Employees gain a new perspective on how 'AMC provides'
July 10, 2014
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Headquarters personnel seeing the broad impacts of their decisions and efforts is a rare occasion in professional development, but July 9, U.S. Army Materiel Command employees made the trip from the cubicle to the factory line to see one of AMC's 23 Organic Industrial Base facilities.
Around 50 members from across AMC staff sections volunteered for a trip to Anniston Army Depot in Anniston, Alabama. ANAD is the combat vehicle depot for repair, modification, upgrade and conversion of nearly all heavy and light tracked vehicles, towed and self propelled artillery, as well as small arms for America's defense forces and allies.
"I've always been impressed with AMC's mission, but I never had the opportunity to witness it," said Linwood Bowers, AMC facility manager.
The informal slogan of AMC is, "If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it, or communicates with it, AMC provides it." Not only do employees on the installation repair combat vehicles and small arms, hundreds of ANAD employees have volunteered to deploy to repair shops around the world to quickly get damaged military equipment back to the troops.
Kathie Kiss in AMC's command counsel office oversees legal issues for AMC's depots and arsenals. "If I am going to effectively conduct oversight, I need to see it," she said. "I lack institutional knowledge that you get from serving in uniform. So this is an opportunity for me to acquire and fill in those holes."
AMC employees toured the small arms facility, the turbine engine facility, and the combat assembly and disassembly facility, which included an open discussion with ANAD Commander Col. Brent Bolander and a brief presentation by ANAD division leaders.
During the tour, staff learned that at Anniston, employees are the difference between whether a small arms weapon shoots or fails, and the difference of whether a M1 Abrams vehicle cranks or fails.
At Anniston, employees break down, rebuild, and test every weapon and combat vehicle that passes through the gates for the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines.
"It takes everybody in this command to provide readiness from the headquarters all the way to the depot. I hope that people get a healthy appreciation for what the folks on the repair lines actually do. One of the most important roles of the headquarters is to support the subordinate formations and if we are going to support them we need to see what they do," said John B. Nerger, AMC executive deputy to the commanding general. "There is nothing like visiting the depot first hand, and it reinforces our role in the entire enterprise. I hope it will also boost our own motivations and helps us realize why it is important that we do what we do at our level."
During the tour, AMC staff had the opportunity to ask questions of industrial trade workers, including mechanics, welders and machinists, see the reset process in action and gain an overall understanding of depot operations.
"This is a great professional development opportunity for all employees at AMC. It is important to get out and actually go to the depots and get an understanding of the mission, scope and role of the depots and arsenals," said Kevin Breuers, strategic planner. "This is extremely important to see as we develop the strategic plan. It's one thing to read about it, but it's another to see it in person."
AMC Resource Manager Debra Kaleponi, who had never visited Anniston Army Depot prior to the tour, echoed Breurs remarks.
"Overall Anniston is just a phenomenal facility. The type of work they do is critical to our mission. Coming from a family of military, it really impresses my heart because in the end the product does go to the Soldier that supports and defends our country," said Kaleponi. "This is absolutely critical for all AMC employees to see -- to visit a depot where we create and remanufacture items for the Soldier, to understand the complexity and see the challenges that we go through in producing these products, and making sure they are right and of quality when our Soldiers receive them."