ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - Army Sustainment Command's Distribution Management Center, hosted a working group Sept. 20-22, focusing on the command's newest capability: Lead Materiel Integrator

Organizers said the purpose of the working group was to determine roles, responsibilities and permissions for LMI and its supporting system, the Decision Support Tool.

LMI is a new method of operating the Army's materiel distribution and redistribution processes. Under this new approach, a single manager will ensure units and their Soldiers have the right equipment in the right condition at the right time and place to accomplish their missions.

Brig. Gen. Brian Layer, ASC deputy commanding general, opened the working group by explaining what participants needed to accomplish during the two-day span.

"This week we have two things we need to accomplish: One is something we refer to as the 'last tactical mile,' which is how the Soldier in [a supported] unit will interface with the Decision Support Tool and what that will mean," he said. "The other is the 'last strategic mile,' which is how the policies, authorities and procedures will work at the big Army level."

Layer said most of the work would be consensus and agreement on the processes that have already been tried and tested. "There may be some issues that will be difficult, since we probably will come up with a question or two we have not thought of before -and we need to get those answered," he said.

Col. Victor Harmon, DMC commander, hosted the LMI side of the working group.

"We are leading the working group to determine the roles, responsibilities, procedures and authorities for LMI," Harmon said. "The goal is once we come out of here, we have a document that has been vetted and approved by all stakeholders."

Col. Randy Rosenberg, division chief for the DMC's Distribution Integration Division, is working the same tasks with the Decision Support Tool.

"The DST is more on the technical aspect of who has permission to read and who has permission to edit. We are going to come up with a consensus on who has what roles, responsibilities, permissions, in regards to the DST, and the mission we are going to be doing here at ASC," Rosenberg said.

Layer asked working group participants to remember LMI is a project meant to serve the entire Army. "This is a team project - no winners no losers," he said."We are just trying to get this right so as we move into the future, it works for everybody."

Meeting organizers said the overall goal for this working group, and for the entire LMI process, was to open communication, improve collaboration and eliminate redundancies in materiel management.

"It's a lot of hard work but we've got to move forward," said Rosenberg.