FORT HOOD, Texas (March 13, 2015) -- Some of the newest members of the Army Materiel Command's Brigade Logistics Support Team are learning the power of the patch at BLST University.
During a March 10 visit to Fort Hood, Gen. Dennis L. Via, AMC commanding general, welcomed the most recent class of BLST University -- a one week course that covers the breadth and depth of AMC, its major subordinate commands and the capabilities of depots, plants and arsenals.
Via encouraged the BLST chiefs to make their commanders in the field aware of everything they bring to the table.
"But there is no script," Via said. Rather, he encouraged them to be both enablers and problem solvers. "You bring enormous capabilities because you wear the AMC patch."
BLST chiefs are AMC Soldiers assigned as liaisons to Brigade Combat Teams. While these Army majors operate with a small team of civilians, they have the support of the entire materiel enterprise behind them.
Via said it would be incumbent on the students to communicate AMC's competencies because most commanders, while they've always received support from AMC, don't understand the organization.
"It's going to be you on the ground doing the hard day-to-day grind and ensuring commanders understand what you bring to the fight," Via said. "You're the face to the field of AMC -- a global logistics enterprise. Your key role is how you integrate the capabilities AMC has to meet the needs of the warfighter."
BLST chiefs work with a BLST team that includes up to 11 civilian logistics management specialist and logistics assistance representatives. The number of people depends upon the type of Brigade Combat Team, whether it's a Stryker, light infantry, heavy or aviation unit.
The chiefs act as liaisons between Brigade Combat Teams and AMC, providing technical expertise and assisting with coordination of the command's capabilities. They assist units in the development of sustainment plans. Synchronizing and executing equipment reset is also under their purview.
Jerry Stephens is chief of support operations for the 407th Army Field Support Brigade and also a BLST University instructor.
"This is generally an eye opening experience," Stephens said. "Many people have heard of AMC, but they don't know how broad the spectrum is."
Stephens said after completing the course, Soldiers become more familiar with how AMC works, whether that's on a stateside installation or in a deployed theater.
"They learn how to reach back into that toolkit and pull those capabilities forward," Stephens said.