The life-cycle management command initiative
is changing how the Army’s technology, acquisition, and
sustainment activities function. What does this change mean
for the soldier in the field?
James H. Pillsbury is the Commanding General of the
Army Aviation and Missile LCMC.
As reported in the last two issues of Army
Logistician, the Army has undertaken a major initiative to
bring together the
major subordinate commands (MSCs) of the Army Materiel Command
(AMC) and the program executive officers (PEOs) and program
managers (PMs) reporting to the Army Acquisition Executive
(AAE) to form life-cycle management commands (LCMCs). The Assistant
Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology
(ASAALT), who is also the AAE, signed an implementation directive
on 5 October 2004 establishing the first LCMC, the Aviation
and Missile LCMC at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. Army Logistician
invited the commander of the Aviation and Missile LCMC, Major
General James H. Pillsbury, to discuss the LCMC initiative
and what it means for logisticians in the field.
What is the basic thinking behind the LCMC initiative? What
problems with the current structure of AMC MSCs and PEOs and
PMs is the initiative designed to remedy?
Since its creation in 1962, AMC has grown
and undergone many reorganizations. Much of the organizational
change has sought
to address the question of how best to manage the command’s
two major functional areas—materiel development and
materiel readiness (or sustainment). AMC’s organization
has tended to alternate between periods when the two functions
into MSCs largely organized along commodity lines (aviation
and missile, tank-automotive, etc.) and periods when the
two functions were separated. The latter arrangement was
evident from 1976 to 1984, when AMC was known as the Army
Materiel Development and Readiness Command (DARCOM) and
parallel commodity MSCs, one for research and development
and one for materiel readiness for each commodity area.
the parallel commands were reunited into single commodity
MSCs and AMC reassumed its original name. Then, in 1987,
development and acquisition functions were largely removed
from AMC to a new structure of PEOs and PMs reporting to
a new position outside of AMC—the AAE. This change,
to some degree, reinstated the DARCOM division between
development and acquisition functions and sustainment functions.
present, the missions remain divided, the ASAALT with development
and acquisition and AMC with sustainment. The
vision of the
life-cycle management command is to unite those mission
areas by creating single commands with responsibility for
areas (technology, acquisition, and sustainment).
The organization chart of the Aviation and Missile LCMC
looks rather complicated. To what degree will the staffs
of the Aviation
and Missile Command (AMCOM) and the PEOs and PMs be integrated?
The Aviation and Missile LCMC initially will be comprised of
all elements of the current Aviation and Missile Command and
the Program Executive Office, Aviation. The PEO Tactical Missiles
and the PEO Air, Space and Missile Defense are working on plans
to merge into a single PEO. Effective 1 June 2005, the merged
PEO Missiles and Space organization will be included as part
of the Aviation and Missile LCMC.
I am the commander of the LCMC, and Paul Bogosian, PEO
Aviation, assumes additional duties as the Deputy to the
Commander for Aviation. When the newly merged PEO Missiles
and Space joins the LCMC in June, Brigadier General Mike
will assume additional duties as the LCMC Deputy Commanding
General for Missiles and Space.
LCMC initiative, the program manager is responsible
for all aspects of the life cycle of a weapon system,
including its development, acquisition, and sustainment.
The intent of the LCMC concept is to better integrate Army
acquisition, logistics, and technology efforts through
closer alignment of AMC’s major subordinate commands
with their regionally associated PEOs under a single
commander, who will
be the focal point and have primary responsibility for
life cycle of all of the groupings of systems assigned
to the LCMC. Today, system development and acquisition
reside in the PEOs and sustainment falls to the AMC MSCs.
PEOs remain the single point of accountability for accomplishing
program objectives through the integration of total life-cycle
The LCMC will involve all command and PEO elements in a more
integrated environment that will influence near-term readiness,
future modernization, and sustainment. PEOs will have closer
ties to the sustainment community, assuring the smoother flow
of better products to the field, while retaining direct links
to the AAE, in full compliance with the provisions of the 1986
Goldwater-Nichols Act. The PEOs will be able to work as an
integral part of the AMC MSCs, while continuing to report directly
to the AAE. AMCOM elements will have enhanced input into acquisition
processes to influence future sustainment and readiness.
The AMCOM staff will initially form the nucleus of the
LCMC coordinating staff. The PEO staffs and the AMCOM
coordinating staffs will remain unchanged initially,
but an in-depth “bottom-up
review” of staff functions is planned to identify
opportunities to gain efficiencies through additional
decentralization. Realigned staff functions may reside
at the command level or
in the PEO staffs, as determined in the bottom-up review.
Following this review, a general officer steering committee
of AMCOM and PEO senior leaders will make the final determination
on which functions, if any, are consolidated or further
decentralized. The intent is to develop LCMC and PEO
staff structures that
provide maximum support to the PEOs and weapon system
teams as they manage the life cycle of the weapon systems
to relieve the PEOs and PMs of administrative staff responsibilities
so they can better focus on system acquisition and soldier
What role will AMC’s Research, Development, and
Engineering Command play under the LCMC initiative? How
will it support
the Aviation and Missile LCMC?
The Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering
Center (AMRDEC) is a strategically and operationally aligned
partner of the LCMC. AMRDEC will continue to provide life-cycle
engineering and technology transition to the LCMC through integrated
support to weapon system teams. The AMC Research, Development,
and Engineering Command (RDECOM) will coordinate the support
provided to the Aviation and Missile LCMC from other RDECs,
the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and Army Research Office
(ARO), and the Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA).
[The other RDECs are the Armaments RDEC (ARDEC), Tank-Automotive
RDEC (TARDEC), Communications-Electronics RDEC (CERDEC), and
Natick Soldier Center at the Soldier Systems Center (SSC).]
The matrix support concept, which provides functional specialists
to the PMs from AMCOM and the AMRDEC, will continue as the
preferred method of configuring the support elements required
by the PMs in performing their total life-cycle management
with Company A, 615th Aviation Regiment, 4th Brigade
Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, stands next to
an AH–64D Apache Longbow helicopter before
it takes off on a maintenance flight. After aircraft
undergo maintenance and before they resume regular
operations, they must complete a maintenance flight
to confirm the quality of the work performed by the
mechanics. Life-cycle management is designed to improve
sustainment and readiness of soldiers in the field.
The LCMC provides the organizational structure to support integrated
weapon system teams. The first of these teams, initiated by
the Project Manager Cargo Helicopter, in 2002, will become
the model for future Soldier Focused Life-Cycle Management
(SFL) teams, which will be developed over time and tailored
to meet the unique needs and requirements of each PM and the
weapon system supported. The end state will be SFL teams established
for all PMs within the command, covering every aspect of life-cycle
management for supported systems.
What is Soldier Focused Life-Cycle Management?
SFL is an organizational and management transformation for
weapon systems management that focuses on integrating AMCOM,
related PEOs, and supporting functions at the operational level
in order to make significant improvements in readiness and
the go-to-war capability of each weapon system.
Under SFL, the project manager will provide day-to-day
operational control and guide the decisionmaking processes
that affect the weapon system, including overseeing
supporting activities from AMCOM—such as the Integrated
Materiel Management Center (IMMC), Acquisition Center,
Security Assistance Management Directorate (SAMD)—and
the AMRDEC. Operationally controlled personnel will maintain
and clear relationship with their owning organization.
is based on robust, actionable information flow about
equipment status, beginning at the weapon system and
to a combined PM/AMCOM team. SFL enablers are being designed
to provide the PM with the necessary information and
which to make decisions that will maximize system performance
and minimize the sustainment burden for the soldier.
How does SFL improve support system readiness and support to
The purpose of SFL is to maximize both the service provided
to the soldier and the go-to-war capability of the weapon
system. In the field, the soldier cares little about
how the acquisition
and sustainment communities are organized or managed.
What is important to the soldier is having a functional
system (reliable and effective), having a single point
when help is needed, and having all the folks back home
do everything possible to minimize the soldier’s burden.
The logistics assistance representative (LAR) and the AMRDEC
Aviation Engineering Directorate (AED) liaison engineers (LEs)
are the soldier’s direct interface in the field for support
from the acquisition and sustaining bases. The SFL team will
improve system readiness by giving the LAR and LE a direct
conduit to the total support structure for the system. SFL
teams will improve the go-to-war capability of the system by
improving communication, decisionmaking, system optimization,
and response times to the soldiers’ needs.
The SFL concept solves many coordination and optimization problems
that have resulted from the separation between the weapons
system acquisition and sustainment communities. The concept
provides for a single person to be accountable for and in control
of the readiness of a weapon system.
How will this work?
The activities necessary to support the life cycle of a weapon
system have previously been divided between two Army elements
and, within those elements, multiple organizations and directorates.
Part of the SFL concept is to integrate each of the activities
necessary for the support of the weapon system life cycle into
a single team under the day-to-day management of the PM. These
weapon system teams will be composed of elements from the PM,
Acquisition Center, IMMC, SAMD, and the AMRDEC, with a portion
of the personnel physically collocated with the PM.
However, SFL is much more than collocation. Collocation only
sets the stage for efficient and effective management and coordination.
Integration is the desired state and is attained by collocating
supporting personnel with a single weapon system authority
and establishing common metrics and process improvement tools,
such as robust information flow from the field, readiness modeling
capability, Lean [management principles], and Six Sigma [methodology].
This integration is expected to produce significant improvements
in weapon system support to the warfighter and equally significant
improvements in life-cycle management effectiveness and efficiency.
When will it happen?
The plan is to incorporate the SFL weapon system management
concept in each of the aviation and missile weapon systems
in fiscal year 2005. An ideal situation would be one
where lessons learned from the CH–47 [Chinook helicopter] pilot
program could be used to develop a “model” for
SFL implementation that could be used for each weapon system.
The reality, however, is that not all SFL implementations will
look alike. Differences in weapon systems’ life
cycles will affect the form of the SFL teams, and differences
in the matrix structures of the missile and aviation
result in different SFL team structures. However, the
general principles of consolidating the activities of
system life cycle and giving control and authority to
life-cycle management mission to the PM will remain the
How will you know if it is working?
For the CH–47 SFL team, the best measure of our ability
to meet the soldier’s need is the readiness of the system
as measured by its go-to-war capability. For the CH–47
pilot program, all of the metrics used to measure the weapon
system are being correlated to the three primary vectors: reduction
in downtime rates, reduction in demand rates, and reduction
in total cost of ownership. By managing and improving the activities
that most significantly improve these three areas, the CH–47
SFL teams will reduce the maintenance burden on the soldier
in the field and improve the go-to-war capability (and
thus the readiness) of the system. A cross-functional
integrated process team (PEO/PM, AMCOM, and the AMRDEC)
has been established
to develop the system of measurements that will be used
assess the effectiveness of SFL and the LCMC concept.
SFL implementation is providing unparalleled weapon system
support that reduces the burden on the soldier, meets
the Army transformation goals, and affords the project
capability to manage their combat systems and accurately
predict a true “go-to-war” capability. The
focus of this effort is improved system availability
performance improvement, reduced operating and support
cost, and truly integrated life-cycle management. The
priorities of this transformation are—
• Reduce the burden on the soldier.
• Reduce the burden on the soldier.
• Reduce the burden on the soldier.
Major General James H. Pillsbury is the Commanding General of the Army
Aviation and Missile Life-Cycle Management Command at Redstone Arsenal,
previously served as the Deputy Chief of Staff, G–4, at U.S. Army
Europe and Seventh Army in Germany. General Pillsbury is a graduate of
Course, the Transportation Officer Advanced Course, the Army Command and
General Staff College, and the Army War College. He has a B.A. degree in
Trinity University in Texas and an M.S. degree in international relations
from Troy State University in Alabama.