Logistic professionals from all over the Army converged on Redstone Arsenal last week for the Worldwide Logistics Training Workshop. The conference set records for attendance.
"We've had over a thousand people," Michelle Durig, WLTW executive officer, said. "We had our training reception at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center (Tuesday night, April 22). We had a record turnout for that."
The event lasted four and a half days. Col. James Rentz, commander of Logistics Support Activity, kicked off the day April 21 with an opening welcome before handing the Bob Jones Auditorium stage over to the first speaker of the week. Maj. Gen. Jim Pillsbury of the Army Materiel Command addressed a standing-room only crowd. As part of his remarks, Pillsbury took questions from the audience town-hall style.
"This is what we're here for," Pillsbury said. "To address your issues and get you an answer."
Pillsbury was surprised by a presentation. Col. Casey Wardynski, of the America's Army video game project, had brought a special guest with a gift. The America's Army game has long included characters based on actual Soldiers. Recently, they have branched out into action figures of these Soldiers, known as Real Heroes. Sgt. Tommy Reiman happily presented Pillsbury with an autographed version of the action figure modeled after Reiman.
The workshop drew lots of big names over the course of the week. Some attended to take advantage of the training opportunities. Others led discussions or served as speakers. While the topics varied widely, the changing future of their business was on the lips of everyone. In fact, the theme for this year's workshop was Logistics Support on the Move.
"It is the Army's largest logistics gathering," Durig said. "We bring all the Army's logisticians from all over the world to get the latest training and updates for all the logistics applications. We had folks from Germany. We had folks from Korea. We had folks just back from theater in Iraq. They came for the updated training."
The sessions were spread out over multiple locations during the week. This allowed attendees to really delve into the issues they face on a daily basis and get in-depth information about what is coming next. All aspects of logistics were included, from automation and processes, equipment and exchanges, and technical and tactical systems. Covering so many bases takes a lot of players.
There were more than 40 speakers, more than 70 topics and over 200 sessions throughout the week.