REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. --The U.S. Army Materiel Command hosted its second annual Condition Based Maintenance, or CBM, Summit here Jan. 18-20.

"The conference was designed to streamline CBM under an AMC lead enterprise approach and identify issues and a path forward," said Anthony Lee, AMC condition based maintenance action officer.

Previously, all of the Life Cycle Management Commands were working CBM separately as it related to the weapon systems each maintained and the conference provided an opportunity for the commands to come together.

CBM is the use of processes, technology and practical knowledge to maintain the effectiveness of a system such as a tank or an aircraft.

"Just as a vehicle has a sensor to notify the driver of possible issues with a vehicle prior to a breakdown, Condition Based Maintenance utilizes similar technology to notify the Soldier of the same," explained Lee.

Properly using CBM is intended to increase combat power in terms of availability and readiness for the combat operations, throughout the life of a weapon system.

"CBM is to the future of the Army, it's going to help us save money, it's going to improve readiness, saves Soldiers lives, and make the Soldier's job easier," said Jim Dwyer, AMC Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, G-4. "We'll be able to tell a Soldier what's failing on his piece of equipment. We can focus the Soldier's time so he doesn't have to walk around his entire vehicle. We'll be able to tell him what's wrong and what needs to be fixed first."

In addition to saving time, CBM has already saved lives in aviation maintenance.

There are examples in the aviation side, where CBM highlighted parts on an aircraft that were about to fail. The information was relayed to the unit and the aircraft was safely grounded. It was identified that within the next 5 hours of flight that part would have failed, which would have been a catastrophic failure and the helicopter would have crashed -- that saved lives, according to Dwyer.

The conference also included roundtable discussions, breakout session and technical demonstrations.

AMC operates in four core competencies: equip, enable, integrate, and sustain. CBM is a function within AMC's efforts to sustain weapon systems from 'cradle to grave'.

The U.S. Army Materiel Command is the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness -- technology, acquisition support, materiel development, logistics power projection, and sustainment -- to the total force, across the spectrum of joint military operations. If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC provides it.