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Army Service Day: resource management professionals--partners in combat.

The Honorable Sandra Pack Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller)

Lieutenant General Johnny Riggs Director of the Objective Force Task Force

Brigadier General Paul Izzo Program Executive Officer for Ammunition

Major Joe Hitt Member of the PEO for Ammunition

Sometimes it's hard to see the big picture, especially in the financial management (FM) world. We concentrate on administering the funds for a particular (typically small) segment of the Army, but we don't always realize the macro effect of what we are doing. At the 2003 Army Service Day, Service leaders brought the off-missed broader vision into stark relief.

Financial managers are not merely money-minders; they are partners in combat. Operation Iraqi Freedom may seem far away and separate from what we do at our individual installations, but United States troops do not execute that mission in a vacuum, emphasized Mrs. Sandra Pack, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller). U.S. troops achieve the President's objectives as a result of what the financial management community does, day in and day out.

"You, the financial management community, were--and continue to be--absolutely essential to our victory. Because you were effective in all aspects of financial management, our warfighters were able to make [the major combat success in] Iraq happen," she stated.

Mrs. Pack further applauded the financial management team for performing exceptionally well despite less-than-ideal fiscal circumstances. She acknowledged that the 2003 budget "was not built with war in mind" and emergency supplemental funding was not in "our hands until after the President declared combat in Iraq over." Nonetheless, the Army "stayed afloat during the first 6 months of the year because you found ways to make it work."

Mrs. Pack advised that the FM community's critical role is far from finished. Operations in Iraq, for which the Army will be the principal player, are just now entering the second phase, which could last for years. Additionally, the Army has been named Executive Agent for the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA).

"You and I will be managing all funds for the CPA. Their task is enormous and absolutely critical to the long-term success of a free, democratic, and stable Iraq. Your continued hard work and creativity are going to be essential to the CPA achieving its goals."

Lieutenant General Johnny Riggs brought another piece of that big picture into focus during Army Day. LTG Riggs, the Director of the Objective Force Task Force, explained the Army's vision for the Future Combat Systems and its new force structure, the unit of action and the unit of employment. Concepts for FCS--and Transformation overall--are still evolving and will continue to change, Riggs said. But, already, some of those ideas have been translated into working pieces of machinery, such as phenomenally versatile robotic ground vehicles and mini unmanned aerial vehicles.

Brigadier General Paul Izzo, Program Executive Officer for Ammunition, and Major Joe Hitt, a member of Izzo's team, followed the day's theme, connecting those who manage money and materiel to those who serve on the battlefield. The PEO Ammunition organization has dedicated itself to providing more effective, leap-ahead munitions to the warfighter in a more efficient manner.

But PEO Ammunition is not solely focused on the future. Using a rapid-fire succession of visual images from around the world, MAJ Hitt showed the FM community the fruits of its labors: staggering quantities of all sorts of munitions for every military service flowing into the Persian Gulf theater.

To see the Army's bigger picture in its entirety, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) must be included. While the USACE supports soldiers daily through civil works programs and military programs, its position during wartime operations is equally important, stated Dr. James Houston, Director of the Engineer Research and Development Center. For example, during the past 2 years, the USACE has played major roles in Afghanistan and Iraq, providing protection against terrorist threats and conducting damage assessments and mobility analyses. The USACE also has tailored some of its research and development effort to solutions that fulfill warfighting and force protection needs.

The USACE is essential not only to security and war but to domestic prosperity as well, according to Colonel Peter Rowan, Commander of the USACE's New Orleans District. The Port of New Orleans, by tonnage, is the world's largest, Rowan stated. To keep the international commerce that flows through it running smoothly, ships must have easy ingress and egress; otherwise, the port would not function. The USACE ensures that river access remains trouble-free. At the same time, the Corps is charged with protecting the areas surrounding the port. In addition, the USACE plays a role in the ecological health of the nation and often provides disaster relief.

The Army, and its financial managers, must guarantee that our troops always will be able to retain the advantage, whether facing a thinking adversary on the battlefield, a terrorist on home soil, or the whims of Mother Nature. Reforms within key organizations, such as the United States Army Material Command, will help the Service maintain this preeminence in the future, stated Major General John Doesburg, Commander of the Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command. A dominant land-force capability for soldiers of the United States and our allies will be available, he concluded, only through transformational change, which is facilitated by the efforts of the Army's financial management community.

Reported by the Army Day Team
COPYRIGHT 2003 American Society of Military Comptrollers
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Title Annotation:Service Day
Publication:Armed Forces Comptroller
Date:Jun 22, 2003
Words:898
Previous Article:Exhibitors list.
Next Article:Navy/Marine Corps Service Day: financial management transformation initiatives update.


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