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NEWS | Dec. 14, 2022

AMCOM year-in-review: A silver anniversary, leadership changes and COVID’s new normal

By Katherine Belcher

2022 was a banner year for the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command – one in which the organization celebrated its 25th anniversary, welcomed a new commanding general and chief of staff and offered hybrid work schedules to employees still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the staff of AMCOM and its subordinate elements – Aviation Center Logistics Command and Corpus Christi and Letterkenny Army depots – look ahead to 2023, we reflect on the highlights from this year.

Key personnel moves

Heidi Lattuca was promoted to the G-8 position in April after serving as the chief of the Army Working Capital Fund Management and Resource Acquisition and Integrations divisions.

In May, Col. Gary Beard retired as the AMCOM G-3 exactly 25 years to the day of his commissioning in the U.S. Army. Col. David Bunker moved from the AMCOM Logistics Center to assume the role.

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Araceli Rial departed her position as AMCOM Missile Maintenance Officer in July and transferred to the 10th Army Air and Missile Command in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Also in July, Col. Mathew Parker assumed command of the U.S. Army Aviation Center Logistics Command on Fort Rucker, Alabama. He replaced Col. Stephen Owen.

Maj. Gen. Tom O’Connor took over the role of AMCOM Commanding General on Aug. 12. He replaced Maj. Gen. Todd Royar, who retired from active duty – on the same day – with 34 years of service.

Col. Aaron Martin assumed the role of AMCOM Chief of Staff in August 2022.

Sgt. Maj. Devon Weber assumed the responsibility of sergeant major for the U.S. Army Aviation Center Logistics Command in August. He replaced Sgt. Maj. Nick Burney, who left in May after he was selected as the next battalion command sergeant major for the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Riley, Kansas.

In October, Capt. Jeremy D. Myles assumed command of AMCOM’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

 Awards and recognition

Sgt. Chance Cain, a military policeman assigned to Letterkenny Army Depot, was named AMCOM Best Warrior after competing in a joint event hosted by the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence on Fort Rucker.

Todd Cobb, supervisory logistics management specialist, received the Army Materiel Command Dellamonica Award, which recognizes outstanding work accomplishments that have significantly contributed to AMC’s mission and overarching goals and objectives.

AMCOM attorney Katherine MacKenzie was named Army Materiel Command’s 2022 Joyce I. Allen Attorney of the Year. The Joyce I. Allen Attorney Award recognizes the AMC attorney who best exemplifies the highest professional standards in the quality of legal advice provided to clients in AMC and the Army.

Roberto (Marcelo) Castro, a logistics assistance representative (Apache electronics) assigned to the 402nd Aviation Forward Support Battalion in Hawaii, was selected by his peers as the AMCOM LAR of the Year for 2021.

Special events

Experts from the U.S. Army, industry and academia gathered both in person and virtually for the first Organic Industrial Base Modernization Summit Feb. 8-11. The summit was hosted by the AMCOM Logistics Center Industrial Operations Directorate.

AMCOM hosted the Redstone Arsenal Center of Excellence — Advance Planning Briefings to Industry March 22-24. The annual event offered transparency in acquisition strategies by providing long-range technology and capability development objectives to members of industry.

In early March, AMCOM hosted its annual 101 for Missiles, which focused on sustainment implications and readiness reporting. AMCOM and the Army missile community come together annually to discuss support to warfighters around the world.

AMCOM hosted the Redstone Arsenal Center of Excellence - Advance Planning Briefings to Industry March 22-24. The annual event offered transparency in acquisition strategies by providing long-range technology and capability development objectives to members of industry. It also showcased potential business opportunities available with various Team Redstone organizations.

Command Sgt. Maj. Bradford Smith spearheaded the launch of a new monthly podcast titled, “What AMCOM Can Do for You.” The links for each podcast are available on the AMCOM website.

In June, AMCOM leaders met with partners from industry and academia June 15-16 at the Army Aviation Advanced Manufacturing Workshop.

This was the fourth iteration of the workshop, and the main topic was incorporating comments and ideas into the upcoming revision of AMCOM Policy 070-062 (Army Aviation Policy for Advanced Manufactured Aircraft Repairs, Parts, Components and Support Products).

In July, AMCOM’s workforce marked the 25th anniversary of the command’s establishment with a weeklong celebration. AMCOM was officially activated July 17, 1997, with the merging of the Aviation and Troop Support Command and the Missile Command. The merger was part of the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure commission’s report.

Letterkenny Army Depot commemorated the 80th anniversary of its establishment on July 28. LEAD Commander Col. Rick Allbritton said the event was a celebration of what LEAD stands for and an opportunity to define how the command will embrace the next 80 years of achievement and service to the warfighter.

In August, LEAD hosted the second iteration of the AMCOM Organic Industrial Base Symposium. The symposium focused on aligning the strategic direction of the AMCOM OIB with the Army modernization strategy to ensure that the depots can sustain the multi-domain force of 2035.

Modernization and readiness

AMCOM is training air defense Soldiers on a software tool to improve accuracy in readiness reporting data. The tool is an architecture built into the Army’s existing system of record for maintenance management, creating a system of systems. The idea was the brainchild Chief Warrant Officer 5 Araceli Rial during her tenure as AMCOM Missile Maintenance Officer.

The Aviation Center Logistics Command, which plays a pivotal role in training Army aviators, divested the last of the TH-67 Creek helicopters and is now using a fleet composed of UH-72 Lakotas. The 217 UH-72s in the fleet at Fort Rucker are covered by a contractor logistical support contract, which is atypical in Army aviation, but saves money and resources.

After a five-year process, engineers at LEAD implemented cold spray technology. The artisans are using cold spray technology to perform non-structural repairs, including repairs of corrosion and other surface defects. Cold spray offers additional repair benefits because of the lower operating temperature.

November was packed with successful engagements for AMCOM, including the AAAA Cribbins Army Aviation Readiness Conference, held here in Huntsville, Alabama. AMCOM leaders had an active role in the conference, which was a great professional development opportunity for Army Aviators.

“As we close out 2022, I’m looking forward to 2023 and all that we will accomplish together,” said AMCOM Commanding General Maj. Gen. Tom O’Connor, Jr. “We may not always see the fruits of our labor, but those we support do. The Warfighters in the field benefit from what you all do each and every day.”