Secretary of the Army Togo D. West, Jr., and Army Chief of Staff General Dennis J. Reimer recently presented the Army's Fiscal Year 1998 Posture Statement to Congress. They stated that, "America's Army is the nation's force of decision." There is an increasing reliance on Army capabilities for executing the national security strategy. However, due to limited resources, the Army must make difficult decisions in order to balance readiness, modernization, quality of life, and end strength.
The Army must be capable of deploying rapidly to wherever it is needed and establish control in any environment for as long as necessary. It must be prepared to fight and win wars as well as execute a wide variety of missions. The Army has changed from being a forward-deployed force to a capabilities-based force stationed largely in the United States. Although the Army recently deployed to far-reaching areas such as Bosnia, Haiti, Kuwait, Macedonia, Rwanda, and Somalia, it continues to operate in an environment of constrained resources. Acquisition reform is helping the Army make the most of its resources, but it is a continuing challenge to balance operations with resources.
The Army's highest priority is to maintain readiness. Training is essential to the development of skilled, well-trained, and well-led soldiers who are capable of handling complex, dangerous, and ever-changing situations. Combat training centers will continue to emphasize realistic and demanding training experiences for soldiers.
Modernization is necessary to ensure future readiness and to maintain a technological edge. However, during the drawdown, funds were shifted to other essential programs that directly support people. Emphasis must shift back to modernization programs, and the funding must be provided for developing new technology that is necessary to defend and protect soldiers and civilians.
Although the Army is the smallest it has been since before World War II, deployments are increasing in frequency and duration. The Army must be large enough to meet increased operational deployments while remaining trained and ready to fight and win the nation's wars. An Army of 495,000 active soldiers appears to be the minimum size needed to meet the current national military strategy.
Enhancing the quality of life of both married and single soldiers is a top priority of the Army. If the Army is to continue to attract and retain the quality people it needs to maintain a quality force, it must provide adequate health care, pay, housing, and retirement benefits.
Joint Vision 2010 is the guidepost for the future. It involves the application of four operational concepts: dominant maneuver, precision engagement, full dimensional protection, and focused logistics. Army Vision 2010 describes the Army's efforts to achieve new levels of effectiveness as the land component member of the joint warfighting team.
The Army is using the Force XXI process of rigorous evaluations and advanced warfighting experiments to redefine how it fights, organizes, trains, and commands. The goal is to quickly develop Army XXI, a versatile force with the technological capabilities to win the nation's wars, prevent conflict, and sustain operations. As Army XXI goes into effect, the Army will already be fine-tuning the Army After Next, a force with the capabilities to conduct simultaneous, continuous, and seamless operations across the full spectrum of military operations.
A fraud detection team called Operation Mongoose is wrapping up its examination of retiree and annuitant pay in overseas locations and is planning a similar review in the continental United States. The team also has ongoing examinations into pay and allowances to active-duty military and reservists, along with probes into three other functional areas: civilian pay, vendor pay, and transportation pay.
Operation Mongoose is a joint task force initiated in 1994 by Dr. John Hamre, the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to examine possible financial fraud affecting the entire Federal Government. In the past, fraud investigations were conducted by different agencies, but the results were not always shared.
Since its creation, Operation Mongoose has saved millions of dollars for the American taxpayer. The multi-agency team includes members of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), Department of Defense (DOD) Inspector General (IG), U.S. Secret Service, and U.S. Embassy staffs. The DFAS serves as the program manager for the team, which is located in the same building as the DMDC at the DOD Center in Monterey Bay, California.
Using the data warehousing and processing capabilities of DMDC, Mongoose has access to payment and supporting data on computer systems at more than 400 sites nationwide. Information obtained from the various Defense payment systems is matched against fraud indicator checklists developed by subject matter experts from the DFAS, DMDC, and DOD IG. These "smart" matches, performed by DMDC, help to identify irregularities in the data, which may indicate fraud. For example, files on military personnel living in Government quarters and also receiving a housing allowance or people receiving both reserve and active-duty pay will be flagged for a closer look by investigators, although there could be legitimate reasons for receiving the pay and allowances in those cases.
The Software Development Center (SDC) at Fort Lee, Virginia, has developed automated decision support technology that helps simplify budgeting for replacement of high-cost garrison equipment such as stoves and refrigerators.
In the new budget process, serial-numbered items in the Army food management information system (AFMIS) are tracked according to the year of purchase and purchase price. Technical bulletins project life expectancy by stock number, and an inflation rate is compounded annually over the life of the equipment to determine a replacement cost projection.
The new relational data base stores the data associated with an equipment type and data on a particular piece of hardware in separate files. After a user keys in one item of data, such as the stock number, the equipment's nomenclature is pulled from the files and displayed on the screen. Previously, a single file was used to store all data on each item of equipment. System users had to enter every item of data associated with the equipment, both with that particular item and with all items of that type.
Because the AFMIS is an interactive, multiuser system, input and output are distributed among users to ease the data entry work load and control access to the information. Operators at each dining facility enter changes to the equipment inventory and have full visibility over inventory, replacement requirements, and authorizations for their respective activities. The installation food advisor prints a budget worksheet that shows system-generated cost estimates to replace equipment expected to fail on or before the budget year. The worksheet also identifies shortages, which allows the food advisor to program funds to purchase authorized items.
Response from users to the software change package during fielding was positive. If proven effective, the same methods could be used to budget for other types of Army garrison equipment and machinery. For more information, call George H. Dixon, Jr., at (804) 734-0898 or DSN 687-0898, or send e-mail to email@example.com.
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Soldiers no longer will endanger their lives probing the ground with rods and metal detectors to locate and destroy land mines, when the Army fields an obstacle-breaching system being developed by the Training and Doctrine Command Systems Manager for Engineer Combat Systems, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The "Grizzly" (at right), which is mounted on the M1 Abrams tank chassis, features a full-width mine-clearing blade, an excavating arm, and digital communications capabilities. It can breach an 800-meter-deep complex obstacle of mines, barbed wire, and tank ditches in 21 minutes or a simple obstacle in as little as 5 minutes. The Grizzly will enter production in fiscal year 2000.
Six of the largest activities at Rock Island, Illinois, have established a partnership designed to exploit their unique logistics capabilities to better support the soldier of the 21st century.
The charter for Installation Partnership XXI was signed by Rock Island Arsenal; Headquarters, U.S. Army Industrial Operations Command (IOC); the Armament and Chemical Acquisition and Logistics Activity; the Rock Island element of the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center; and the Army Materiel Command's Installation and Services Activity. The Army War Reserve Support Activity is also expected to join the partnership. Other local organizations, such as the Defense Megacenter at Rock Island, have joined in a supporting role.
The purpose of the partnership is to "jointly promote and optimize leading strategic and tactical logistics products, processes and services in support of the . . . Force XXI initiative. This will be a mechanism which will allow the 21st century soldier to know what is available. . . on this installation." The partnership will integrate new technologies and ideas and ensure that soldiers are provided with the best items and services.
The Arsenal will be a "one-stop shop" for the logistics needs of combat soldiers by centralizing technologies, capabilities, and information. Call the IOC Plans, Analysis, and Evaluation Office at (309) 782-5292 or DSN 793-5292 for more information.
All Army food management information system (AFMIS) sites in the continental United States will have converted to the Department of Defense subsistence prime vendor (SPV) program by the end of July. SPV replaces the traditional military system of food procurement and storage with contracts with commercial food vendors.
Since January, 16 PV sites have been transitioned to the SPV program using software known as PV+ rather than the conventional PV software used in 1996. PV+ is an interim measure that implements the policy decision to exclude produce items from PV contracts. Instead, fresh fruits and vegetables are ordered from a Defense Subsistence Office (DSO) designated by the Defense Personnel Support Center (DPSC). DSO's provide the same direct-delivery, 48-hour minimum order and ship time service that is required of PV's. The PV+ software modifications apply to the AFMIS and DPSC's SPV interpreter (SPVI) system.
PV+ will be used until the new subsistence total order and receipt electronic system (STORES) is tested and implemented. STORES will incorporate in AFMIS and SPVI the capability to catalog, order, and receive fruits, vegetables, eggs, and bakery and dairy items from multiple Government or commercial sources of supply.
STORES testing should be completed by late summer, with backfill to conventional PV and PV+ sites beginning shortly thereafter. SPV will be implemented with the new STORES software at sites in Alaska, Hawaii, Europe, Korea, and the Caribbean. There are 52 AFMIS sites worldwide.
Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pennsylvania, received the Secretary of the Army's Environmental Award for Recycling (industrial installation category) for the third consecutive year. Also, a depot employee received the Secretary's individual award for recycling, and the depot won second place for Pollution Prevention and Environmental Quality (industrial installation category).
Tobyhanna's recycling coordinator, C. J. Penwell, said the depot won the recycling award by increasing the amount of waste material sent to recycling facilities, educating the work force about recycling, performing outreach programs for the local community, implementing innovative recycling techniques, and reducing the risks to the environment.
Abdeslem Houmina won the individual award for recycling by finding more efficient and cost-effective ways to load wood and cardboard. The weight of the bales of corrugated cardboard increased from 32,000 pounds to 45,000 pounds per truckload. He implemented a program for recycling scrap wood to make shipping crates and pallets. Tobyhanna buys the remanufactured pallets at $4.50 each, compared to $20 each for new pallets.
Tobyhanna won the pollution prevention award primarily because of improvements in its environmental protection program. The depot adopted a new hazardous materials management program to reduce the number of hazardous materials used. Stage II vapor recovery nozzles were installed on gas tanks that will recover 2,000 pounds of gas vapors per year and recycle them back into the main fuel tank. The depot also began partnering efforts with several companies to increase employee familiarity with the latest technologies of pollution control.
Managers were quick to point out that Tobyhanna employees are committed to the environmental programs, which is the reason for the depot's success. The depot has had no violation notices from state or federal environmental agencies in the past two years.
(CAPTION: Corrugated cardboard is prepared for recycling at Tobyhanna.)
Beginning on 1 August, the Army will accept new start candidates for the Fiscal Year (FY) 1999 Soldier Enhancement Program (SEP). The purpose of the SEP is to accelerate the acquisition of lighter, more lethal weapons and improved "soldier items of equipment" and get the new equipment in the hands of soldiers in 3 years or less.
Since 1990, the Army has actively sought common-sense solutions from soldiers to enhance their lethality, mobility, and survivability on the battlefield through the SEP. The SEP is not an incentive award program. No monetary awards will be given for proposals that are adopted for use and result in a cost saving to the Government.
SEP candidates must be items of equipment that are worn, carried, or consumed for individual use in a tactical environment. They must be commercially available (off the shelf, with little or no modification needed for field military use) and must satisfy operational needs or battlefield deficiencies.
Eight SEP's are expected to conclude in FY 1997. They are: improved chemical/biological protective gloves; stabilized binoculars; a lightweight chemical protective overgarment; a stun hand grenade; an individual soldier radio; an optic sight for machineguns; a mid-sized riot control disperser; and a compression sack.
In March, the SEP executive council approved 22 programs as new starts for FY 1998 to begin in October. Among them are a machinegun assault bag that provides machinegunners with 500 rounds of linked ammunition that is ready to fire; a small, compact, lightweight emergency breathing device that provides a regulated air supply for helicopter crews during their escape from a submerged helicopter; an improved combat shelter for one or two men that is lightweight, easily assembled, and can be used as a poncho; a canteen insert that purifies water directly from the canteen as a soldier drinks; lighter weight ballistic helmets; and a multipurpose cart that affords soldiers more mobility by providing them an off-body load-bearing capability.
To request a form for use in submitting FY 1999 SEP proposals, write to the Army Training and Doctrine Command System Manager-Soldier, ATTN: ATZB-TS, Fort Benning, Georgia 31905-5000; call (706) 545-1189 (DSN 835-1189); or fax (706) 545-1377 (DSN 835-1377). Proposals must be received not later than 15 September.
The Department of Defense has named 12 more European military installations to be returned to host nation control by the end of 1998.
Nearly 4,500 Army and Air Force personnel will be affected with the closing of 11 installations in Germany. Those installations are the Sheridan and Gablingen Kasernes and the Fryar Circle, Sullivan Heights, Centerville, and Cramerton Family Housing Areas, all in Augsburg; the Ruppertsweiler Warehouse in Pirmasens; the Ayers Kaserne in Kirchgoens; the military storage area in Najbollenbach; and the Dueringen and Lechfeld training areas. Some of these installations had been named earlier as partial closings. Giessen General Depot, also cited earlier as a partial return, now will remain a U.S. installation. Some 1st Armored Division units will move from the Ayers Kaserne to Giessen, while other units will transfer to Ray Barracks in Friedberg.
Actions also are underway to return the Pirinclik Air Base in Turkey to host nation control. This will require the reassignment of 117 Air Force personnel.
More than 800 military bases in Europe have been returned to host nation control, reduced in size, or placed on standby. These actions are the result of a general drawdown of U.S. bases in Europe and improvements in space surveillance technology.