FORT LEE, Va. – Stalled by COVID since 2019, the Sustainment Warfighting Forum made its comeback here Tuesday, drawing more than 300 in-person and virtual attendees from across the Army, including the Reserve and National Guard components.
In opening remarks, Gen. Ed Daly, commanding general of Army Materiel Command, underscored the importance of the event, noting that the Army is undergoing “its largest transformation in 40 years” and the sustainment community must do the same.
“What we do know about logistics and sustainment is that if it lags behind and does not enable operational reach, freedom of action and prolonged endurance, then it becomes a limitation on the battlefield,” Daly said. “We can’t have the Army transform and not the sustainment warfighting function capabilities.”
The forum, Daly pointed out, brings the “right people together” to engage in conversation, share expertise and facilitate actions that ensure the success of Army modernization objectives.
“This is our opportunity to step back and think, ‘What are we missing? What are we not seeing? What are the gaps that are being created or the [shortcomings] that we need to get ahead of?’ Everybody has a responsibility here. Everybody has a speaking role.”
The presentations that followed focused on topics such as Army modernization, the restructuring of forward combat elements, sustainer training and talent management, the Army’s new field manual (FM 4.0) for sustainment operations, and the projected role-out of new heavy transport and bulk fuel delivery assets.
As the first day of the forum ended, Maj. Gen. Mark T. Simerly, commanding general of the Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee, expressed appreciation for the participants and the many presenters who shared their expertise.
“Clearly, we had some great conversations today,” he said, “and that’s what the forum is all about – the coming together of sustainment leaders and professionals to share ideas that will be foundational to our future. What an honor it is to host this event that sets the tone for everything we need to do to support the Army of the future.”
The forum is a cornerstone attraction of Sustainment Week, an annual observance that also includes ceremonial events honoring past and present Ordnance, Quartermaster and Transportation Soldiers and DA Civilians (livestream recordings available at www.facebook.com/USACASCOM). A sustainment social took place Tuesday evening at the Lee Club. Army Senior Leader breakout sessions are set for Thursday.
“In connection with Sustainment Week, I want everyone to know how immensely proud I am of the mission we accomplish here,” Simerly offered as a final thought. “It’s across Fort Lee and not just CASCOM. We all make a difference that is of huge importance to the Army, and I recognize that high level of service and commitment every day.”