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Perna focuses on contracting, personnel reform at ASC’s quarterly update
Story by Kevin Fleming and Linda Lambiotte on 05/31/2019
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. — The reform of contract management procedures aimed at increasing contractor accountability along with other initiatives were discussed during the Army Sustainment Command’s quarterly update May 29 with Army Materiel Command’s Gen. Gus Perna, who leads ASC’s senior command.
Perna said it is important for the Army to better understand the performance outputs of contracts as they relate to costs. “It’s not just about red, green, and amber,” he said. “Are we achieving what we actually want to see?”
Maj. Gen. Duane Gamble, commanding general, ASC, said he is also not interested in buying “readiness for increased costs.”
As a part of ASC’s contracting management reform, Gamble said his team has reduced the number of contracts managed through the command dramatically within the past year.
He said other improvements include new procedures designed to better understand the command’s initial and ongoing needs for contracting agreements.
“We have a responsibility to hold contractors accountable,” said Perna. “We are all taxpayers.”
Another topic of the meeting included ASC’s restructuring of some of its workforce.
Gamble said ASC has a plan to reduce the number of over-hire position from approximately 600 to roughly 175 by late 2020. He said most of that will be through eliminating vacant and term positions.
Most of the positions eliminated so far were from ASC’s portion of the Logistics Assistance Program, which has undergone significant changes across AMC over the past year.
ASC’s logistics management specialists previously in LAP are being realigned to key vacancies in the headquarters, brigades, and battalions.
The commodity command LARs working under the mission command of the ASC brigades and battalions can “do more to justify AMC than anyone if we can get this program right,” said Perna.
The discussion also included how AMC can clarify roles, responsibilities, and authorities.
To better prepare ASC’s 22 battalions for largescale ground combat operations, Gamble said he is working on sending more battalion commanders to combat training centers.
Perna said AMC is working to help garrison commanders see how they can be leaders in coordinating installation logistics for supporting power projection (e.g. equipping Soldiers as they deploy).
Most Army installations have logistics readiness centers, which provide essential logistical support to local commands and tenants. The LRCs are aligned under ASC, which is responsible for preparing and enabling the LRCs to support the warfighter.
Garrison commanders are aligned under the Installation Management Command, which was recently realigned under AMC.
“We are transforming, and that includes IMCOM coming to work for AMC. Other changes include assimilating capabilities and utilizing everything available to achieve the mission,” Perna said.
Gamble said he believes ASC’s seven brigade commanders should remain the primary leaders for integrating AMC’s other unique capabilities offered through the life cycle management commands. Examples of such commands include the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command and the Joint Munitions Command.
According to Gamble, another way ASC has improved financially was by providing $50 million to fund the LRC’s priorities. He said this action has reengaged the LRC directors to identify and update their equipment and infrastructure requirements, which will help ASC headquarters plan for future allocations.
“It is about prioritizing what we are going to do, it’s about focusing on the long game,” he said.
Overall, Perna is pleased with the changes ASC is implementing. He said that as long as we are working together as an Army, we are in the right mindset.
“You are holding yourself accountable, I am very proud of you. It doesn’t matter who gets the credit,” Perna said.