By Ms. Barbara A Toner (AMC)January 29, 2010
Commanders Conference a dialogue among ASC leadership
Maj. Gen. Yves Fontaine, Army Sustainment Command commanding general, opened the ASC Commanders Conference by emphasizing the need for dialogue among the organization's leaders.
He also outlined his agenda for the week of Jan. 19-22:
- discussing friction points the Army Field Support Brigade commanders are experiencing
- looking at the future of the command and its mission
- creating awareness of what private businesses, Army Reserve support units, Army contracting organizations and the Logistics Civilian Augmentation Program can do to support the AFSBs.
The conference took place at ASC headquarters located at Rock Island Arsenal, Ill. It is a quarterly opportunity for the ASC commanding general, AFSB commanders and command sergeants major to come together to discuss issues and share successes.
In addition to the general meetings, participants had the opportunity to meet individually with Fontaine and other ASC staff members.
As ASC leadership assembled, each participant had his or her own expectations for the conference.
"I thought it would be a great opportunity for General Fontaine and the commanders and the sergeants major of ASC to exchange information, hear General Fontaine's philosophy; put into action, if you will, the command's way ahead," said Col. Rebecca Jones, 407th AFSB, Fort Hood, Texas, commander.
The first day focused on Fontaine's expectations and vision for the next two years and beyond. The group also learned more about the ASC headquarters staff offices, their responsibilities and how they support the AFSBs.
The group grew in number and rank on Jan. 20 with the participation of general officers representing the 377th and 167th Theater Sustainment Commands; Mission and Installation Contract Command; Reserve Affairs; LOGCAP; and Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. The AFSB commanders explained their missions and responsibilities for the general officers. They also provided the commanders with an awareness of the AFSBs' missions and support capabilities.
The discussion proved to be important not only to the AFSB commanders but to the general officers.
"I don't often get a chance to see the AFSB commanders in person, especially the guys in-theater, and then to have them lay out all their concerns. Yes, this is very valuable," said Army Reserve Maj. Gen. George R. Harris, assistant military deputy, ASA/ALT. Harris has been on active duty at the Pentagon since November 2007.
"I guess it's a rare occasion that the ASA/ALT actually is able to send a GO out here to one of these kinds of forums, but we'll make sure that continues to happen in the future," he said.
The third day featured a round table discussion with ASC leadership and representatives from private companies that do business with the Army. Companies represented included Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc.; Defense Maintenance and Logistics Group URS Corp.; Mantech International Corp.; Global Property Management Support Services; and AECOM Government Services.
The discussion centered on the topics of expectations vs. the requirements stated in military contracts. The business leaders stressed writing scopes of work carefully to make sure that what is required is fully expressed in the contract. The group also discussed issues concerning constantly changing requirements in a wartime environment. Fontaine talked about the need to enforce standards on both the business and military sides.
The rest of the week's activities were devoted to one-on-one meetings between AFSB leadership and ASC staff. The group also found the time to meet informally during a casual dinner at Fontaine's residence and a social outing at Lavender Crest Winery in Colona, Ill.