By Ms. Clester Burdell (AMC)July 22, 2009
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala.-Since taking the helm as the Army Materiel Command's Chief of Public and Congressional Affairs, Col. Henry Huntley made his first site visit to Anniston Army Depot.
His office communicates AMC's contributions and value to the warfighter to varied audiences to include the public, Congress and industry to increase understanding and enhance support for AMC's mission, accomplishments and requirements.
Huntley toured the depot and met with installation officials and public affairs practitioners July 15. Stops later took him to the Combat Vehicle Assembly and Disassembly, Small Arms, Turbine Engine, and Stryker facilities; and the Career Academy. Huntley also got a glimpse of the new state-of-the-art $85 million Powertrain Flexible Maintenance Facility, which officially opens Aug. 12.
With an infantry background, Huntley conveyed appreciation for the support the installation gives to the warfighter.
"My job is to make sure the Army knows about Anniston," he said after watching the depot video and realizing that production of the M1A1 main battle tank ceased in 1993. "It's exemplary of the kind of work that is being done here at Anniston."
The depot is a multi-mission installation, often recognized for its heavy combat vehicle expertise. And rightfully so: it has earned its reputation as the Tank Rebuild Center of the World.
While touring the 1.5-million-square foot Nichols Industrial Complex, Huntley talked with employees about the production process, while expressing his appreciation for their commitment to building like-new vehicles. "This is a great story, I'd like for others to see where these vehicles are being overhauled, repaired and reassembled," he said.
After learning of the depot's partnership with the Alabama Department of Education at the Career Academy, which provides local high school students with academic coursework and on-the-job training in the areas of machining, mechanics, welding, hydraulics/pneumatics, and electronics, Huntley was stunned. "This paradigm allows us to grow within the structure," he said. Now in its 10th year, 60 high school seniors have been selected to begin the three-phase cooperative education program in the fall.
"Whether it's small arms weapons or heavy combat equipment-no matter the condition-it appears that the team at Anniston handles it. And in many cases, the product is made better than new. Anniston pulls its weight for the Soldiers in the battlefield," he said.
Huntley's next stop was Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, where Headquarters AMC will soon relocate. "I am pleased to have been given the opportunity to see all of this for myself," he said.
Huntley's last stint was with the Executive Office to the Chief of Public Affairs. He has served in a variety of operation and staff assignments in the United States and Germany, with two tours in the Pentagon.