The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) legislation called for the creation of a Sustainment Center of Excellence (SCOE) that consolidates the Army logistics schools from across four installations. The Transportation Center and School at Fort Eustis, Virginia; the Ordnance Mechanical Maintenance School at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; and the Ordnance Munitions and Electronics School at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, will soon be relocated to Fort Lee, Virginia, and combined with the Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM), the Quartermaster Center and School, and the Army Logistics Management College (ALMC), which are already located there. The transition will begin in fiscal year 2009 and will be fully implemented by 2011.
Instead of simply gaining efficiencies by collocating, the SCOE will offer a more effective organization by consolidating education programs and creating synergy across the schools. One of the key initiatives of transforming to the SCOE is the creation of the Army Logistics University (ALU).
Forming the Army Logistics University
ALU, which will be formally established in October 2009, will consolidate over 200 courses that are
currently offered by 5 schools and provide training and education to a daily average of over 2,300 U.S. military and civilian students and international officers. Approximately 19,000 students annually will take resident courses through the university.
As stated in the SCOE Mission and Functions document, ALU will assume responsibility for the logistics leader education that currently resides in the Quartermaster, Ordnance, and Transportation Schools and will have the mission “to provide Professional Military Education (PME) and other training to the Army’s logistics civilians, officers, warrant officers, [and] NCOs [noncommissioned officers] . . . to enhance readiness and sustainability operations through training, education, consulting and research.”
The university will comprise four distinct colleges: ALMC, the Logistics Leader College, the Technical Logistics College, and the Logistics NCO Academy. ALMC will exist as it currently stands but without the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course (CLC3). The Logistics Leader College will include CLC3 (which already is attended by all logistics officers), basic officer leader training, and additional courses focused on technical training for officers. The Technical Logistics College will conduct warrant officer education. The fourth school within ALU will be a single Logistics NCO Academy created by consolidating the four current NCO academies. Responsibility for advanced individual training and selected technical courses will remain with the Quartermaster, Ordnance, and Transportation Schools.
ALU will also include an Operations Management Office that, in addition to other functions, will be responsible for staff and faculty development, the new Logistics Library, and the International Military Student Office. For those areas, ALU’s Operations Management Office will support the entire SCOE, including all the logistics branch schools. Military students will become part of the 71st Student Battalion, which will be commanded by a lieutenant colonel and made up of four companies. The Army Logistician staff will move to ALU under the command group and retain the same structure that it currently has within ALMC.
|Aerial view showing the current Army Logistics Management College (right center)
and the construction of the Army Logistics University campus.
The first school to transition to ALU will be ALMC. The 54 ALMC courses in logistics, acquisition, and operations research will move to ALU as a unit and continue operations with little change. The ALMC commandant will become the assistant commandant of ALU, and the dean of ALMC’s current School of Systems and Acquisition Management will become the dean of ALMC.
The Logistics Leader College, under the dean of ALMC’s current School of Logistics Science, will be divided into three departments: Captains Career Training, Basic Officer Leader Training, and Applied Logistics Studies. The branch-specific phase of CLC3 for ordnance officers will transfer to ALU in early fiscal year 2009. Transfer of the quartermaster-specific phase will occur in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009, and the transfer of the transportation-specific phase will occur at the end of fiscal year 2010. The quartermaster and ordnance basic officer leader courses are scheduled to move to ALU in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2009, and the transportation program will move in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2010.
The establishment of the Technical Logistics College will begin with the designation of the dean, a chief warrant officer (W–5), who will lead the planning and transition of the warrant officer courses into the college’s two departments: Basic Warrant Officer Training and Advanced Warrant Officer Training. The ordnance and quartermaster technical courses will move to ALU in late fiscal year 2009 and early fiscal year 2010, respectively, and the transportation technical courses will be in place by late fiscal year 2010.
Finally, the Logistics NCO Academy, led by a command sergeant major, will be stood up in late fiscal year 2009, and the quartermaster NCO courses will transition to ALU at the same time. Ordnance will follow early in fiscal year 2010, and transportation will transition by the end of fiscal year 2010. The academy will have two departments: the Basic NCO Course and the Advanced NCO Course. There will be no branch-specific departments in the academy. Courses from every logistics branch will be integrated into the college with the goal of achieving synergy across the branches.
ALU Staff and Faculty
The university will be led by a general officer selected from among the three commanding generals of the SCOE branch schools. One of these commanding generals will serve as the ALU commandant while simultaneously serving as the commanding general of his school.
The university will include over 450 staff and faculty members with expertise across the logistics spectrum as well as Army acquisition and operations research, which are currently part of the ALMC curriculum. The bulk of the university’s civilian staff and faculty will be individuals who are currently performing the same or similar functions in the consolidating schools.
In standing up the SCOE, all positions within the consolidating schools will be abolished and new positions will be created within the SCOE. All civilians currently working in a consolidating school have been guaranteed a position within the SCOE at the same grade and salary and have been asked about their interest in becoming a part of the SCOE through a survey of interest that was conducted between May and July 2008. Based on the results of the survey, employees will be assigned to their duty positions in the SCOE by the end of September.
Most of the employees assigned to ALU will begin moving into the university in April 2009 in preparation for its formal establishment in October. Because courses will be moved to ALU over a 2-year period, the transfer of employees will be synchronized with those moves. During this process, a significant number of civilian positions at all grade levels are expected to become available at Fort Lee as a result of retirements and the availability of competitive jobs from other BRAC initiatives at the losing locations. Military assignments to ALU will also begin in June 2009 and will continue over the next 2 years as courses transfer to the university. In order to continue the training mission while courses transition to ALU, some programs may divide operations between installations for short periods of time. This would most likely require both military and civilian overhires during that time.
Challenges to the ALU’s Conception
The creation of ALU presented a number of challenges. Questions arose about the timeframe, funding, personnel, facilities, and which programs should become part of the university. Some of these issues have been resolved while others are still pending resolution.
The major courses that would become part of ALU (as part of the original plan) included CLC3, the basic officer leader courses, the NCO academies, and the warrant officer basic and advanced courses. Determining which other courses belonged in ALU required significant discussion. The final list of courses to be transferred is now complete, and transfer dates are pending.
New facilities were needed to house the university. The current ALMC building cannot accommodate the threefold increase in staff and eightfold increase in resident students. In 2006, the Army approved funding for a new 400,000-square-foot academic building, which is being built across the street from the current ALMC building. The new building will be the home of the Logistics Leader College and the Logistics NCO Academy as well as the Logistics Library and the ALU command section. To support the training of warrior tasks across the university, a Warrior Training Center is in the design stage and will be created within an existing ALMC building. The two ALU academic buildings, the Warrior Training Center, and a Logistics Simulation Center that will be used by the entire SCOE will constitute the ALU campus. Contracts were awarded for the new academic and simulations buildings in July 2007, and they are scheduled to be complete in April 2009. The buildings will be occupied in July of that year.
Appointing the leaders to plan and implement the creation of each individual college is essential. At present, two of the four deans (the deans of ALMC and the Logistics Leader College) have been designated. Planning for the transfer of courses and personnel is another major initiative currently underway. Since scheduling for Army training is done 2 years in advance, planners are currently establishing workable windows of time for course moves to ensure the least amount of disruption to programs and the education mission. Staff and faculty assignments are also being determined now to ensure that all personnel are in place when and where they are needed.
Another major issue that is currently being tackled is the need to build an automated system to help manage the operation of ALU and the other schools within the SCOE. Presently, the scheduling of students, faculty, classrooms, ranges, and simulation facilities within CASCOM schools is done either manually or with school-unique scheduling systems. Every year, ALU will have to schedule thousands of students, hundreds of instructors and classrooms, large numbers of equipment and special purpose laboratories, and dozens of ranges. Some of these resources will be shared by other SCOE schools, and some will be located at particular schools. Some of the instruction and exercises will be conducted jointly across schools. So, the need to schedule and synchronize facilities efficiently exists not only within ALU but across the entire SCOE. Efforts are underway to create an enterprise-level learning management system for the SCOE or a system that can be used across the Army Training and Doctrine Command’s centers of excellence.
The Army Logistics University will provide new opportunities to make Army logistics education not only multifunctional but multi-echelon. It will provide integrated education programs for logistics leaders—commissioned officers, warrant officers, NCOs, and civilians—across the spectrum of logistics as well as in the Army acquisition and operations research analysis fields. ALU will provide the opportunity to integrate education and stimulate thought across the branches and ranks that make up the Army’s Logistics Corps. It will offer opportunities for multi-echelon training and exercises. Finally, it will provide a single source for logistics leader education in the Army.
As the university takes shape, additional opportunities for synergy and efficiency resulting from the consolidation of resources will surface. New ways to integrate instruction will evolve. ALU will provide a dynamic environment in which to prepare the Army’s logistics leaders for their role in the Army today and in the future.
Barbara G. Mroczkowski is the assistant commandant of the Army Logistics Management College at Fort Lee, Virginia. She has a B.A. degree in mathematics from Molloy College, an M.A. degree in mathematics from Hunter College, and a graduate certificate in education for public management from Cornell University. She has a master’s degree in national security strategy from the National War College.