Via: Continue to modernize our equipment and sustain the force 

 
Our forces must be ready, trained and equipped – boots on the ground – to meet future contingencies in the world when the nation calls. Soldiers, above, are from the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, training in Hohenfels, Germany. (Photo Credit: DoD photo)

The commander of the U.S. Army Materiel Command (AMC) spoke Feb. 19 at the 2014 Association of the United States Army Institute of Land Warfare Winter Symposium and Exposition and emphasized the suitability of this year’s symposium theme to the current status of the Army.

"The theme for this year’s symposium is ‘America’s Army: Sustaining, Training, and Equipping for the Future,’ and I think it is very appropriate," Gen. Dennis L. Via, AMC commander, said.

"As our Army continues its transition in Afghanistan, we must simultaneously prepare our Army for the next contingency – for this we can be sure, as history has taught us all too well, there will be a future contingency somewhere in the world that will require ‘boots on the ground,’" Via said.

Adding, "Our forces must be ready, trained and equipped to meet that contingency when the nation calls. Our nation expects, and deserves, nothing less."

According to Via, diminishing fiscal resources and growing threats drive three priorities for AMC.

"We must continue to modernize our equipment; we must continue to sustain the force of today; and we must continue to develop capabilities and technologies that will give our soldiers the decisive advantage to meet – and defeat – any potential future enemies," he said.

During his remarks to the audience of over 3,500, Via provided AMC’s perspective on how that decisive advantage is being maintained.

"AMC remains a global materiel powerhouse – providing predictive readiness to our Army and the joint force. Our nine major subordinate commands continue to provide the soldier world-class support each and every day," he added.

During his remarks, Via took the opportunity to showcase several of AMC’s leap-ahead technologies that unburden, protect, empower and sustain the Joint Warfighter.

Female soldiers demonstrated both the Army Combat Uniform - Alternate and the Female Improved Outer Tactical Vest.

Both pieces of gear were designed to improve mobility, increase comfort and performance, and enhance survivability for female soldiers.

A soldier also demonstrated the Helmet Electronics and Display System – Upgradeable Protection, known as "HEADS-UP," during the presentation.

"It provides mounted and dismounted troops with a more fully integrated headgear system with new technologies including improved ballistic materials, non-ballistic impact liner materials and designs, better eye, face, and hearing protection, and improved communications," Via explained.

Many of the technologies Via discussed were also on display at the Army booth at the exposition, including the newly-developed Meals Ready to Eat Pizza.

"These materiel solutions that I’ve just highlighted are but a glance into what our AMC engineers and scientists are researching and developing, and a glimpse of what’s possible in the future as we move toward Force 2025 and beyond," Via said.

Adding, "Working in partnership with industry and academia, along with a sustained level of resourcing, I’m confident we can maintain the technological edge that will produce the next generation in vertical lift, ground vehicle, night vision advancement, and over-match capabilities in our next weapon systems, all while protecting and preserving what our Army has worked so hard to achieve over the past decade."

He also noted, "As we support the soldier of the future, we must strive to discover the leap-ahead technologies which will allow our Army to maintain its technological edge.

"The Army and AMC, along with the help of every industry partner here today must continue to ensure our top priority remains providing the Joint Warfighter the equipment and materiel they need to accomplish their mission.

"Everything we do now and into the future must have this singular focus. The Joint Warfighter, and the civilians who support them, are depending on us for our success."