Modernization and transformation of PME at the LNCOA: Innovative training to sustain the force across multiple domains

By Sgt. First Class Fernando D. RamirezFebruary 22, 2024

AMC senior enlisted leader holds Sustainment Leading Change Summit
The Sergeant Major of the Army, Sgt. Maj. of the Army Michael Weimer, virtually spoke with more than 65 Army Sustainment Enterprise nominative command sergeants major and sergeants major attended the event about sustainment operations and initiatives during the Sustainment Leading Change Summit Dec. 12-13, at Fort Gregg-Adams, Va. The SLCS is a platform that codifies requirements that are synchronized with the four focus areas of Warfighting, Delivering Ready Combat Formations, Transformation in Contact, and Strengthening the Profession. The summit allows senior leaders to share lessons learned and best practices across multi-domain operational environments in support of large-scale combat operations. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Maj. Shelia Fourman) VIEW ORIGINAL

Transforming Army Sustainment for a Contested Strategic Environment

The evolving strategic landscape poses growing concerns for the United States, particularly in dealing with contested Sustainment across diverse domains. Consequently, professionals in Army sustainment are undergoing training aimed at transitioning beyond the parameters outlined in the Army Design of 2028. The Logistics Noncommissioned Officer Academy (LNCOA) at the Army Sustainment University (ASU) stands as a vanguard in this transition. It prioritizes the development of a forward-thinking, contemporary, and certified Sustainment NCO cohort, geared towards achieving success across various operational landscapes.

Advancing Military Training: Innovating Deployment Strategies for Modern Combat Operations

The LNCOA’s Army Virtual Learning Environment initiatives stands as a pioneering for force in cutting-edge training methodologies. Collaborating closely with the academy, the Transportation Corps is actively engaged in crafting an integrated Joint Battle Command-Platform and Command Post Computing Environment Deployment Exercise. This exercise is strategically designed to replicate the intricate process of deploying equipment into an operational theater, constituting a hands-on Professional Military Education (PME) initiative tailored to address the evolving needs of our students. Its primary objective is to equip our forces for Large Scale Combat Operations and streamline brigade deployment procedures.

Through a unified endeavor, students will engage in practical training via virtual reality platform within an immersive learning setting. This simulation aims to familiarize participants with the inherent challenges of Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, and Joint Logistics Over the Shore scenarios. Successful completion of this comprehensive training program will yield highly proficient multifunctional logisticians, equipped to navigate, and effectively manage the complexities of transporting forces in today's fiercely competitive sustainment landscape.

Empowering Data-Centric Military Operations

As part of the modernization drive in the fiscal year 2024, there is a specific focus on the Automated Logistical Specialist (MOS 92A) field. Both the Senior Leader Course and Advanced Leader Course are presently undergoing revisions, incorporating advanced Data Analytics and Visualization processes into their Program of Instruction.

This strategic shift aims to equip NCOs, including strategic planners, combat medics, and leaders, with comprehensive skills in data analysis. This initiative fosters a unified understanding of operational insights and enhances the collective capacity to predict, monitor, and effectively provide critical logistical resources. By integrating data analysis within PME, students will gain knowledge in efficiently retrieving and analyzing data, empowering them to assist commanders in the decision-making process.

This progressive approach aligns with the Army G4's goal of cultivating analytical expertise and fostering a culture valuing intelligent data utilization. The revised POI will incorporate training modules covering statistics, data visualization, and data analysis. Ultimately, our objective is to cultivate the caliber of NCOs equipped to elevate sustainment forecasting and predictive logistics within the Army's operational framework.

Revolutionizing Education and Credentialing

The LNCOA and ASU are spearheading a paradigm shift in educational approaches. The traditional pursuit of graduate certificates no longer suffices in our contemporary challenging environment. There's an increasing demand for multifunctional Noncommissioned Officers (NCOs) not only proficient in their career domains but also holding recognized credentials to immediately contribute effectively to the Army’s mission.

Our academy has collaborated extensively with the Ordnance, Quartermaster, and Transportation Corps, devising innovative methods to enhance skill sets and confer industry-recognized credentials to our graduates during their academic tenure. A noteworthy partnership between LNCOA and the Transportation Proponent has led to providing Maritime 88K (Watercraft Operator) and 88L (Watercraft Engineer) students with vouchers for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential. This credential, mandated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act, is essential for individuals needing access to secure maritime facilities.

Similarly, the LNCOA, in collaboration with the Ordnance Proponent, facilitated the Automotive Service Excellence credentialing through localized testing for its students and cadre. ASE accreditation attests to a maintainer's proficiency and expertise in vehicle service repairs, also correlating with higher wages in the private sector.

During the fiscal year 2023, LNCOA effectively accredited more than 2,100 students and cadre across a range of certifications, encompassing Certified Logistics Associate/Technician, Demonstrated Logistician, and various electronic and maintenance credentials. These collective endeavors are geared toward cultivating highly skilled and well-prepared Sustainers equipped for the demands of today's operational scenarios.

Evolution Beyond Traditional Training for Operational Victory

The Army Sustainment University, housing the largest Noncommissioned Officer Academy, is steadfast in its commitment to furnishing a prepared force aligned with our nation’s objectives. Our collective pursuit involves innovative Sustainment training, ongoing modernization, and the integration of credentialing. This shift in training methodologies beyond the vision outlined for the Army in 2028 is imperative to develop agile and competent Sustainers proficient in navigating the complexities of contested combat situations, thereby ensuring a path to victory.

The LNCOA and ASU's groundbreaking educational strategies and emphasis on credentialing underscore the necessity to evolve beyond traditional educational paradigms. The goal is to equip NCOs with domain expertise and recognized credentials to effectively contribute in today's challenging operational environments.