By Jim Hughes, Command Information OfficerFebruary 2, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Feb. 2, 2012) -- A 1985 flight school student accepted the charter to become the new U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Capabilities Manager-Unmanned Aircraft Systems during a change of charter ceremony Jan. 27 at The Landing.
Col. Grant A. Webb accepted the charter from Maj. Gen. Anthony G. Crutchfield, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, after Col. Robert J. Sova relinquished it at the event.
"The No. 1 reason we're here is to honor the Sovas, and say 'thank you' for the hard work you've done in supporting our Soldiers that are in the fight and those that are preparing for the fight," Crutchfield said. "And that's basically what I told Grant -- 'that's your charter.' I don't necessarily worry about what is written, but your charter is to support and to prepare Soldiers in the fight and the ones preparing to go into the fight so they come back to their Families -- that's your charter."
Webb comes to Fort Rucker this time after a tour as the Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence commander at Creech Air Force Base, Nev.
"Judy and I are thrilled to be coming back to the Fort Rucker community," Webb said. "At Creech, I've had probably about a dozen officers in different uniforms than ours approach me privately and tell me how good they thought the Army's UAS program was going -- coordination between senior leadership, the TCM, the (project manager), and all the accomplishments that occurred under Rob's watch. The joint community sees it out there and they are impressed.
"My pledge to day is to keep the momentum going, and I'm going to do everything I can to increase or improve on this capability so we can make our warfighters even better than they are today," he said.
The TRADOC capability manager serves as the warfighter's representative and single point of contact for all systems assigned under the TCM charter, in this case UAS, the narrator said as part of the ceremony. The TCM ensures associated deliverables are developed along timelines to meet system milestones and manages all facets of user activities, but must ultimately ensure all aspects of training are synchronized with the fielding of assigned systems.
The TCM strives to meet system development in management objectives, the narrator added. Unlike traditional commanders, the TCM is empowered with a charter. This charter, signed by the commanding general of TRADOC, empowers the TCM to fill the role of the combat developer and user's representative for all systems assigned by the charter. The charter is what allows the TCM to act as the user's representative, and fight to ensure the systems surpass all expectations and provide current and future warfighters with the best combat capable equipment possible.
"That's what Rob has done these past three years," Crutchfield said of the retiring colonel. "Experts like Rob Sova in these positions that support our Soldiers and their Families are what make us so successful on the battlefield.
"As I've often said to many of you, and this is certainly true today for both Rob and Grant, do not judge the importance of your mission based solely on the proximity to the battlefield," he added. "Because I assure you, Rob, that the mission you've done these past three years, and Grant what you're about to do, is absolutely critical. And Rob, your flawless execution of that mission has served the warfighters well these past three years."
He then listed some of the accomplishments during Sova's time as TCM-UAS, such as overseeing the merger of the USAACE UAS Center of Excellence and TCM, and combining that with the overall UAS capabilities, not only in the Army but the joint force.
"He continued to integrate and synchronize the warfighting requirement domains across everything we do," the general added. "He's enabled the fielding of over 1,600 Raven systems, 93 Shadow systems, 10 Hunters and eight Extended-Range Multi-Purpose UAS. He's also integrated those systems into the way we fight those wars and has enabled us to be absolutely successful on the battlefield.
"You are leaving behind a great legacy, one that you should be proud of -- you have absolutely made this Army the best in the world," Crutchfield said.