A personal perspective on supporting war
October 1, 2012
REDSTONE ARESNAL, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Materiel Command during the 2000s was known for its efforts in supporting two wars, contingency operations and relocating nearly 11,000 employees.
Rudy Chavez, a specialist with nearly 25 years of AMC experience, currently assigned to the AMC Current Operations and Plans Division shares his perspective on the successes of AMC during a time of transition.
In the late 1990s to the 2000s, Chavez was assigned as the Chief of the AMC Operations Branch in Seckenhiem, Germany.
From there he deployed to the Balkans, Hungary, Bosnia, Croatia, Albania and Kosovo in support of numerous peace keeping operations, which included moving and recovering AMC assets and materiel to and from operations in the Balkans.
"AMC had a huge mission there, because U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR) needed equipment and AMC had it. The lesson learned in that mission was how to introduce equipment into units temporarily and set up a return process," explained Chavez.
During his deployment to Kuwait in March of 2002, he supported Operation Enduring Freedom missions.
"I was a part of the first elements supporting Operation Enduring freedom," Chavez said. "We took the AMC elements, force providers, the multimedia communication systems, materiel, equipment and with AMC personnel and provided it to the war fighter. We did it with a small element, because we didn't have the Army Field Support Brigades [or AFSBs] at that time."
Having a forward element, such as the Logistics Assistance Office and the Logistics Support elements, to support logistics and materiel distribution was a good idea, but it was made better with the creation of AFSBs.
"AMC has a huge mission that is necessary for the combatant commanders to understand AMC's capabilities," Chavez explained. "The combatant commanders don't want to go to a multi number of organizations to get the support. They should go to one and that one is AMC. That's why the AFSBs were created."
Chavez notes the creation of the AFSBs as one of his most memorable experiences.
Currently, there are seven AFSBs providing direct support to the war fighter in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Korea, Alaska, Hawaii, Germany, and locations in the United States.
"I was not only engaged on the implementation plan and getting it through the Department of Army to approve these brigades in 2005. I was also engaged in deploying and setting up the first AFSB in 2006, which was the 401st AFSB."
Another call for Chavez was in support of contingency operations.
Chavez, who was a part of a planning team, took the lead in the support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts -- providing temporary life support, living space and movement of supplies.
Also in 2008, AMC was in the process of relocating its headquarters. Chavez served as the lead operator for AMC Forward Plans and Operations division, a position that assisted in transitioning roles, missions and functions to Redstone, Ala.
In January 2010, he deployed to serve in Operation Unified Response also known as Haiti earthquake relief efforts.
Soon after, Chavez volunteered for deployment to Kuwait as the Deputy Director of the Joint Program Office Mine Resistant Ambush Protected. The office was charged with the mission of providing MRAP vehicles to war fighters in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.
He credits AMC's success in supporting two wars, contingency operations, and conducting one of the largest relocations in Army history to the lessons learned by the personnel.
"For example, it was necessary to stage materiel ahead of time, like the Army Prepositioned Stock. And knowing there is going to be a lot of materiel you've got to recover is why the [Responsible Reset Task Force] R2TF was formed," explained Chavez. "AMC's footprint in the battlefield is not only parts and systems it's all the other logistics involved in it."
As the command's unofficial motto states, 'whenever, wherever our forces need it: AMC provides.'
Editors Note: This is part 11 of AMC's 50th anniversary series which will include insight from each decade and comments from people who worked with AMC throughout the years.