Higher Headquarters Hits Ground Running
October 16, 2008
In the Army, materiel is more than just a different way of spelling. It is a different way of thinking about all the things Soldiers need to fulfill their mission. The organization that works hard to manage all of those things is in the process of moving to Redstone. The parts that have already made the move are hard at work.
"We have a number of functions here now," Ron Lewis, Army Materiel Command's deputy director for G-3/5 enterprise integration, said. "A lot of work is really being accomplished here out of Redstone. We're performing a lot of missions right here, right now."
Created in 1962, the way Army Materiel Command does business has changed over the years, but the job at its most basic has not. It is still about the needs of every Soldier.
"We get to have a direct impact on a day to day basis on Soldiers around the world," Lewis said. "We work across all the Army elements to ensure that everything is synchronized to make sure Soldiers have whatever they need to accomplish their mission."
AMC officially says its mission is to "provide superior technology, acquisition support and logistics to ensure dominant land force capability for Soldiers, the United States and our allies." But unofficially, AMC officials put it in much simpler terms. They define their job as providing everything a Soldier shoots, drives, flies, wears, eats or communicates with.
"It sounds corny, but when you really stop and think about it in a few words it pretty well describes what the AMC mission really is," Lewis said. "People at (AMC) are very dedicated."
The organization has many subordinate commands, including Redstone's Aviation and Missile Command, and numerous support and executive offices. Currently, the offices and functions within AMC are split between the Fort Belvoir, Va., location and temporary facilities at Redstone. Lewis acknowledges that having people who work together be geographically separated is tricky at times. They are also getting used to being farther away from other organizations that were nearby.
"The biggest challenge has been trying to get the battle-rhythm and the tempo set right between how we're performing those functions here and to make sure we stay linked and synchronized with what's going on back at Fort Belvoir," Lewis said.
AMC staff already has a move under their belts. In 2003, the organization moved from Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria, Va., to Fort Belvoir. The Redstone move actually involves two moves for much of AMC - a move into the temporary location and then another into the permanent facility once completed. They've had a chance to review what did and did not work during the Fort Belvoir move to make this one easier.
"The initial move to Redstone is the big issue. Moving to the new building will be a relatively minor process," Lewis said. "We've already experienced it before. We still have those plans in place. A lot of the lessons learned and processes of what you have to go through have been documented already."
Currently, more than 150 AMC employees are reporting to Redstone for work. Most are making their way to the former AMCOM Security Assistance Management Directorate location, building 7612, off Redstone Road. A few are located with Sparkman Center counterparts.
The people already at Redstone represent the first two phases of employee movement from Fort Belvoir. Phase three will bring employee numbers close to 450 by next summer. Additional work force requires additional space. AMC took possession of neighboring building 7611 last week.
"There are some minor modifications we'll do before we start moving people in," Lewis said.
Ground was broken on a permanent home on Martin Road for the organization last month. The 400,000 square foot structure will house more than 1,300 AMC personnel when it, and the BRAC move, are completed in 2011. U.S. Army Security Assistance Command will also be located within the facility.
AMC has the distinction of having the first female four-star general. Lt. Gen. Ann Dunwoody was confirmed by Congress this summer for a fourth star. Currently serving as deputy commanding general, she is slated to be AMC's next commanding general.