The U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command hosted its annual 101 for Missiles March 1-2 and it arguably could not have come at a more relevant time.
AMCOM and the Army missile community come together annually to discuss support to warfighters around the world.
Maj. Gen. Todd Royar, AMCOM commander, provided opening remarks in a hybrid forum to nearly 100 attendees March 1 from Bob Jones Auditorium at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. Attendance was up from the 80 who registered in 2021.
“We all see what’s going on currently in the news today – no surprise. If you read open source, there’s a lot of discussion on missiles, a lot of discussions on air superiority, a lot of discussion about contested air defense capabilities that are out there,” he said. “Consequently, there are some implications that I think we have inside of large-scale combat operations that make a difference on the sustainment.”
The AMCOM commander outlined potential sustainment implications of large-scale combat operations.
- Units go to combat with what they have so they must take care of the equipment they have. “We cannot treat our equipment as the rental car fleet – and I’m not saying that you do,” Royar said. “Every part counts; every dollar counts.”
- There may be condensed reception, staging, onward movement and integration period. “We have to be good from Day One,” he said. He referenced how often units show up at combat training center rotations or other field exercises only to discover equipment deficiencies or outdated software, then are forced to scramble to get field service representatives to help fix the issue. “If we have to go into large-scale operations, the quantity of those folks … will be outpaced by the number of units asking.
- Operational tempo may require frequent movement for some of the mobile systems. “You're going to be moving a lot and moving often, which means that your [preventive maintenance checks and services] –becomes ever so more critical … because none of us can afford to have the broken-down vehicle that was critical to the fight not make it from X to Y because you need that capability there. PMCS does not happen by accident – you’ve got to train.”
- There may be contested supply lines. “We have a lot of things, a lot of pieces and parts that are moving; the enemy will always get a vote, which means that if we do not troubleshoot wisely, we are not only maybe asking for the wrong thing or asking for it twice – that puts an additional stress on the supply lines,” Royar said. “So we want to make sure that our team is as good as they possibly can be in troubleshooting to make sure that when something does break – and things will – that we’re asking for the exact right part to make sure that we do it in a way not only to minimize the downtime but also reduce the stress on those supply lines.”
AMCOM Missile Maintenance Officer Chief Warrant 5 Araceli Rial provided a System of Systems readiness reporting update overview of and facilitated a demonstration of the capability. The SoS was designed to address reporting problems that have been specific to air defense, but it could be used on a larger scale in the future.
“We've been talking a lot about sustainment and readiness and capturing readiness,” Rial said. “A lot of that has to do with the mechanisms: Do we have the right mechanisms in place to do that? Does the Soldier have the right mechanisms to capture this information?”
Part of that exploration, Rial said, was searching for those areas that are a challenge.
“In the air defense, community, readiness reporting was problematic and for you maintainers that are out there, I don't have to tell you that process,” she said. “You live it every single day; the manual reporting, the swivel-chair entry – that's a real thing to you.”
An offline system is currently used that requires Soldiers to manually input data for daily reporting, it isn’t an Army-wide system.
A couple years ago AMCOM spearheaded an effort to tackle the issue.
“Over time, we were able to come up with something that is a capability with a single point of entry from the Soldier at near-real time. So that way, the visibility is stretched across the entire enterprise, not just [in one system].”
In addition to AMCOM leaders, attendees heard from U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Commander Lt. Gen. Daniel Karbler, U.S. Army Air and Missile Defense, Program Executive Officer for Missiles and Space Maj. Gen. Robert Rasch, Cross Functional Team Chief of Staff Col. Michael Hartley and Letterkenny Army Depot Commander Col. Rick Allbritton.
“This is an amazing team strengthening forum between AMCOM and [air and missile defense] enterprise to ensure the continued readiness of the [Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense] enterprise and Soldiers defending our great nation,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Finis Dodson, SMDC command sergeant major.
“As the senior Army ammunition logistician in the Pacific theater, the overview briefs provided by each of the strategic partners, AMD CFT and LEAD were invaluable in that the information presented during each session provided insight into the existing and emergent strike and missile defense capabilities, as well as the roles and activities of the Army organic and commercial industry base partners,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Zachary Keough, U.S. Army Pacific G-4 Munitions Directorate.