By Bob DiMicheleMay 29, 2012
Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. -- Forty senior leaders from the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) met May 21-23 as a first step in the journey of developing an organizational vision and concept of CECOM out to the year 2020.
The intent of the off-site meeting was to establish an understanding of both the Army and AMC visions for 2020; to gain consensus on CECOM's revised vision and mission, core functions and challenges; to establish key strategic objectives and validate the command's "must do" requirements and perhaps most importantly, to team build, according to Maj. Gen. Robert S. Ferrell, commander of CECOM.
The three-day event began with presentations from the CECOM headquarters staff focusing on resource management and human resources due to the constrained fiscal environment in which the command finds itself. In addition, representatives from two of CECOM's key stakeholders, the Department of the Army's Chief Information Officer/G6 and the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) each gave overviews from their perspectives of the trends and challenges that will ultimately shape the command's environment of the future.
Gary Blohm, Director of the Army Architecture Integration Center, said that now everything is network dependent, but he added, "This is a zero sum game." He said, "We've got to modernize the network while balancing operational risk across competing priorities."
Blohm said that the CIO/G-6 is developing a comprehensive proposal to modernize the Network and realize enterprise efficiencies with the goal of achieving $1.5 billion in savings per year, starting in fiscal 2015, without compromising LandWarNet effectiveness or security.
LandWarNet is essentially the combination of the set of functional applications such as mission command, intelligence, and logistics transmitted over an integrated network that provides Soldiers the means to conduct information-enabled, joint warfighting and supporting operations.
Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, representing the ASA(ALT) provided an overview of Department of the Army and Defense Department priorities and focus areas. He summarized the priorities for DoD and Army acquisition as being support for contingency operations; providing the best value in products and services; improving efficiency, effectiveness and agility; strengthening and improving communications with the industrial base; growing the acquisition workforce; and protecting the future by creating future mission capabilities through technical innovation.
Bryon Young, executive director of the Army Contracting Command-Aberdeen Proving Ground, provide insights into how his organization is applying DoD initiatives to their contracting processes such as limiting the use of time and materials contracts for services and removing obstacles to competition.
Much of the discussion of the CECOM leadership centered around the complex mission performed by the command and how the different parts of CECOM can collaborate and strengthen its services in support of the Army Materiel Command, the combatant commanders and joint forces.
As part of this process, senior leaders will identify and define the command's core competencies, the basic and most important functions performed by the command to best support the Army and joint forces in light of the trends and challenges discussed.
"This is a diversified command; there isn't another one like it," Ferrell explained. "We can have a huge impact on the Department of Defense."
Gary Martin, deputy to the CECOM commander, added, "The transparency of who is doing what is important. Awareness goes a long way to develop full collaboration and coordination."
Over the next several months CECOM will develop its Campaign Plan that will formalize mission, vision, lines of effort and core capabilities.