Rethinking Governance of the Army's Arsenals and Ammunition Plants

By W. Michael Hix; Ellen M. Pint et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter Eight
A RECOMMENDED STRATEGY

This chapter recommends a strategy that moves the Army's industrial base toward the vision offered in Chapter Four, namely:

A responsive, innovative, efficient manufacturing base, capable of meeting national security requirements while relying to the maximum practical extent on the inherent advantages of competition and private ownership of capital.

The strategy offers a number of advantages. It recognizes real-world constraints. It can be accomplished without special BRAC authority. However, certain aspects of the proposal require legislation. Further, the strategy is prudent in that it maintains a substantial hedge of organic assets against unforeseen requirements. Therefore, it does not move as far toward the vision as some might desire. It provides another hedge in that the assets the Army gives up are likely to continue as active manufacturing assets in other hands, with provisions for the Army to reclaim them in an emergency. It promises significant budget savings both within the Program Objective Memorandum (POM) and over the longer term. Finally, the strategy permits the divestiture of Army assets without the substantial front-end costs associated with declaring assets excess to need either as a part of BRAC or outside it. Equally important, it offers the prospect of maintaining, perhaps even increasing, employment at each of the sites divested. In sum, the proposed strategy offers substantial benefits to the Army and to the taxpayer with modest risk.

Perhaps the most difficult prerequisite of successful implementation of the strategy is overcoming the Army's unique cultural attachment to the organic base. Because it is based on deeply held values and beliefs, culture is the most difficult property of an organization to change. For that reason, should the Army adopt the strategy proposed here, its decision will need to be accompanied by a strong statement of the Army's intent to carry it out. And that strong statement will need to be followed by reinforcing guidance, specific milestones, monitoring, and enforcement.

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