You hear it often enough, but what is the Materiel Enterprise' Army Materiel Command recently delivered this explanation, which was printed in the Army's Stand-To! bulletin:

The Materiel Enterprise (ME) is one of the Army's four core enterprises and is responsible for materiel management from concept to combat. The ME brings together all of the organizations and stakeholders involved in providing materiel solutions for our Soldiers. It incorporates all the materiel life cycle functions to include research, development, acquisition, testing, distribution, supply, maintenance, industrial base operations and disposal. The goal is to provide Army leadership with information and analysis to enable them to make sound decisions. The ME leaders, the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ALT), Dean G. Popps, and the commanding general, U.S. Army Materiel Command, Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody have moved out to adopt an enterprise approach.

Why is it important to the Army'

At the strategic level, the ME must deliver and sustain equipment readiness. Additionally, we must synchronize our efforts with the other core enterprises so that we protect Soldier dwell time and contribute to preserving the all-volunteer force. At the operational level, the ME provides the most effective and sustainable equipment for Soldiers and units at the right place and time.

How does the Materiel Enterprise operate'

The ME is all about communication, cooperation and collaboration. The intent is to achieve transparency across the entire organization - its people, processes, capabilities and components. The ME established two forums that allow stakeholders to collaborate on materiel lifecycle efforts. The Materiel Enterprise Executive Forum is responsible for setting the strategic direction and priorities for the ME. The Materiel Enterprise Collaboration Council is responsible for the integration of functions across the enterprise and synchronizing ME efforts with the other core enterprises.

What is the Materiel Enterprise doing'

The ME launched several initiatives that provide the necessary visibility to develop effective and efficient solutions. Examples include the Materiel Enterprise Portal (MEP) - an ASA(ALT)-AMC collaborative effort to forge materiel and logistics solutions to meet the immediate needs of warfighters in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the launching of Portfolio Reviews, an effort that enables a common operating picture of Program Executive Office (PEO) and Life Cycle Management Commands' areas of responsibilities and product lines.

What's ahead'

Through the improved communication and collaboration that the ME brings, we will ensure innovative, effective, efficient and sustainable equipment to provide our warfighters with the decisive edge.

Editor's note: Army Sustainment Command is in the thick of the Materiel Enterprise. From the headquarters through its seven brigades, right on to the smallest brigade logistics support team working alongside deployed forces, ASC Soldiers, civilian employees and contractors are the face of the Materiel Enterprise. ASC's motto says it all: "On the Line" ... When forces in the field need materiel solutions, they start with us.