Army launches 15-year modernization plan

By Megan GullyNovember 20, 2023

Army launches 15-year modernization plan
Marion Whicker, Army Materiel Command executive deputy to the commanding general, provides remarks during a bi-annual war game at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, Nov. 14-16, 2023. The war game included leaders around the Army and underlined the importance of execution across the Organic Industrial Base. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Megan Gully) VIEW ORIGINAL

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. — After more than two years of strategic planning, the Army’s Organic Industrial Base finds itself at the forefront of modernization as it begins execution of its 15-year Modernization Implementation Plan.

Following the fiscal year 2024 kickoff, a biannual war game held Nov. 14-16 at Redstone Arsenal including leaders around the Army underlined the importance of execution across the OIB.

“The Army is driving the OIB Modernization plan,” Army Materiel Command’s top civilian Marion Whicker said about the OIB MIP which will modernize facilities, processes and the workforce to bring the OIB into the 21st century. “Success comes from honoring your commitments; we had this plan approved very quickly because the Army put forth a developed strategy and we honored our commitments.”

The OIB is the backbone of the Army’s sustainment capabilities, responsible for maintaining, repairing and overhauling equipment critical to mission success. Some modernization projects started ahead of the planned FY24 start due to additional funding the Army received connected to ammunition production, including efforts to accelerate 155 mm production. With that money, the Army’s artillery production doubled in the last year with the service currently producing 28,000 155-millimeter howitzer rounds a month.

“Last year we had requests asking what money do you need, and because we were ready to execute, we received that additional money,” Whicker said. “That is because we had a plan. We were able to execute quickly, and the Army was able to tell Congress what output we were creating.”

Throughout this year, the Army expanded production at these facilities including Scranton Army Ammunition Plant, Iowa Army Ammunition Plant, Radford Army Ammunition Plant and the Holston Army Ammunition Plant. By constructing new buildings, installing new equipment and improving automation, these upgrades helped double the Army’s artillery production rate.

“It is important that we do this meeting twice a year so we don’t lose focus and because the world changes that quickly,” said Whicker who underlined that the sites are ready to execute when they receive funding. “AMC’s OIB Modernization Task Force are the integrators of this plan. You — the LCMCs — are the executors, and there needs to be no daylight between the two.”

The war game was the sixth hosted by AMC and the largest group to attend the discussion, said Stephanie Hoaglin, AMC OIB Modernization Task Force director.

“The visibility of what we are doing here continues to grow and we continue to find additional stakeholders that we need to involve in our planning process as well,” Hoaglin said.