REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (April 1, 2015) – It has been almost a year since Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel B. Allyn last paid a visit to the U.S. Army Materiel Command, or AMC. While his position has changed, his focus remains the same on readiness and he is still every bit as reliant on AMC as he was a year ago.
Allyn visited AMC headquarters March 30, before attending the Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama.
“My greatest concern is frankly the return of sequestration in October of this year,” Allyn said. “Over the last 18 months, our leaders have labored to recover our readiness from the effects of sequestration in 2013. Sequestration will undermine readiness and ultimately put Soldiers’ lives at risk.”
Allyn said sequestration has caused the Army to go through a budget-driven drawdown.
“By the end of this year, we’ll have reduced 80,000 Soldiers from our peak in 2011. We cut 13 active component brigades, we’ve reorganized 12 of our brigades and we’ll complete the reorganization for an additional 20 brigades by the end of this fiscal year,” Allyn said.
Allyn said the Army never wants to put any Soldier into a fair fight. The desire is to always provide the U.S. Soldier the overwhelming advantage in combat operations.
“With sequestration, we put that promise at risk,” Allyn said.
The vice chief said the Army faces a moral dilemma – to either slow the deployment cycle to ensure Soldiers are trained and ready, or speed up the deployment cycle and risk that Soldiers are not as well trained and equipped as they could be.
“This is real. This is about us dominating the battlefield as Americans expect us to,” Allyn said.
While drawing down our force, the Army is also reorganizing its force for the future.
“Army Materiel Command plays a critical role in supporting that [reorganization] effort particularly in moving materiel and equipment around the continental United States and the globe both to reorganize and to posture us for mission success a job that no other command in the world can perform,” Allyn said.
As the Army is reorganizing, it is focusing on a new operating concept to fight future wars and answer the call to future contingencies.
“The uncertainty in the world demands that we have a significant surge capacity that we have not been able to generate over the course of the last year,” Allyn said. “About 80 percent of the contingency requirements that have emerged during the last year have been filled by the Army, so we have been consuming readiness as fast as we’ve been generating it for most of 2014.”
For example, three of AMC’s major subordinate commands – Army Sustainment Command, Army Contracting Command, and Army Research, Development and Engineering Command – answered the call to support the Ebola contingency operation in Africa.
Allyn stressed that the funding needs to arrive on time and in a predictable manner to continue meeting the nation’s needs.
“We ought to be able to trust and depend upon Congress to perform their job to deliver the funds on time, so we can generate greater readiness with greater predictability,” Allyn said. “The organic industrial base, like every other facet of our Army, is adversely impacted by sequestration. There is not a piece of our Army that does not feel the effects of sequestration.”
The command oversees the Army’s arsenals, depots, and ammunition plants around the country that make up the organic industrial base.
Even with sequestration, the Army’s leadership is what gives Allyn confidence.
“We have the deepest bench of combat-proven leaders and they are committed to doing what is right,” Allyn said. “We owe them our best effort to deliver the resources they need to ensure that our forces are ready and their families are cared for.”