For the first time in more than 50 years, a civilian took the lead at Corpus Christi Army Depot when Commander Col. Christopher B. Carlile gave Mr. William Braddy executive authority on April 18.
Col. Carlile and Braddy both joined CCAD in 2008. Col. Carlile served as Depot Commander. Braddy served as Deputy Commander, first in Support Operations and then in Production Operations.
The depot commander was originally slated to leave when Col. Garner Pogue III assumes command of CCAD in July. Instead, Col. Carlile was pulled from his assignment early when higher headquarters announced that he would serve as Special Assistant of Organic Industrial Operations for Command General Dennis L. Via of AMC.
This decision was largely influenced by the dramatic transformation CCAD underwent when Col. Carlile assumed command in 2008. After forecasting rough seas ahead for Army materiel readiness, he drove a massive internal reorganization campaign to improve CCAD's chances of survival in an evolving operations environment.
Command structure changed, a balanced business approach replaced 50 years of "how it's always been done," and processes and programs were put to the test for their efficiency and value. As a result, wasteful processes and costly legacy aircraft programs like the UH-1N Huey helicopter were retired and replaced with programs that would maximize CCAD's repair, modification and overhaul capabilities on helicopters, engines and their components. They even started work on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. In every respect, the depot became better, faster, and more cost-effective than ever before.
CCAD stood as a prototype to show how the Army could better serve the Warfighter, the taxpayer, industry partners, and the federal worker if its organic industrial operations incorporated better business practices.
"This has placed us in the best possible position to support our Joint Warfighters in the face of the effects of sequestration," Col. Carlile told his workforce. "We've already done the work of becoming cost conscious and lowering our costs. We knew 'the iceberg was melting' and did what was needed. We work smarter now. And now we're leading the way in 21st Century Industrial Operations."
"You have proven that the Army can do even more for our Warfighters with fewer resources. Your hard work has not gone unnoticed," he told his workforce.
"Our Army needs the transformation that has occurred at CCAD to spread throughout our depots and arsenals. [CCAD has] shown that the Army can change."
AMCOM Major General Lynn A. Collyar led the official ceremony, appropriately held in Hangar 44 at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. CCAD is one of two depots under the Army Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command (AMCOM), a major subordinate command of the Army Materiel Command (AMC): the Army's premier provider of materiel readiness.