By J.D. LeipoldJuly 9, 2010
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, July 9, 2010) - The Army Materiel Command headquarters is on track to complete its move from Virginia to Redstone Arsenal, Ala., by July 2011 said its commander.
Gen. Ann E. Dunwoody, AMC commander said a number of command-wide moves affect about 11,000 mostly-civilian employees whose skill-sets the Army will continue to need and retain especially as logistics requirements draw down in Iraq and ramp up in Afghanistan. She spoke at the annual Sustainment Symposium and Exhibition of the Association of the U.S. Army during late June in Richmond, Va.
Army Contracting Command will also move with AMC to the arsenal where the Aviation and Missile Life Cycle Management Command is located. An AMC two-star subordinate command, Army Communications-Electronics Command, will move from Fort Monmouth, N.J., to Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.
The Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command has already moved from Fort Eustis, Va., to Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, and Army Security Assistance Command has finished its move to Redstone.
As AMC and other commands relocate, simultaneously supporting Army logistics in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as humanitarian assistance efforts in Haiti and Chile, challenges grow, Dunwoody said. But she believes since the command's inception nearly 50 years ago, AMC will continue to reform, transform and reinvent itself to remain relevant and become more balanced.
"When we're talking about rebalancing the Army, the chief said the two things that contribute most to resetting and rebalancing our Army is to reduce deployments and increase dwell... quality dwell," she said. Dunwoody added that the reset cycle is causing turbulence for Soldiers during dwell time.
Dunwoody said there were three fundamental things AMC can do to adapt the institution to get past the way things have been done and to how they should be done in the future.
"One is managing the materiel sources of repair," she said. In the past there were multiple owners of those different repair facilities. What we're trying to do is get all these sources of repair into our portfolio so we can work more efficiently at resetting our Army and that's allowed us to eliminate some redundancies and also to establish centers of excellence in repair."
The second area where she thinks AMC has an opportunity to optimize and adapt is in how materiel is managed. She said a pilot program will move forward this month to examine the role of a central manager instead of having multiple managers.
"With multiple managers, we pay an incredible amount of secondary destination charges because we're trying to move equipment from this pile to that pile," Dunwoody said. "So the intent behind this is getting all the managers together, where we can coordinate with them on prioritization for our Army."
The third initiative where the general feels AMC has an opportunity to adapt the institutional Army is in the way accumulated equipment has been managed.
"Before 9/11, we didn't have theater-provided equipment and theater sustainment stocks and we didn't have LBE (Left Behind Equipment)," she said. "We did have APS (Army Prepositioned Stock), so we've grown these piles (and need to determine) who's responsible for managing them."