AMC Commander describes current progress - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

AMC Commander describes current progress

Source: WAFF Source: WAFF
Source: WAFF Source: WAFF
(WAFF) -

The U.S. Army's mission is to keep you safe from any potential threat.

Without the Army Materiel Command (AMC), that job would be much harder.

The theme surrounding AMC is if a soldier drives it, flies it, wears it, shoots it communicates with it or eats it, AMC produces and provides it.

The extra “e” in Materiel stands for equipment, which is what AMC provides to our Army’s military.

General Gus Perna is working to ensure AMC always makes that happen.

He says, when he first took over in September, he felt as though he had a great foundation laid before him by his predecessors and most recently General Dennis Via.

“The command was in an excellent position to support the chief’s priorities – excited about where we’re at,” said Gen. Perna.

General Perna says, he aligns his priorities with The Chief of Staff of the Army, General Mark Milley. The first is readiness.

“Making sure the equipment that the soldiers have on the battlefield, that they can be confident that it’s going to work and that it’s going to help them do their mission. I feel very good about that. Every day we’re contributing to that success around the world,” explains Gen. Perna.  

The second is future force and modernization. As the Army prepares to fight any future war, AMC is also working with development and research to keep equipment ahead of the curve- using the science and technology, research, development and engineering centers – those include the ones on the Arsenal like AMRDEC, AMCOM & ACC.

The last focus is taking care of the people within the Army and AMC.

“There is over 60,000 Department of Defense civilians and soldiers. So, their contributions are daily to what we’re doing over there [where soldiers are stationed],” said Gen. Perna.

General Perna runs a tight operation.

He says, the key is communication - face to face.

Gen. Perna recently held a senior leaders forum with each of the 9 command leaders and key staff from AMC.

“The ability to look the commanders in the face. Describe to them my vision, ensure they acknowledge it, and now be ready to execute it - You can never move forward if you don’t know where you’re standing – and then you don’t know what direction to move into if you don’t know where you’re going,” said Gen. Perna.

But, General Perna says he needs some help from Washington to keep things going in the right direction.

The government is under a continuing resolution (CR) at this time - meaning government organizations are only allowed to spend the same amount that was used last year.

General Perna says, that puts a limit on how much AMC can produce, it stops certain jobs getting done and it won’t allow for any future planning.

“There is a lot of talk – we need action,” stated Gen. Perna.

Congress has until April 28th to make their next decision on the budget.

The options before them is to either pass the budget (which is what is hoped for by government operations like AMC), extend the CR or do nothing resulting in a government shutdown.

At the beginning of April, the Chief of Staff of the Army General Mark Milley testified before Congress for not approving the defense spending for the current fiscal year.

He told the House Armed Services Committee, “Failure to pass the budget, in my view as an American citizen and the chief of staff of the United States Army, constitutes professional malpractice.”

General Perna says he agrees.

“That’s only the beginning. They need to pass it next year, without a CR. We need to go directly into a budget so we can plan accordingly. [Under a CR], our dollars are capped at last year’s amounts. They don’t account for inflation or additional work that’s required. So it constrains us to be able to support to the best of our ability,” said Gen. Perna.

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