Army Vice Chief visits Redstone Arsenal
January 24, 2014
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (Jan. 24, 2014) -- At a time when the Army is reducing its budget and its force, Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. John F. Campbell told Redstone Arsenal leaders how they can be part of the solution.
Campbell visited Redstone Arsenal and made stops at several organizations during his visit here Jan. 22-23.
"For the last 12 years we have set our men and women up for success in theater," Campbell said. "But we have to be proactive as we set up for the future. If we do nothing, people will do it for us."
Army Materiel Command, known as AMC, leaders provided a briefing including its subordinate commands in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Korea and Germany. The video teleconference focused largely on retrograde and the Afghanistan drawdown.
"No one else in the world can do this," Campbell said after reviewing the plans for removing equipment from overseas. "People don't realize the incredible work AMC does around the world."
That work, he said, is something most people take for granted.
Campbell recognized the advancements AMC has made in logistical operations, calling it the "nerve center" of Army logistics.
"Everyone is now on the same operating picture," he said. "It provides total visibility on all equipment and assets."
In turn, that picture provides predictive readiness, he said.
AMC Commanding General Gen. Dennis L. Via said hosting the vice chief was a tremendous opportunity for Redstone Arsenal.
"He was impressed with what he saw," Via said. "He enjoyed engaging discussions and was impressed with both our capabilities and success."
Campbell made rounds across the arsenal, visiting leaders from the Army Contracting Command, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Program Executive Office Aviation and PEO Missiles and Space. He also held two sensing sessions with Soldiers and employees from throughout the arsenal, focused on the Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention Program and the Army's Ready and Resilient initiative.
"SHARP and the Ready and Resilient Campaign are focused on our civilian and Soldier workforce," said Redstone Arsenal Garrison Commander Col. Bill Marks. "As we draw down and reassess what services we are able to provide and at what levels we are able to provide them, the challenge for all leaders is to be creative in their approach and clearly understand how these changes affect the readiness and resiliency of our work force and do all we can to mitigate any adverse affects."
As Campbell spoke with Army Contracting Command officials, he talked about the tough decisions that will have to be made in the near future.
"Not providing the right resources and the right policies can have a devastating effect," he said to contracting leaders. "Moving forward, we have to ensure we are doing everything we can to help shape this."
Campbell said with wartime winding down, an opportunity exists to take a breath. "We may not get this chance again," he said. "Think bold initiatives and change."
Brig. Gen. Ted Harrison, commanding general of the Army Contracting Command, said the vice chief's visit was a time for honest interaction.
"He obviously wants to understand what we do and the challenges we face," Harrison said. "There are sacred cows all over, but reducing the budget forces change. We have the option now to do something smart rather than do nothing."
Campbell's visit took him to the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Government System Integration Laboratory. Leaders from PEO Missiles and Space provided an overview of the Integrated Air and Missile Defense program and led Campbell through a tactical vignette with the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System software.
The vice chief also toured the Apache program office, where he saw the newest iteration of the AH-64 helicopter. The new model "E" has several updated components, including new rotor blades and transmission that makes it faster and more maneuverable.
As he toured the installation, Redstone's unique majority of civilian workers was not lost on the vice chief who acknowledged the sacrifices made this year through furloughs and the government shutdown.
"We can never do enough to tell you 'thank you,'" Campbell said. "Thanks for seeing us through a tough 2013 and for your continued patience. As we continue to make tough decisions, thank you for staying with the very best Army in the world."