Dunwoody: AMC – ‘Bold, Adaptive, Innovative’

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Army Materiel Command (AMC) is trying to do the right things for the right reasons, AMC Commander Gen. Ann Dunwoody told an audience in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Feb.22.

Dunwoody, the lead speaker at the annual Association of the United States Army Winter Symposium and Exposition , kicked off the day’s agenda with a discussion on AMC’s "Bold, Adaptive, Innovative" approach to the coming decades.

"In my 37 years of service, I can’t remember a period when we’ve seen so much change, in such a short time," Dunwoody said.

Dunwoody discussed the guidance the Army and AMC have received from every level of leadership, and the challenges the Army faces in the near and distant future.

"We now have a new Department of Defense strategy," Dunwoody said.

Adding, "Many of you saw the president, the secretary of defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs – all standing together in the Pentagon when it was released. It’s not only a powerful message; it reflects a more unified image."

"One of the things [the Army Posture Statement, released Feb. 17 highlights] is the requirement for us to adapt our institutional processes and organizations – including our acquisition, logistics and technology processes," she said.

"Identifying the key characteristics the future Army needs to remain the world’s most decisive force will require us to be bold, adaptive and innovative," she added.

AMC’s strategic plan, fully aligned with DoD and Army initiatives, focuses on how AMC will adapt to be "every bit as agile and flexible as the operating forces we support," Dunwoody said.

Adding, "We cannot avoid reality and inconvenient truths and threats."

Dunwoody added. "We cannot ignore them just because it is more convenient or less expensive to pretend that they don’t exist."

The success of shaping the strategy to meet the future is tied to means, ends, and ways, Dunwoody noted.

"We all knew our ‘means’ would decrease – it was inevitable. Our ‘ends’ remain the same – a dip in the budget is not going to give anyone a pass to fail to meet the expectations of our leaders and our nation," she said.

Adding, "Our only option is to get after the ‘ways’ – to find fundamentally different ways of doing business. We must find ways to adapt."

As an example of pending changes, Dunwoody explained some of AMC’s "leading economic indicators," pointing out areas where AMC elements are expected to increase, decrease, or remain the same as the organization adapts their "ways."

Munitions support and chemical "demil," she said, are areas where AMC expects to decrease operations. "Our investment [in munitions] will go down and requirements continue to decrease," Dunwoody said.

Areas which will remain steady include the Enhanced Army Global Logistics Enterprise, or EAGLE, which facilitates the way AMC works with small businesses.

Research and development efforts will also remain steady, she said.

"It’s critical that we provide our soldiers the best equipment possible," Dunwoody said.

Adding, "We must keep our R and D efforts on the leading edge – we must protect our soldiers, make them more lethal and lighten their load."

Energy efforts, global contracting, and foreign military sales were among the areas where AMC’s investment and focus will increase, she added.

"These are tough choices we are making," she said, "And, believe me, there are more tough choices to be made. The truth is we are all going to have to make tough choices in the years ahead."

"If ever there was a time to make the right choice – the hard choices – it is now. Let’s get after it. Let’s all make the right choices."

(Editor’s note: This article is based on a story by Kelly A. DeWitt.)