By Ashley Kalifeh, USAG RedstoneNovember 5, 2010
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- WASHINGTON -- The Association of the U.S. Army annual meeting and exposition took place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., Oct. 25-27. Numerous members of Team Redstone and the Redstone-Huntsville AUSA chapter attended the event.
The largest defense related exposition in the nation kicked off at the opening ceremony Oct. 25. Secretary of the Army John McHugh gave the keynote address to the filled ballroom. During his speech, he spoke well of Gen. Ann Dunwoody, commander of the Army Material Command, whose command is coming to Redstone Arsenal through BRAC in 2011.
"Her organization is breathtaking in scope: $49 billion annual budget, $92 billion in contracts, 1.34 million pieces of equipment, and three times the workload of Vietnam," he said.
McHugh also quoted Dunwoody as having said, "It will never become business as usual because we have Soldiers in the field. We either need to wring our hands or roll up our sleeves."
The "Four Horsemen" panel was held Oct. 25 as well and provided an aviation update to the media. The panel included Maj. Gen. Jim Rogers, commander of the Aviation and Missile Command; Brig. Gen. Tony Crutchfield, Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commander; Brig. Gen. Tim Crosby, program executive officer for aviation; and Col. William Morris, director of Army aviation, Pentagon. The quartet emphasized that the aviation branch remains postured for full-spectrum operations, while in the midst of transforming and modernizing. Rogers made clear that they were "tight at the hip to support the war fighter."
Said Crutchfield, "We have the best-trained aviation personnel that we have ever had in 28 years. They are the most experienced, combat-seasoned aviators, period."
On the bottom floor on the Convention Center, every inch of the 700,000 square foot space set aside for the 500 exhibitors was filled with static displays, interactive exhibits and logoed swag to boot. The padded floors, two-storied booths and eye-catching displays were overwhelmingly competing for attention from the 33,000 meeting attendees.
The AMC booth was staffed by AMC employees from around the nation and had several general officers visit and talk with attendees. Interest was high at the tactical wheeled vehicle survivability project part of their exhibit, which taught about the future of tactical wheeled vehicles
AMCOM had three components inside the AMC booth: condition based maintenance, the Kiowa Warrior M3P gun and aviation reset.
The three AMCOM demo areas were staffed by subject matter experts and Soldiers from each area, which demonstrated their firsthand experience with both AMCOM and the project or system.
The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology booth included both PEO Missiles and Space and PEO Aviation. The Missiles and Space area had the ITAS trainer and a Patriot tabletop trainer. The aviation display focused on PM Cargo and PM Apache.
The Redstone-Huntsville AUSA chapter had a hospitality suite for members every night of the meeting. On Oct. 26, the "Southern Hospitality Open House" was hopping with Arsenal employees, local contractors and general officers, including Dunwoody.
The Team Redstone and SMDC NCOs and Soldiers of the Year were recognized at the event, as well as the Civilian of the Year and the 1st Sgt. John Ordway winners. The 82nd Airborne Division's All-American Chorus from Fort Bragg, N.C., performed a cappella at the event.
The Redstone-Huntsville AUSA chapter received awards in numerous categories this year. They placed as a winner in the best chapter newsletter, best chapter in support of Reserve components, greatest corporate membership and greatest government civilian employee membership.
They placed as a runner-up in best chapter overall, best website, greatest percentage increase in retiree membership, most active in pursuit of AUSA objectives and best corporate member support. They received commendable performance in the best general membership meeting category.