WASHINGTON – The time is now to prepare the Army’s sustainment enterprise for competition, crisis and conflict, according to the Army’s senior sustainer.
Army Materiel Command’s top leader Gen. Ed Daly joined military and civilian leaders from across the Army to discuss sustainment transformation during the Association of the U.S. Army’s 2021 Annual Meeting and Exposition. Daly set the stage for a Contemporary Military Forum discussion, Oct. 12.
“The sustainment warfighting functions are critical and necessary at not only the tactical and operational level, but also the strategic level, from the Army’s depots, arsenals and ammunition plants all the way to the forward tactical edge,” he said. “We can’t just focus on conflict and crisis; we also have to focus on competition, and setting the conditions in competition, and the time is now.”
Daly provided a broad overview of the warfighting functions AMC is working on, including modernization of the Army’s Organic Industrial Base and power projection platforms, support to the Regionally Aligned Readiness and Modernization Model, a 21st century Army Prepositioned Stock strategy, and energy and cyber initiatives.
“Sustainment transformation must keep pace in order to ensure continued freedom of action, operational reach and prolonged endurance in support of a MDO-ready force in a contested environment,” he said. “These tactical, operational and strategic capabilities that we are pursuing and undertaking will set the course for the next 10 to 15 years.”
The forum was moderated by retired Maj. Gen. Clark LeMasters and led by Lt. Gen. Donnie Walker, AMC deputy commander. Other panelists included Lt. Gen. James Rainey, deputy chief of staff for operations, plans, and training (G-3/5/7); Lt. Gen. Duane Gamble, deputy chief of staff for logistics (G-4); retired Lt. Gen. John Morgan with IBM; and John Baxter with the Concourse Group.
Together the group discussed Army sustainment transformation at the strategic, operational and tactical levels, as well as in terms of power and energy and the data domain.
“This is about our ability to provide the Joint Force with the speed, range and convergence required to win in competition, crisis and conflict in any theater,” Walker said.
Walker said from a sustainment transformation perspective, it is the Army’s ability to understand the logistics footprint from strategic support area to the tactical edge, the ability to achieve unity of effort at every echelon, and it equates to having modern, resilient and sustainable installations that enhance strategic readiness.
“We have to set the theater up front and it’s an ongoing effort,” he said.
Walker outlined three key aspects to strategic sustainment transformation. First, Army Prepositioned Stocks and increasing velocity across lines of communication while hardening and protecting key aspects, including cyber. Second is to modernize installations and power projection platforms, including the Organic Industrial Base in order to rapidly project and sustain combat power and maintain momentum. Third is addressing supply chain resiliency and protecting it, which he said is absolutely critical to the Army’s success in an MDO environment.
Key to this transformation is the Army’s number one priority, its people, Walker said.
“We have to attract, retain and enable our people; they are going to enable us to win in competition, crisis and conflict,” he said. “Our Army wins through our people and they are our greatest strength.”