By Ben Gonzales, Army Materiel CommandDecember 2, 2016
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Army Materiel Command leaders spoke to more than 500 community leaders on the state of Redstone Arsenal at the Redstone Update Nov. 30 hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce.
Gen. Gus Perna, the commanding general of the Army Materiel Command, and Lt. Gen. Larry Wyche, the AMC deputy commanding general and Redstone Arsenal senior commander, led discussions on the status of the Redstone Arsenal as well as giving insight as to where the installation is going in the future.
Wyche kicked off the Redstone Update thanking the community for their support and then announcing that Team Redstone will be recognized by the Department of Defense in December with the Community Partnership Award.
"This award is the first time the United States Army is receiving this award, and that is because of the outstanding support from this wonderful community," Wyche said. "There is something very special about this community. What I have found is that this community looks at challenges as opportunities."
Following Wyche were updates from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Space and Missile Defense Command, Program Executive Office Missiles and Space, PEO Aviation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the FBI. Each organization outlined what its mission is for the foreseeable future, while the FBI detailed its plans to construct training and administrative facilities to teach hundreds of students on Redstone Arsenal.
The event featured Perna as the keynote speaker, and the general gave insight into where AMC is now and reminded the audience how important the installation is to the American way of life.
"Army Materiel Command is responsible for developing and delivering readiness to the United States Army," Perna said. "We are changing as times change. It's important that we operationalize our efforts so that we can execute the requirements of the future. Our focus is on our Soldiers and the things that we need to do to maintain readiness so we have a force that is ready to go when the president calls us."
The general stressed the importance of the men and women who make up the command.
AMC Soldiers and civilians are located around the globe; the sun never sets on Army Materiel Command, he said. The command has the ability to synchronize and integrate the capability of the nine mission commands and more than 120,000 (Soldiers, Army civilians and contractors) people to support one simple task: making sure the Army is ready.
AMC does many things, Perna added. "We do contracts for food, contracts for people to maintain equipment, and contracts for equipment to be where we need it to be. We maintain equipment that Soldiers will draw and take to the fight. We produce ammunition, and rebuild tanks, Bradleys and Strykers. We do things that people take for granted, but it is all about maintaining the materiel advantage and synchronizing and integrating capability for our Soldiers."
The general concluded his remarks to the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce and those in attendance by thanking them for their support to the American military and reminding them of why the Army and AMC does what they do.
"The civilians and military who come to work every day at Redstone Arsenal who live in your communities, who go to your schools, who shop in your stores, who participate in your parades, who are your neighbors and friends are the great Americans who are making this happen. They know they have responsibilities to the Soldiers on the battlefield," Perna said. "It's the Soldiers who are forward in a foxhole where they are incredibly scared, but yet they have the courage to do their jobs because they know the capability to support them and the knowledge that they will get the best equipment in the world is right behind them. It reaches all the way back to this great community. The impact that your support for someone who works at AMC headquarters will resonate from that point of your articulation all the way forward to a Soldier who is scared yet serving his country with great courage."