AUSA Hot Topic: Innovation, Youth Drive Sustainment

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

A combination of technological advancement and development of junior leaders is responsible for success in Army sustainment, expert panelists said Wednesday at a forum hosted the Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare. More advancement and more development will be needed in the future, panelists said.

More than 200 U.S. and foreign military leaders, civilian contractors and other sustainment experts attended the event in Alexandria, Va., one of a series of “Hot Topic” events being held this year by AUSA.

Lt. Gen. Larry Wyche, U.S. Army Materiel Command deputy commanding general and chief of staff, said success in logistics and maintenance requires partnering with small businesses and offering opportunities to the next generation. “Our workforce is aging,” Wyche said. “We’re offering 1,000 high school students internship opportunities starting this month.”

Education also is important, panelists said. Dr. Elliott Minor III, chairman of the Department of Supply Chain Management and Analytics at Virginia Commonwealth University, said partnering with area colleges and universities can help find leaders who want to help shape the Army’s future.

“Some sort of graduate education is extremely important,” said John E. Hall, president of the Army Logistics University at Fort Lee, Va. “There is a need today to know what the latest practices and information is for tomorrow.”

New technology and fresh minds could help. Jim Young, who manages Army programs for Google, said the next big thing for the Army could be fabric with responsive sensors.

AUSA’s next Hot Topics even will be July 16, focusing on Army information networks. Details are available here