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Army Secretary Approves the Formation of a New Army Corrosion Board

New leadership team and impending regulation is expected to strengthen the Army’s corrosion prevention and control program.

Photos courtesy of Robert Goebel, ArmyAviation.com

On April 7, 2014, Secretary of the Army John McHugh approved the formation of an Army Corrosion Board that will advise and assist the Army Corrosion Executive Wimpy Pybus in the implementation and oversight of the control and prevention of corrosion on Army equipment and infrastructure.

Pybus, who has served in his post since 2009, will chair the new Army Corrosion Board. As chair, Pybus will cooperate and coordinate with other Army Corrosion Board members in the planning, programming, budgeting, execution, and evaluation of the corrosion program. In granting approval of the new board charter, Secretary McHugh has requested that milestones of success, and metrics by which we will measure those successes, be identified," said Wimpy Pybus, Army Corrosion Executive.

Along with Pybus as leader, the board will consist of one or more members each from the Office of ASA (Installations, Energy, and Environment); the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff; the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management; the U.S. Army Forces Command; the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command; the U.S. Army Materiel Command; the Army National Guard; the U.S. Army Reserve; and other offices as required. “The presence of high-ranking generals and senior executive service members on the board also indicates that they have committed themselves to address this issue," said Roger Hamerlinck, senior acquisition policy specialist and Pybus's principal point of contact on the Army Corrosion Board.

According to Pybus's team, the establishment of the board’s charter indicates that the Secretary of the Army is committed to recognizing the importance of the Army's corrosion program. “This charter shows that Secretary McHugh believes this program is critical enough to set aside resources in order to work these issues at a very high level," said Hamerlinck.

"By establishing this new board, the Secretary of the Army has also signaled an interest in bringing greater attention to the Army’s corrosion prevention program," Hamerlinck added.

"We commend the Secretary of the Army for taking this action and look forward to seeing what the metrics will be for declaring success and/or failure," said Daniel J. Dunmire, director of the DoD Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office. "We wholeheartedly support the Army's action and look forward to its success."

The New Board's Mission and Strategy

Led by the Army corrosion executive, the Army Corrosion Board must ensure that corrosion prevention and control is addressed appropriately across all Army domains, including doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, and education, as well as personnel, facilities, and policy.

Hamerlinck's office is in the process of drafting a new regulation for the Army Corrosion Prevention and Control Program as it pertains to equipment and facilities. "The basis of this regulation is to be founded upon the signed board charter. Additionally, within a month or so, you will see a draft strategic plan for comment and concurrence," Hamerlinck said.

"Within the published statutory and regulatory [requirements] of the Department of the Army, this new board may change the way we interface and do business with DoD's Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office," said Hamerlinck. "Details of these changes will be included in our new regulation, the strategic plan, and results of the first Army Corrosion Board meeting slated for July."

Photo by Sgt. Roberto Di Giovine, U.S. Army
Photo courtesy of Robert Goebel, ArmyAviation.com

How the New Board Benefits the Army and Warfighter

The new regulation will establish a program specifying what the Army has to do to establish a CPC program. It will require every Army command, Army service component command, and direct reporting unit to establish a corrosion program within its own command.

"Our goal is not to recreate existing policies,” Hamerlinck said. "It's to put an umbrella policy on top to show what a corrosion program consists of and to require one within each command. Thus, each sub-command should do a SOP (standard operating procedure) or desk book. That’s what we’re doing with this regulation."

"Now that the Secretary of the Army has formally chartered this board, we’re going to be able to get its members together and look at higher strategic level issues with corrosion prevention and control," Hamerlinck added. “Along with his approval the Secretary of the Army has given us all some guidance, as well. He wants to see milestones of success and metrics identified by which we will measure those successes."

Implementing the Charter

According to the charter, the Army Corrosion Board will advise the Army corrosion executive in fulfilling the many roles and responsibilities as prescribed in Section 903 of the fiscal year 2009 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as he coordinates department-level CPC program activities with the Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, program executive officers, and relevant major commands. In addition, the board will support the Army corrosion executive as he implements corrosion prevention and control in all manner of policy and guidance pertaining to research, development, testing and evaluation; system acquisition and production; standardization programs; logistics; and in the design, construction, and maintenance of Army infrastructure.

The Army Corrosion Board will meet formally once a year. "The board will be supported by an Army Corrosion Integrated Product Team (IPT), and that will be made up of representatives of each board member’s organizations,” said Hamerlinck. "The IPT members will meet as often as necessary, but a minimum of four times a year."

Two years ago, Pybus's office determined that an overarching regulation that united all necessary policies for maintaining and acquiring equipment and facilities. Hamerlinck discussed why the regulation is needed: “We decided that there’s equipment maintenance policy, facilities policy, some acquisition policies, but there is no policy that brings it all together as a 'program'. So we decided we needed to publish a regulation as an overarching document making this a formal Army program." While Hamerlinck expects a draft regulation to be ready by fall 2014, the process of approving and editing the document may take two to three years.

The board's charter lasts two years, and is eligible for review and renewal prior to the end of each term. Pybus noted that the charter “served to establish a more formal process for communication and coordination among member organizations. Its intent is to reduce the Army's cost of corrosion overall, through improved accountability, efficiency, and consistency in the addressing of CPC (corrosion prevention and control) issues," he said.

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