VIPs validate success by 402nd Army Field Support Brigade
Scott Brown, common remotely operated weapons station training specialist and Fred Pritchett, CROWS site lead, stand by as Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, Army Materiel Command commanding general and Principal Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Dean G. Popps operate a CROWS system during a visit to the Joint Base Balad facility June 5.

Joint Base Balad, Iraq - Three high-ranking officials visited the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade area of responsibility in June, pausing to deliver praise during their whirlwind tours.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisitions, Logistics and Technology Dean G. Popps and Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, Army Materiel Command commanding general, began their time at the 402nd with an awards ceremony June 4. The pair honored two Bronze Star recipients, the AMC Logistics Assistance Representative of the Year, and about a dozen Soldiers and civilians.

In his remarks, Popps said Secretary of the Army Pete Geren asked him personally to convey his greetings to the Soldiers and civilians of the 402nd. He also said the 402nd collective mission is to promote the materiel enterprise that encompasses "responsible drawdown plus responsible reset."

Popps, who also serves as director of Iraq Reconstruction and Program Management for AL&T, applauded AMC's foresight in recognizing that the rear echelon must be aligned to accomplish the mission up-front.

Dunwoody took up Popp's theme and said, "If we're not aligned, we can't really help you."

She added that the materiel enterprise must communicate, collaborate and coordinate, adding, "stovepipes don't work."

"The men and women in this room are helping us make a difference," she said. "You motivate me to go back and fight for the resources you need. Thank-you seems inadequate, but I mean it from the bottom of my heart."

The next day, they visited Soldiers, Airmen, civilian employees and contractors who work for or are supported by 402nd AFSB.

Their tour began at the 1st Battalion area with a briefing at the common remotely operated weapons system fielding site, followed by a visit to the Stryker area. The next stop was at the Frag 7 area for a briefing on the relatively new M1154 HMMWV upgrade program.

Dunwoody and Popps were also briefed on the 2nd Battalion's Retrograde Property Assistance Teams. Following lunch and a brigade command briefing, Popps and Dunwoody departed for Victory Base Complex, where they toured other 402nd assets.

During his June 25 visit to the 402nd, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Dr. Ashton Carter was briefed by personnel assigned to 2nd Battalion's RPAT on property retrograde and reset missions.

Carter also visited the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle area and was briefed on how technology, continuing research and rapid fielding of improved armor and vehicle design have saved Soldiers' lives.

Carter had the opportunity to test drive an MRAP and took it for a couple of spins "around the block."

His last stop on the tour was a visit to Company A, 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry Regiment. He spoke with Soldiers whose convoy-security mission has given them ample opportunity to fully appreciate the capabilities of up-armored vehicles. The Soldiers were unanimous in crediting the technology behind the vehicles and the mechanics and workers who keep the add-on armor up-to-date.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16