REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (March 28, 2019) – Gen. John M. Murray, U.S. Army Futures Command commander, addressed the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center workforce during a town hall held at the Bob Jones Auditorium in Redstone Arsenal, March 26.
Murray spoke about the need for more operational options, greater integration, realistic experimentation, and greater speed. AFC, established by Secretary of the Army Mark Esper in June 2018, is leading the Army’s future force modernization enterprise. “This is about speed-to-need, the speed of relevance,” said Murray. “It’s so much bigger than just programs and equipment.”
AFC has a mission to lead continuous transformation of Army modernization to provide future Warfighters with the concepts, capabilities, and organizational structures to dominate a future battlefield. “We have the sacred obligation to make sure (future Soldiers) have the capabilities, structure, tactics – everything they need – to fight on the future battlefield,” Murray said.
The general explained that, going forward, the modernization priorities will not change. “We have got to become a continuously modernizing organization or else our predecessors will find themselves in the same spot we’re in right now 30 years from now,” said Murray.
Members of the workforce voiced concerns about the aging workforce and the potential for positions to transfer to Austin, Texas, where AFC is headquartered.
“Part of the deal is people will not move,” Murray said, explaining that there is no plan to uproot employees in existing positions and relocate them to Texas.
“The aging workforce is a concern,” Murray said. “We need to do a better job recruiting the right folks and in the right places. The Army is one of the last places in the world that hires people for life or a career,” he said in reference to uniformed military.
Another topic of discussion was innovation and how to adapt AFC’s culture to the digital age. Murray explained that innovation is usually bred in the lower levels of employment, with entry-level engineers and scientists who are teeming with big ideas. “As it relates to innovation, it depends on where you sit,” he said, adding that those at higher positions are generally comfortable with where they are and how things are going and may push back some. He said there has to be a willingness to accept failure and risk at some level.
To close out the town hall, Murray presented coins to nine members of the CCDC AvMC workforce for outstanding achievements. Those recognized were Bruce Hughes of the Engineering Directorate; Dave Stephan of the Aviation Engineering Directorate; Hunter Blackwell, John Gibbs, Will Caraway, Dave Abell, and Kevin Wilson of the Weapons Development and Integration Directorate; Steven Stilwell of the Aviation Development Directorate; and Kelly Glosson in center support.
The CCDC Aviation & Missile Center, formerly known as the Aviation & Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, which conducts responsive research, development and life cycle engineering to deliver the aviation and missile capabilities the Army depends on to ensure victory on the battlefield today and tomorrow. Through collaboration across the command’s core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our Nation’s wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.