The Midwest Senior Service College fellows visited the Fort Custer Training Center in Battle Creek, Michigan, March 21-22, and AM General in South Bend, Indiana, March 24.
Detroit Arsenal and TACOM Life Cycle Management Command fellows are John Gates and Michael Fraley, TACOM LCMC; Paul Coles and Kathy Lytle, program executive office Combat Support and Combat Service Support; and Chad Stocker, PEO Ground Combat Systems.
Fort Custer, which is federally-owned and state-operated, is home to the 177th Regiment, Regional Training Institute and Regional Maintenance Training Site. It encompasses 7,500 acres, which includes battalion level training areas, weapons ranges, obstacle courses, simulators and an education center equipped with classrooms, conference rooms, billeting and dining.
AM General is a privately held company best known in the defense sector for its production of the Humvee.
On March 21, the group received a tour and several briefings, which included overviews of Fort Custer, the U.S. Navy Operational Support Center, Ordnance Training Company, and Materiel Fielding and Training new equipment training. The next morning was dedicated to hands-on training and operation of Army construction equipment, including the 120M grader, 621 scraper, high mobility engineer excavator, light capability rough terrain forklift, M105 Deuce and D6K tractor. Hands-on experience provided the fellows with insights into the multitude of skills required and challenges experienced by Soldiers. This type of experience will benefit the fellows in the execution of their acquisition profession through a better understanding of the soldier’s needs.
At AM General, the fellows received a company overview, and an overview of their commodity lines and supply chain management. They also received a tour of military and commercial assembly plants and visited AM General’s Humvee test track. There, the fellows received training on the Humvee operation, including navigating 40 and 60 percent slopes, moguls and climbing a 22-inch vertical step. Once the fellows were trained, they were offered the opportunity to drive through the course. This hands-on experience demonstrated the exceptional capabilities of the Humvee and revealed the level of training required for our Soldiers to effectively operate the vehicle. The AM General visit provided the fellows with insight into industry priorities and challenges, how the company is adapting to an ever-increasing global market and commodity line variety, and the hands-on experience to better comprehend soldiers’ challenges.
The Senior Service College Fellowship is a 10-month graduate-level program that prepares Army senior civilians (board selected GS-14/15 & equivalents) for leading Army acquisition and sustainment organizations. The SSCF supports Army research, development, acquisition and sustainment organizations at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland; and Warren, Michigan.
On March 28, 2013, U.S. Army G3/5/7 granted Military Education Level I equivalency to SSCF, recognizing it as the only senior service school equivalent to Army War College.