The Army's push to incorporate additive manufacturing technologies into its supply chain is making progress, according to a top service official.

"Three years ago when I started on this adventure, I would tell you that industry was way ahead of us," said Gen. Gus Perna, head of Army Materiel Command. "My personal opinion is that the United States Army--based on support from Army senior leaders--has caught up."

The service has been pushing to adopt 3D printing to create equipment parts quickly. Last year, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy issued a memorandum detailing how the service plans to pursue the capability.

It wants to be able to deliver parts on demand rather than mimic industry's manufacturing processes, Perna told reporters Feb. 4 during a breakfast in Washington, D.C.

"I don't want their supply chain," he said. "I don't want to replicate it. I want to be able to influence and react to readiness drivers that are needed on the battlefield in timely manners" and meet surge requirements using additive manufacturing, he added.

A key part of this effort will be obtaining the...

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