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NEWS | March 19, 2020

AMCOM leaders set plan for improved readiness

By Lisa Simunaci U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Command

U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command leaders zeroed in on achieving the next level of readiness during a quarterly report to higher headquarters.

AMCOM’s Maj. Gen. Todd Royar outlined a plan focusing on what it takes to achieve an 85% fully mission capable rate across the Army’s aviation platforms. Several AMCOM experts explained how efforts across the organization will boost mission-capable rates and increase support to the warfighter.

“I know we can achieve this and it will be incredibly powerful,” said Army Materiel Command’s Gen. Gus Perna. “Don’t let naysayers stop us – don’t be constrained. Your job is to keep helicopters and missiles on the battlefield.”

Experts highlighted the success of several new processes and systems that will have a resounding impact across the fleets. Discussion also focused on AMCOM’s ability to leverage data to reduce maintenance burdens and future plans to incorporate advanced manufacturing.

Most recently, AMCOM’s Aviation Center Logistics Support Command received the Army’s first Mobile Flexible Engine Diagnostic System at Fort Rucker. ACLC Commander Col. Rich Martin explained the test cell will reduce helicopter maintenance time and repair costs at a location where the pilot training program accounts for 25% of the Army’s flying hour program.

The AMCOM team also highlighted the Army’s recent selection of the Interactive Authoring and Display Software as the service’s single viewer for interactive technical manuals. Publication Services Division Chief Kyell Turner said the next step is to develop cross-platform support for Linux, iOS and Android mobile devices to address a growing demand from Soldiers in the field.

“The No. 1 question I get is ‘When can I get this on my phone?’” Royar said, noting that when it happens, Soldiers will always have access to the latest and most correct version of the operators’ manual.

After updates from AMCOM’s Corpus Christi and Letterkenny Army Depots, Perna reiterated the intent behind the “dynamic workforce” employed across the Army’s Organic Industrial Base locations. That workforce is a mix of permanent and temporary Army civilian workers as well as contractors.

“We have a dynamic workforce so we can go up and down,” Perna said, reiterating the depots’ mission is to provide sustainment today, while maintaining the ability to surge for tomorrow and support modernization efforts.

In support of modernization and the use of advanced manufacturing methods, AMCOM Aviation Analyst Tod Glidewell discussed an ongoing effort that will produce a policy that enables the use of digital twins for both the enduring and next generation of aircraft. The digital twin is a virtual model of an aircraft providing a capability to monitor components in real time. The technology supports predictive maintenance and provides the ability to use advanced manufacturing
practices, like 3D printing, to produce parts.

With a goal of producing repair parts at the point of need, Glidewell said discussions are currently taking place with both academic institutions and original equipment manufacturers to support the effort.

While several top leaders noted mitigations across the supply chain had improved supply availability, Royar lauded the collaborative support of partner agencies, including the Defense Logistics Agency for Aviation, DLA Land and Maritime and AMC’s Logistics Data and Analytics Center.

Perna commended the AMCOM team and encouraged them to continue to challenge themselves. He reiterated that data is only as good as the leader taking action on it and emphasized the importance of continuing to hold ourselves accountable.

“Great work has been done,” Perna said. “But we need to get ready for the next crisis - because there will be another one.”