Secretary of the Army John McHugh speaks to employees at the Prototype Integration Facilitiy at Redstone Arsenal during a visit to the Army Materiel Command's new headquarters. In the background is Army Materiel Command Gen. Ann Dunwoody.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Secretary of the Army John McHugh visited the Army Materiel Command’s new home Thursday.

“There is no substitute for coming out and seeing things firsthand,” McHugh said.

“(AMC is) our Army’s largest command -- over 70,000 employees -- for a lot of them it required a move down here (to Huntsville). I wanted to thank them for sticking with the Army particularly in these very challenging times,” he said.

After a brief tour of AMC’s new headquarters, McHugh and AMC commander Gen. Ann Dunwoody, as well as other AMC key leaders, discussed the command’s role in the Army’s transformation to become a more lean force.

“We are working very hard to try to do things smarter,” McHugh said. “This is not just something we took up in the past week or two. Gen. Dunwoody and AMC have been leaders in that effort.”

AMC has been tasked to brief the secretary of the Army on efficiencies next month.
“They have made some great progress and (have) some great initiatives under the microscope,” he said.

McHugh emphasized that at the end of the day, the intent is not to do a budget exercise but to align the processes in a way that makes AMC -- and the Army " even more efficient and effective into the future.

After the round-table discussion, the Prototype Integration Facility, an AMC asset, was the next stop on the tour. Touring the facility provided an opportunity for McHugh to see and touch the technologies AMC is fielding to the Soldiers. The tour also afforded him the opportunity to speak to members of the AMC work force.

McHugh expressed how hard it was to fathom the breadth and scope of AMC.

“Until you actually see the programs that are under way, until you actually talk to the folks that are executing them, it’s really hard to intellectually get your mind around that,” McHugh said. “It is just amazing to me that we could have such a major move to the great state of Alabama, moving into new facilities, for a lot of folks leaving their homes behind, coming here establishing new homes while doing the very comprehensive and complex work of AMC.

“We are also fighting two wars,” he interjected. “To never miss a beat and to be able to do that in peacetime would be amazing. To do it and to continue to support the war fighter in a myriad of ways is just an incredible achievement and everyone associated with it ought to be very, very proud.”

The Secretary left the AMC work force with a simple nugget of gratitude.

“If a Soldier shoots it, drives it, flies it, wears it, eats it or communicates with it, AMC has had something to do with it -- that’s an incredible statement,” he said. “The war fighter that wears the uniform of the United States Army is incredible -- they do amazing things. But they would be the first to say what they do couldn’t have happened without the great support of places like AMC and people like we find here at AMC.”

Page last updated Wed June 29th, 2011 at 12:31