By by Roger TeelApril 5, 2010
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - A senior Army Materiel Command leader paid an official visit here April 5 to get a better understanding of the installation's complex mission and its immediate and future requirements.
Lt. Gen. James H. Pillsbury, AMC deputy commanding general, met with APG Senior Mission Commander Maj. Gen. Nick Justice, APG Garrison Commander Col. Orlando Ortiz and key staff members for a day of briefings and tours, including an installation flyover.
Justice, commander of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, began by briefing Pillsbury on the strategic relationship between RDECOM and the installation.
"The big take away for you today is to focus your thought and your understanding on how the RDECOM mission inter-relates with the garrison mission. Frankly, sir, there are some strategic issues we bring in the support structure, in facilities, and there are BRAC issues (base realignment and closure) as well."
Justice projected the command vision and mission to Pillsbury.
"Empower, unburden and protect," Justice said. "These are the three words we use in trying to reach a commonality, to give us a sense of one command headquarters instead of separate organizations within RDECOM," he said.
Justice outlined his briefing, highlighting the five "P's" - People, Places, Purse, Process and Products - and subsequently addressed each in detail for Pillsbury.
Issues like new construction, security and force protection are high on the installation agenda, Justice said.
"There is a tremendous need for infrastructure investment," he said.
"One of the things you and I are going to have to figure out is: How we get more of your dollars into the base that is now in the subordinates'" he said. "We have got to help stabilize your funding streams in the out years.
"There is no more diverse organization than RDECOM," Pillsbury added.
With more than 8,000 technology jobs coming to Aberdeen Proving Ground in the next few years as part of the Base Realignment and Closure process, senior leaders continue to assess the installation's progress.
APG is going through a monumental shift as several long-time tenant units, such as the Ordnance Center and Schools and the Army Environmental Command, relocate and the installation begins to embrace its new role as the center for Army science and technology. More than 70 tenant organizations remain and RDECOM is the senior mission command.
The RDECOM mission is to ensure Army capabilities dominance through delivering technology-enabled solutions.
Pillsbury toured APG, visiting testing facilities and new technology development. His briefing included a BRAC update, force protection program information and an overview of current operations.
On the Edgewood Area of the installation, Pillsbury observed operations at the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center and viewed major construction projects.
"We want the general to leave here knowing that the APG staff is focused on priority issues, that we're developing our human capital and we're well positioned to meet future challenges," Gary Martin, RDECOM's deputy executive commander, said prior to Pillsbury's visit.
Pillsbury assumed the duties as the AMC deputy commanding general Dec. 8, 2008. He also serves as the executive director for conventional ammunition.