Readiness and accountability were the major themes throughout the Aviation and Missile Command’s quarterly update Thursday with Gen. Gus Perna, commander of the Army Materiel Command.
“There is a lot going on in the world, there is a lot going on in the Department of Defense, and there is a lot going on in our Army,” Perna said. “Keep an eye on what you are doing and know what you are responsible for, hold yourselves accountable and press.”
Following Perna’s opening comments Brig. Gen. Todd Royar, the new AMCOM commander, led a wide-ranging and detailed update covering AMCOM’s efforts and initiatives to meet current and future combatant commander requirements and Army priorities.
The briefing highlighted the many reforms being implemented across AMCOM headquarters, the depots and logistics readiness centers, to improve readiness of aviation and missile systems for warfighters now and demonstrate that AMCOM is nested with Army and AMC strategic initiatives to enable success in Multi-Domain Operations in the future. Those messages struck a key note for Perna.
“Our number one priority is Army readiness … period,” he said. “In combat, the difference between being ready and reacting will be measured in lives lost.”
Royar emphasized AMCOM’s efforts to get after those readiness requirements by improving the supply chain to get the right parts to Soldiers, while also assisting and training them to enable a reduction in equipment downtime. While recognizing that there are multiple factors that impact those efforts, Royar is committed to overcome those. “We need to work through our challenges in order to achieve the higher readiness rates we must reach for our Army,” he said.
During the two-hour briefing, several AMCOM leaders provided detailed updates on efforts to meet Army requirements, from improvements in maintenance efforts to increase readiness of the training fleet at Fort Rucker to the latest plans to achieve strategic depth of critical missile and aviation system parts.
Col. Rich Martin, commander of the Aviation Center Logistics Command at Fort Rucker, covered the operational readiness rates for the Apache and Lakota helicopters. With more than 3,600 people across six sites and five states, and the equivalent of four and a half Combat Aviation Brigades worth of aircraft, ACLC has a growing, diverse and challenging mission.
Mark Wagner, deputy to the commander at Corpus Christi Army Depot, Texas, and Col. Stephen Ledbetter, commander of Letterkenny Army Depot, Pennsylvania, updated Perna on their efforts to improve their production to meet Army requirements. Perna appreciated their work and encouraged the team to “keep driving to the end state.”
The AMCOM Logistics Center, led by Executive Director Don Nitti, covered aviation and missile supply-chain performance with particular focus on those specific parts which have the greatest impacts on Army readiness.
The update concluded with Perna providing guidance and direction.
“I have no doubt – thanks to your efforts – we will do well,” Perna said. “Challenge yourselves, hold yourselves accountable and always question the way we are doing things.”