ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. — The Joint Ordnance Commanders Group met virtually Sept. 1 to discuss the ongoing Army Ammunition Plant transformation and modernization efforts and to share insights regarding declining budgets and munitions requirements.
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Gavin Gardner, commanding general, Joint Munitions Command, co-chaired the semiannual assembly alongside Joint Program Executive Officer Armaments and Ammunition, Brig. Gen. Bill Boruff. Gardner and Boruff presented the modernization strategy that will lead to a 21st-century Organic Industrial Base capable of sustaining readiness, supporting modernization efforts and postured to meet wartime requirements.
“Modernization is the number one priority for AMC,” Lt. Gen. Donnie Walker, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Materiel Command, said. “By examining and integrating the master plans of each of our OIB locations, we can move together collectively to support not only Army readiness, but the readiness of our joint partners as well.”
The intent of the transformation and modernization efforts is to increase the use of automation for repeatability, reduction of costs, and to minimize human exposure to dangerous processes.
“Not only do these modernization efforts allow us to mitigate single points of failure by inserting redundancy and much-needed maintenance into our processes, but we also get to reduce the number of hands-on processes,” said Boruff. “This allows us to provide a safer operating environment for our workforce.”
With a downward trend in munitions requirements and funding, the Army’s ongoing supply chain initiatives were a focal point of discussion at Wednesday’s session. The Army has leveraged commercial partners to gain insights into their supply chain efforts.
“We are using these industry partnerships to help us examine all of our production facilities and incorporate state of the art technologies and methodologies,” Gardner said. “Our end state is assured munitions. Without that, we can’t compete.”
Walker included the need for the Services’ support to achieve the most value from these industry partnerships.
“Collaboration with our Service partners is also vital for informing the Organic Industrial Base,” Walker said. “Your input is needed to help us shape our decisions regarding wholesale level storage, future demil, and positioning.”
Doug Wong, Director of the Systems, Engineering, Technology and Integration within the JPEO A&A Project Manager for Maneuver Ammunition Systems office, detailed the steps being taken to resolve critical chemicals and materials. The PM MAS is responsible for providing over 360 direct fire combat and training ammunition capabilities to warfighters across the military services and government agencies.
“We have enacted supply chain surveillance to several products across our program manager offices, JPEO, SMCA, and OSD,” said Wong. “We will continue to monitor and coordinate solutions to resolve Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Materials Shortages for several critical products. The mitigations and resolutions we develop today will provide supply chain assurance immediately and long-term.”
“This is the kind of effort we need from not only the Single Manager, but from the services as well,” said Boruff. “If you see something, please let us know so we can assist. We want to get ahead of the problem before it becomes a problem.”
Gardner expressed his gratitude to the Services for prioritizing this semi-annual forum as the session ended.
“The JOCG provides a rare opportunity for not only the JOCG Principals, but also for attendees across the enterprise to gather in one forum to help drive our desired effects,” Gardner said. “It is our responsibility to leverage this joint forum to drive where we are going as a DoD enterprise, and it is the decisions and discussions that take place during these meetings that allow that to happen.”