FORT MCCLELLAN, Ala. - Lt. Gen. Guy Swan III, commanding general, U.S. Army North, met with Maj. Gen. A.C. Blalock, adjutant general, Alabama National Guard, and Maj. Gen. Joe Harkey, commanding general, 167th Theater Sustainment Command, Jan. 20 to discuss the future evolution of the 167th and the vital resources it provides to ARNORTH.
"At the end of the day, it is all about logistics, distribution and just getting it out there," said Swan, about the importance of the capabilities the 167th TSC can provide to the American people in the event of a disaster.
The 167th TSC is a National Guard unit with more than 400 personnel assigned. Its headquarters is at Fort McClellan, Ala.
The unit's primary mission is to support Army North, the Joint Force Land Component Command and the Army Service Component Command to U.S. Northern Command, which is tasked to conduct Homeland Defense, Civil Support operations in order to protect the American people.
"The 167th is a unique command," said Harkey. "The Alabama governor and adjutant general fenced off the command from any state missions so the 167th could primarily focus on supporting NORTHCOM."
Focusing on support to the NORTHCOM and ARNORTH missions is what the command has been solely dedicated to for more than three years now. Since taking on the mission as ARNORTH's theater sustainment command, the 167th responded with logistic support to hurricane relief missions and has been an integral part in many NORTHCOM and ARNORTH-led exercises.
During the meeting, the senior leaders also discussed how the TSC, and other units assuming similar missions, need to become more versatile in their capabilities.
"This is the most complex (operational environment) in the world," said Swan, adding that Soldiers operating in the United States during a disaster must be prepared to provide great support to the American people during their time of need.
Swan, Blalock and Harkey also discussed how relationships between Alabama's government, the Alabama National Guard, 167th TSC and ARNORTH have evolved since the 167th TSC assumed its vital mission.
"We have come a long way since we started," said Harkey.
The meeting marked Swan's first opportunity to visit with the 167th since he took command of ARNORTH Dec. 15.
"We wanted to familiarize (Lt. Gen. Swan) with our capabilities and the structure we bring to the mission," said Harkey.
At the conclusion of the visit, Harkey accompanied Swan on a tour of 167th's new headquarters building. The building, which cost more than $13 million, was completed in June and opened in December