Don Nitti, the deputy to the commanding general of the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, participated in the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce Redstone Update Dec. 8.
The annual event was held at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Local elected officials, as well as business and community leaders, attended the update to learn about current progress and future goals of Redstone Arsenal tenant organizations.
Nitti represented AMCOM on a “synergy panel,” which also included representatives from Space and Missile Defense Command, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation and Missile Center, and the Missile and Space Intelligence Center.
Nitti provided a brief overview of the AMCOM mission and then spoke about initiatives in the areas of training, readiness and modernization.
“Our workforce is composed of approximately 7,600 government and military employees and approximately 2,900 contractors who work across 77 different locations worldwide,” he said. “About 30% of our government workforce and about 70% of our contractor workforce is located right here in the Huntsville area.”
Nitti noted the various recruitment mechanisms AMCOM uses to build and develop its diverse workforce, from internships and virtual job fairs, to training opportunities, such as the new high velocity training program.
Currently in development in conjunction with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the training program will focus on cross-training and certifying artisans with blue-color manufacturing skills. It is scheduled to launch in late 2022.
Regarding readiness, Nitti said that even with the well-documented 2021 supply chain challenges, AMCOM was able to maintain nearly 90% supply availability.
He said, “Over the last year, our item managers in our AMCOM Logistics Center, in very close coordination with the Defense Logistics Agency and all of our industry partners, have done a phenomenal job maintaining the health of our aviation and missile supply chain.”
He also highlighted readiness initiatives at Corpus Christi Army Depot in Texas and Letterkenny Army Depot in Pennsylvania, specifically the recapitalization of 19 UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters at CCAD and the RECAP/Reset of three PATRIOT battalions at LEAD.
However, modernization initiatives were the focal point of Nitti’s comments.
“As we look to the future, our initiatives will help build and sustain the future force,” he said.
During FY21, CCAD fielded the first eight UH-60V helicopters, the latest version of the Blackhawk, and it is postured to field 30 by the end of FY22. LEAD is working to modify the cab for the first 18 Extended Range Artillery Cannon Systems, a priority modernization program for the Army. AMCOM-wide, the focus is on the Army Materiel Command initiative of Organic Industrial Base modernization.
“We are developing a 15-year strategy to revitalize our Organic Industrial Base and bring it to a 21st century capability to support our future systems — that includes everything from upgraded facilities, to new capabilities, and advanced technologies like robotics and advanced manufacturing,” Nitti said.
As an example of an advanced manufacturing project, he said AMCOM is producing a digital twin of the UH-60 Blackhawk, which involves disassembling the airframe, scanning the structures, taking 2D drawings and converting them to 3D models. This process will allow AMCOM to source parts no longer in production.
Nitti encouraged industry partners and companies to submit projects for the Army Working Capital Investment Fund, which is an opportunity to assist the Army with solving sustainment challenges. The nomination window for FY23 projects will open in February 2022 with the focus on projects that will help mitigate obsolescence, reduce sustainment costs and improve reliability.