KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - Gen. Dennis L. Via, the commanding general of U.S. Army Materiel Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., visited the soldiers of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, April 30 through May 4.

"As the commanding general of the Army Materiel Command, I think it is vitally important that I take the opportunity to visit Germany," Via said. "[Germany is home to] one of our major sustainment commands, the 21st Theater Sustainment Command."

During his visit, Via visited the 7th Civil Support Command, 405th Army Field Support Brigade, the 409th Contracting Support Brigade and the 21st TSC headquarters. Via received briefings from each unit on their specific mission in support of the European and African Commands.

"The 21st [TSC] is a critical strategic enabler in support of operations under European Command and African Command," Via said. "The 21st [TSC] has postured itself so it can be responsive to both combatant commands. I think having that forward presence of sustainment capability, along with all of its subordinate organizations, not only maintains the readiness of the equipment here in Germany, but also has capabilities from an expeditionary standpoint to deploy forward."

Via also conducted an officer professional development session at the Kaiserslautern Community Activity Center on Daenner Kaserne, May 1. During the OPD, Via explained the role AMC plays in supporting both the Army as a whole and the 21st TSC. He concluded by discussing the future of logistics and the Army's transition to sustainment.

"After 12 years of war, the longest in the history of our nation, we begin the transition to sustainment," Via said. "It really began as we ended operations in Iraq with Operation New Dawn. Now, as we look forward to transitioning the mission in Afghanistan to the Afghan National Army so they can take the lead for the security of their country, we begin to retrograde our equipment and return our forces to the U.S."

During his visit, Via also took the time to discuss the importance of sustainment operation in Europe and Africa. He also gave his perspective on the vital role the 21st TSC plays in Army operations.

"The 21st Theater Sustainment Command, under the command of Maj. Gen. Aundre Piggee, has a tremendous capability here within Europe," Via said. "They are strategically located which is of vital importance when supporting operation in Southwest Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia and also in Africa."

After the trip concluded, Maj. Gen. Aundre F. Piggee, the commanding general of the 21st TSC, gave his thoughts on the visit.

"I believe Gen. Via came away from this visit with a better understanding of the strategic importance of troops in Europe in support of operations in Operation Enduring Freedom, Southwest Asia and Africa," Piggee said. "He saw firsthand what the personnel of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command are doing for the U.S. European Command, U.S. Army Africa, and U.S. Army Europe. It has been great having him here to provide counsel and mentorship to our officers and senior enlisted during his officer professional development session and we welcome him to visit us again soon."