CECOM leaders highlight sustainment enterprise efforts

By Troy SaundersMarch 7, 2024

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Fort Liberty, N.C. — Modernization, funding, readiness and talent management were among the topics U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command leaders shared here with Army Materiel Command Commanding General Gen. Charles Hamilton, Feb. 22.

Hamilton’s visit was part of an AMC major subordinate command update to inform the Army’s senior sustainer about ongoing initiatives, main lines of effort, and priorities, as well as to seek his assistance and guidance.

CECOM Commander Maj. Gen. Robert L. Edmonson II joined Hamilton and AMC staff, along with leaders from CECOM subordinate commands, who led presentation update briefs on their respective organizations. This update was unique in that it was the first conducted at Fort Liberty, home to the Tobyhanna Forward Repair Area.

“It was a really good conversation,” said Edmonson. “[There,] we were able to hold up one piece of equipment and explain to Gen. Hamilton just how we’re delivering sustainment to units on the ground across the Army, and the ways in which we create and deliver readiness for the units that are part of XVIII Airborne Corps.”

CECOM’s Integrated Logistics Center Director Nicole Osaghae outlined the command’s Transition-to-Sustainment process, highlighting the importance of implementing a proactive, conditions-based T2S to shape, align, and reconcile product support strategies to the Army’s Large Scale Combat Operations framework. She also emphasized the importance of ensuring lifecycle product support plans are in place for all fielded capabilities, and that CECOM’s collaborative efforts with Army Combined Arms Support Command ensure support plans are in alignment.

Tobyhanna Army Depot Commander Col. James Crocker provided a recent example of how telemaintenance greatly increased his command’s support in Europe using a 3-tier system, which allowed for remote maintenance and training capabilities, decreasing the need for in-person support in a potentially contested area.

The command’s recent equipment parts harvesting effort at the Fort Liberty FRA location as part of AMC’s Rapid Removal of Excess pilot program was also discussed, with Osaghae detailing what leaders saw and learned during the R2E process. She described how the units’ feedback would help inform and influence the next iteration of R2E, scheduled at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

CECOM’s Software Engineering Center Director Garrett Shoemaker explained the paradigm shift the Army is experiencing in handling software, highlighting the way in which the force must rapidly keep its systems, such as the Electronic Warfare (EW) Threat Response, updated to enable the competitive advantage on the battlefield.

Shoemaker described how as the Army leans further into the Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) model for software, his team has witnessed SEC’s Software Readiness Officers embedded within every facet of the Army, greatly aiding units and commanders. He described how this embedding can allow a greater understanding of the readiness rates for software updates and cyber patching, providing a clearer depiction of Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) readiness for military leaders.

. He added that while there are still some systems that SEC supports in the traditional model of software integration and delivery, CECOM will begin further leveraging software as a service to provide SEC’s expertise on a reimbursable basis.

Shoemaker noted that the rest of the Army is looking at how the AMC enterprise has created and improved readiness tools specifically for software, seeking to use that as a foundation for the entirety of Army software moving forward. This would ensure that the SEC remain the premier software provider for the Army.

Switching focus to the anticipated FRA discussion, Crocker highlighted the five FRAs CECOM has established across the globe, including at Fort Liberty. He described how the FRA teams provide the field invaluable and on-site support, maintenance, testing, repair, screening, warranty, and unit configuration issues for the critical C5ISR systems that are T2S and non-T2S, to include non-Program of Record systems.

Hamilton acknowledged the capability CECOM is providing to the nation’s warfighters and the positive impact FRAs are having across the globe.

“We really got after it,” said Edmonson. “We got into T2S, R2E, telemaintenance, our FRA capability and software readiness – and more importantly, what we need to look like tomorrow. It allows us the unique opportunity to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask: ‘what are we for and what do we do, and are we aligned to the larger lines of effort in the Army and AMC?’”

Edmonson said that CECOM is moving in the right direction, and described what he would like for his command to retain following the update to their higher headquarters.

“The biggest takeaway I’d like to share is we began to realize that as the Army environment around us is changing, specifically the way the Army procures, maintains, and sustains different types of equipment, it has put us in a good position to be the ones that can orchestrate,” he said.

Hamilton ended the update by expressing his appreciation to all the staff who made this update possible, as well as towards all of CECOM for the incredible work they accomplish on behalf of the warfighter.