By Ms. Megan Cotton (AMC)February 19, 2016
As the Army's footprint in the Pacific undergoes a massive transformation, the Army Materiel Command's support to the region is keeping pace with the changes and continuing to maintain readiness.
AMC Commander Gen. Dennis L. Via and a group of AMC's senior leaders recently returned from a visit to assess the organization's role throughout much of the Pacific Command, including South Korea, Hawaii and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
"As we continue to support missions in the Middle East and increase our presence in Europe, we also want to continue our focus on the rebalance to the Pacific," Via said. "The Pacific is of strategic importance to the Army. We have many missions across multiple areas in the region."
AMC has long had a robust presence in the Pacific region, including: two Army Field Support Brigades, two Contracting Support Brigades, and a Transportation Brigade, comprised of nearly 4,000 employees with military personnel, Army civilians, contractors and local nationals.
The trip began with an overview from the commander of the Republic of Korea Army Logistics Corps, Lt. Gen. Hang Rai Jung. Jung briefed AMC leadership on Korea's Army logistics situation, including Army Prepositioned Stocks, retrograde, Korea's War Reserves Stockpile for Allies, and rotational forces. He emphasized the ROK's continued partnership with the U.S. Army.
"Relationships matter, and we have a great relationship to maintain with the Korean Army Logistics Corps," Via said.
The Korean Army Logistics Corps has significant foreign military sales partnerships with AMC, and a purchase of Apache helicopters will begin delivery in May. To support the maintenance of those aircraft, AMC is looking at sending Aviation and Missile Command experts to Korea to train them on the sustainment requirements.
Key sustainment leaders from across the peninsula came together during the visit for a senior roundtable discussion to address theater level logistics and lay the way ahead. Attendees included key partners from the Eighth Army, 2nd Infantry Division, 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Joint U.S. Military Assistance Group-Korea, and Defense Logistics Agency.
Via also took an aerial tour of Camp Humphreys, the largest military construction project since World War II. The construction will allow the 2nd Infantry Division Headquarters to move to Camp Humphreys, and will nearly triple the size of the installation.
"The development of Camp Humphreys is extremely impressive and will pay the Army dividends for years to come," Via said. "It truly is a symbol of the U.S. commitment to Korea and the strength of our partnership."
The construction will increase the Army's ability to maintain rotational forces in Korea, making it an assignment of choice for both quality of life and training readiness, he said.
While AMC leaders visited Korea, Linda Via, wife of AMC's commander, met with senior spouses there to address the challenges dependents face. She discussed the impact on the family of moving careers and schools.
Following the visit to Korea, AMC leadership traveled to Hawaii where they toured the new headquarters for the 402nd Army Field Support Brigade on Fort Shafter. The 402nd moved from Kuwait to Hawaii in July 2015.
"The move strategically repositioned the 402nd as AMC's point of the spear for support to the Pacific," Via said.
While in Hawaii, Via also met with Pacific Command Commander Navy Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. for an overview of PACOM and the vast array of activity there, and AMC's support to the Pacific through Army Prepositioned Stocks, Activity Sets and foreign military sales. During a follow-on roundtable with Maj. Gen. Edward Dorman, commander, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, the group discussed the importance of Army watercraft modernization and availability.
"For years, Army watercraft has not been a high priority for Army modernization, and with the shift to the Pacific, we are seeing the effects. We need to continue to modernize and expand our fleets to meet the demands of this theater," Via said. "Maj. Gen. Dorman and his team have a great understanding of all sustainment matters in the Pacific. Their use of Army watercraft, Army Prepositioned Stocks and Activity Sets have significant effects in the enormously large and uniquely different Pacific Theater."
Linda Via also maximized her time on the island, touring multiple facilities including the Fort DeRussey Army Museum, Fort Shafter's School Age Services, Tripler Army Medical Center, and a Logistics Support Vessel on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. She met with spouses and family members and stressed the importance of capitalizing on Army programs available to them.
For the final stop of the trip, AMC leadership traveled to Joint Base Lewis-McChord to see firsthand the work being done by Soldiers and civilians to maintain readiness on the Pacific Coast.
At JBLM, Via met with employees from the 404th AFSB, toured the Regional Logistics Readiness Center, had a roundtable lunch with senior logisticians and signal leaders, and discussed I Corps Operations in the Pacific with I Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza.
"Overall, the trip provided a great opportunity to gauge our logistics support across the Pacific Command theater," Via said. "Everywhere we went, we heard 'thanks' to AMC for the support. We want to maintain and even increase that support to ensure we're meeting the needs of commanders and Soldiers."