricants can affect the success or failure of any unit conducting combat operations. Daly said the goal is to reduce the demand for these products by using either electrification and/or alternate fuels.
The Army also aims to build combat power on the battlefield, enhance water purification and distribution requirements, and reduce material handling equipment through robotics and machine learning to improve manufacturing processes. Daly emphasized the strategic need to project equipment and forces rapidly, protect key assets, and continue to modernize the OIB to build state-of–the-art production and manufactural capabilities.
Daly highlighted the Army’s 15-year, $16 billion plan to modernize the 26 arsenals, depots and ammunition plans that comprise the OIB.
“This plan allows for the procurement of 21st century capabilities, to include robotics, computer program logic, sensors, and streamlined engineering and machining efforts to optimize production,” he said.
This commitment to modernization includes a new $400 million chemical production facility at Radford Army Ammunition Plant, Virginia; a $469 million upgrade to production line modernizations at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant, Missouri; and $722 million worth of investments in other safety, environmental, and energy efficiencies across the OIB.
Other OIB modernization initiatives include the use of Artificial Intelligence, robotics, and Advanced and Additive Manufacturing at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois to address the readiness of necessary materiel.
“And now we have the ability to 3D print hundreds, approaching thousands, of parts for equipment in the field,” Daly said.
To ensure that this level of modernization is being extended across all posts, camps, stations, and Strategic Power Projection platforms, the Army’s Facilities Investment Plan provides for more than $6 billion in construction projects for the modernization of installations and organizations.
Daly ended his keynote session by addressing the importance of the Army’s most important capability — its people.
“Readiness starts with taking care of Soldiers and their families,” he said.
That all begins with the Army’s People First initiative, for which the service is making significant investments to ensure that Soldiers and their families have safe, quality on-post housing and barracks, as well as accessible child care and spouse-employment programs. The Army currently has more than $9 billion planned for the sustainment and improvement of these programs.