Hamilton delivers vision for materiel enterprise

By Alyssa CrockettApril 3, 2023

Hamilton delivers vision for materiel enterprise
Gen. Charles Hamilton, Army Materiel Command commanding general, provides keynote remarks during Association of the U.S. Army Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama March 30, 2023. (Photo Credit: Eben Boothby) VIEW ORIGINAL

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. – The ability to anticipate and equip the joint warfighter’s needs will be essential for future readiness in crisis and conflict, and Army Materiel Command is at the forefront modernizing the way it looks at delivering sustainment and materiel readiness to the joint force.

“Sustainment is about warfighting, period,” said Gen. Charles Hamilton, Army Materiel Command commanding general, during a March 30 keynote speech at the Association of the U.S. Army Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama. “Sustainment has and will continue to be bad for the adversary.”

Hamilton, who focused most of his remarks on his vision for the future of the sustainment enterprise, said it is transforming its strategies to meet the needs of a Multi-Domain Operations-capable and ready force.

“We’re modernizing our training, our processes, our skillsets, and our infrastructure to support and sustain these next-generation systems. Advancements in Sensor to Shooter to Sustainer capabilities will enable us to transition from reactive logistics to what we call predictive logistics,” he said.

Hamilton said modernization is more than weapon systems, and one such way the force needs to modernize is to better leverage predictive logistics. Through data analytics, commanders will be able to use information at the strategic and operational levels from sensors to deliver precision sustainment to the tactical level at their fingertips.

“Data is now a commander’s business, and senior leaders across the joint force are calling data a new form of ammunition,” said Hamilton.

The future of the operational environment will look different from the past. Units will be “more dispersed and disconnected,” according to Hamilton, and located in austere areas that will be difficult to resupply. Through data, sustainers will be able to provide precision logistics with the ability to predict when and where deliveries and resupplies must be made.

“It’s about changing the way we look at data – from measuring the past to predicting the future. Data must now serve as a readiness asset,” Hamilton said. “It’s clear to me that data-enabled decisions will decide future battles.”

Calling for progressive expansion on predictive sustainment and logistics, Hamilton described analytics as evolutionary change that must continue to evolve with no end state in mind.

Collaboration between the joint force will be critical to sustaining the warfighter and can be achieved through non-traditional modes such as artificial intelligence, autonomous and unmanned air resupply. These improved actions will increase readiness, planning, distribution and a resilient supply chain.

“Commanders are going to be equipped with networked sensors that will monitor every aspect of their sustainment needs as they maneuver,” Hamilton said.

Agile positioning of modernized assets, such as Army Prepositioned Stocks, will also serve as a combat enabler that provide strategic depth for sustainment without a cold start to logistics.

“Critical to setting the theater is prepositioning people, munitions and equipment, including combat enablers such as sustainment, to provide the right effects at speed and scale. Equipment must be modernized and maintained at a high state of readiness, with each Army Prepositioned Stocks set tailored to support geographic combatant commander requirements,” Hamilton said.

Though data analytics and predictive logistics are substantial, a key part of the effort is talent. Referencing the newly announced Contested Logistics Cross-Functional Team, which will be located at Redstone Arsenal, Hamilton noted that the team will continue to strengthen the Army’s ability to provide logistics and sustainment in support of the joint force.

“These efforts will continue to strengthen the Army’s ability to provide logistics and sustainment in support of the Joint Force as we leverage experimentation, wargames, and exercises to identify critical capability gaps and shortfalls,” he said.

AMC is also strengthening and protecting critical sustainment capabilities that go beyond the battlefield, including support to Organic Industrial Base modernization, barracks construction, improved childcare and restoration of readiness facilities.

The OIB, comprised of 23 depots, arsenals and ammunition plants manufactures and resets Army equipment. The Army is investing in a 15-year, $18.1 billion effort to update and upgrade the facilities to generate readiness and operational capability.

“We’re making the right investments in the right facilities and infrastructure for quality of life, power projection, and training,” Hamilton said.