By Mrs. Cherish T. Gilmore (AMC)August 22, 2016
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Gen. Dennis L. Via, the 18th commanding general of Army Materiel Command, hosted a Global Town Hall, just a few days after entering his fourth year in command at the Bob Jones Auditorium, Aug. 18.
Via's first priority was to thank the team for their collective efforts over the past six months. "The work you're doing is absolutely incredible," he said. "We have great Soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians, and contractor teammates who are faced with challenging and difficult missions. Nothing is easy about what we have to do."
He gave an update on major missions throughout the command, including Army Prepositioned Stocks and activity sets, Organic Industrial Bases, Public Private Partnerships, and small business.
"Three years ago, we did not have any activity sets. Now we are building the second brigade-sized set in Europe," Via said. "We'll continue to build these sets around the world, while continuing to retrograde and deploy equipment."
To express the magnitude of work AMC has accomplished, Via highlighted a few significant numbers since he's been in command.
"We've retrograded about 5.7 million pieces of equipment and closed 697 bases in Afghanistan. We've completed about 60 billion in foreign military sales," Via said. "We've earned an additional two Shingo awards and 20 safety awards over the past four years."
A priority in the headquarters a few years ago was managing the impact of workforce reductions due to the Budget Control Act of 2011, and it is still a concern today. The goal at that time was to reduce the staff through the use of tools such as Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay (VERA/VSIP) and avoid a formal reduction in force. Thus far, AMC has been successful at that goal.
"We were able to reduce our roles by 10,000 and we did so without [formal] a reduction in force -- that's a big deal," Via said. "While we may face some further reductions - I don't know what the numbers will be - we are better postured today to lead and manage our way through further reductions."
Going forward one thing, Via was sure of is that the AMC mission would not change. "We'll continue to support the COCOMs [combatant commanders]," he said.
Readiness is AMC's number one priority. The town hall was broadcast live to all of AMC's major subordinate commands worldwide.