FORT LAURDERDALE, Fla. (Army News Service, Feb. 24, 2012) -- "Getting the right equipment to the right people at the right time takes some dynamic thinking and dynamic decision support tools," said Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion, commanding general of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command, during an AUSA panel presentation Thursday at the winter meeting.

The Army's challenge is that there are more equipment requirements than there is supply, which means equipment has to be shared, she said.

But how does one determine who gets what in a timely manner? The Lead Materiel Integrator, or LMI, under the U.S Army Materiel Command is that solution. It became fully operational, Feb 15.

Previously, coordination with multiple Army organizations was required to fill equipment needs for training and deployment.

With LMI's decision support tool, Army Sustainment Command, which is a major subordinate command of AMC, will provide sourcing solutions to the entire Army.

"The LMI decision support tool, the better analytical processes, will help us gain and share visibility of all our demand signals," McQuistion said.

"As we continue the DST's (decision support tool's) development it will be transparent. It will allow Army commands at different levels to be part of the recommendation process. It will build trust as units can visualize how equipment will be fielded to them overlaid against their training and deployment schedules," she continued.

Like any information system, the decision support tool is only as effective as the data entered, she said, adding that it "won't fix our current gaps in property accountability.

"We have to get the authoritative source of logistics information LOGSA (U.S. Army Logistics Support Activity) and the Logistics Information Warehouse to be the most complete repository of equipment information possible," said McQuistion.

LSA, a direct reporting unit to AMC, manages Logistics Information Warehouse, or LIW, a repository for Army logistics data, and provides a single repository for all Army materiel stakeholders to access, acquire and deliver data and information for managing Army materiel.

As the LMI DST and LIW are further developed, accurate and timely information, along with better planning for the future is expected.

"We will be able to plan years out and still change on a dime, if necessary," McQuistion says. "It will allow us to easily change parameters as we refine Army force generation, or change deployment periods, or develop new options for theater-provided equipment. And very importantly, it will give us all ways to track execution of the Army's equipping decisions."