ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - The Distribution Management Center, under the Army Sustainment Command, hosted a mission rehearsal exercise Dec. 5-8, focusing on the Lead Materiel Integrator (LMI), a division under the DMC. The purpose of the exercise was to ensure a smooth transfer of functions from the Department of the Army G-8 (Resource Management) to the DMC.

"The decision to shift responsibilities and to create LMI was made by Army leadership," said Brig. Gen. Brian Layer, ASC deputy commanding general for sustainment and mission rehearsal exercise director. "The intent was to move some of the day to day execution of equipping the Army outside of the Pentagon."

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

Layer said that LMI authority rests with the Army Materiel Command, ASC's higher headquarters, and that ASC is the executing agent.

"As the executing agent our mission is to meet the equipping needs of Army units and Soldiers for their specified training and operational missions; by doing so, we ensure the Army makes the most out of its materiel investment," said Layer. "While our primary focus at Rock Island is redistribution of fielded equipment, we coordinate with stakeholders across Acquisition, Logistics and Technology community to ensure our Soldiers get the equipment they need whenever and wherever they need it and remain the best equipped in the world."

The Department of the Army G-8 conducted the mission rehearsal exercise, evaluating the skill-set, as it is now, of the current workforce through a week-long training exercise. The objective was to ensure planning is on track to certify ASC on seven lines of operation. These lines were identified to have roles transferring from the Department of the Army G-8 to ASC.

"Right now we are being evaluated by the Department of the Army G-8 and this exercise deals with the transfer of the equipping mission, specifically to my Distribution Management Team who is actually going to do that mission," said Col. Victor Harmon, DMC commander.

The seven lines of operation range from equipping Army Force Generation units to source approved actions. This means LMI will be responsible for synchronizing, recommending, executing and tracking distribution and redistribution of materiel sourcing solutions. In other words, LMI is responsible for making sure Soldiers in the field have the equipment they need to get the job done.

"The one thing the Department of the Army G-8 wants is for LMI to be successful," said Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo, DA G-8 director of Force Development and mission rehearsal exercise director, "and you [ASC] are perfectly positioned to equip the Army."

Before training began, the lines of operation were on track for mission transfer; however, staff was not fully trained on every aspect of those functional areas. The goal of the exercise was to train the staff in all of these areas and make sure everyone and everything is prepared for complete transfer in February.

"We see this as a long journey, and just when the green flag drops on Feb. 15, we aren't running by ourselves," said Harmon. "This is a team effort between Department of the Army G-8 and ASC, the entire way."

At the end of the evaluation, ASC and the Department of the Army G-8 identified the strengths and the weaknesses of the LMI process. Eric Turner, DA G-8 representative, stressed no big issues identified during the exercise. "There are no show-stopping weaknesses" he said.

The Department of the Army G-8 recommended certifying ASC on transferring all lines of operation.

Maj. Gen. Patricia McQuistion, ASC commanding general informed Gen. Ann Dunwoody, commanding general of Army Materiel Command the results of the training exercise.

"I'm extremely proud to announce that ASC was certified as fully trained in all seven lines of operation by the Department of the Army G-8, The United States Army Forces Command and AMC," said McQuistion. "The LMI team met or exceeded all requirements during the exercise and the results were truly a team effort between those involved."