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Transitioning to Support the Future Force

Before my assignment as the Deputy Chief of Staff, G–4, Department of the Army, I was the Commander of the Army Combined Arms Support Command (CASCOM) and Fort Lee, Virginia. Although I have turned over the CASCOM reins to Major General Mitchell H. Stevenson, I would like to reflect on a few of the more significant accomplishments that the Soldiers and civilians of CASCOM achieved during my tenure. Clearly, without their superb dedication and service, we could not win the fight.

During my time as commander, CASCOM changed considerably. Yet, despite the challenges posed by transformation, the modular force, joint interdependency, and preparing for the potential impacts of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission’s recommendations—to name but a few—the CASCOM team continued to support our Nation at war. Our Army moved forward swiftly during this period, and the logistics community kept pace.

Early in 2005, we reorganized the CASCOM headquarters to better serve our customers, align us more closely with the Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), and move toward a multifunctionally focused organization. The reorganization strengthened our logistics focus and supported better command and control across the doctrine, organizations, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities spectrum. The reorganization was a success and was approved by the Department of the Army in June 2005. More important, it postured CASCOM for the upcoming challenges of BRAC.

BRAC is inextricably linked to the transformation effort. Our Secretary of Defense called the 2005 BRAC process an opportunity “to reset our force.” We are not only resetting our forces but also posturing them for the future. The Department of Defense is moving to transform the Armed Forces and enhance our ability to fight as a joint force. The Army’s evolution into a standardized, modular, brigade-centric force structure, coupled with the Army Force Generation model, will enable the Army to swiftly engage and prevail against adversaries. The recommendations made by the BRAC Commission and approved by the President aligned military organizations, infrastructure, and institutions to better support this modern force. Many of the recommendations centered on the realignment of forces to support the new Modular Army and to synchronize and maximize resources. The Centers of Excellence are one example of that.

With the President’s recommendation and the approval of Congress, the logistics community will establish a Logistics Center of Excellence at Fort Lee. What does this really mean? As one of the new TRADOC Centers of Excellence, CASCOM will be better able to synchronize its training and combat developments by consolidating and optimizing resources and capabilities. CASCOM also will consolidate and align its organization to focus on supporting current and emerging requirements for multifunctional logisticians. It will evolve into a support structure that is more capable, efficient, and flexible than ever before.

The Army is focusing its efforts on creating a more agile, lethal, and deployable force. Logisticians across the Army have contributed greatly to the development of many new organizations. CASCOM is supporting this effort through the transformation of all logistics units in the Army. This required the documentation of 36 new modular designs. The new theater sustainment command and sustainment brigade, which will provide the combatant commander with a more flexible and scaleable organization to support the warfight, are critical to the success of the future modular forces and are just two examples of the great things CASCOM accomplished. This was remarkable work and fully in sync with the Joint Capable Modular Force Concept of Support, a concept that leverages joint and strategic partners in the national sustainment base and in a deployed theater of operations.

In an ever-changing world, it is difficult to remain current and relevant. As a result, training developers and instructors need to continue updating courses and programs. The CASCOM team worked closely with sister TRADOC centers and schools to lay the framework for the Noncommissioned Officer Education System Transformation. One success was the development of a multifunctional, integrated Logistics Warrior Exercise to be conducted at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. Another example of supporting the Soldiers was CASCOM’s development of the Sustainment Portal, which quickly became an integral tool for the logistician in the field.

At the Army Logistics Management College at Fort Lee, we integrated Battle Command Sustainment Support System (BCS3) training and a Distribution Management Exercise into the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course (CLC3). We also refocused the Combat Service Support Precommand Course to increase its relevance in the contemporary operating environment and developed the Logistics Modernization Program Fundamentals and Applications Courses. The development and advancement of new programs and courses represent the CASCOM team’s support to the warfighter and Soldier in the field. We need to continue to focus on providing quality, relevant training that will give our Soldiers the skills and knowledge they need to win the fight.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven to be difficult and challenging. We have lost Soldiers—sons and daughters who bravely put their lives on the line for our country. Our hearts are saddened by their ultimate sacrifice. As we continue to support our Army, we must be conscious that every Soldier is important and every Soldier needs our professionalism and support. From providing Center for Army Lessons Learned Teams, to developing training support packages, to developing a fix to a system to provide more capability, CASCOM continues to support our Nation at war. I thank all the military and civilian members of the CASCOM team for their support of a world-class Army. Support Starts Here!

Lieutenant General Ann E. Dunwoody is the Deputy Chief of Staff, G–4, Department of the Army. She served as Commander, Army Combined Arms Support Command and Fort Lee, from September 2004 to October 2005.