Q&A: Lieutenant General Ann E. Dunwoody

G-4 Commander Oversees "Warriors First and Logisticians Always

Lt. General Ann E. Dunwoody

Lieutenant General Ann E. Dunwoody
Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4
United States Army

Lieutenant General Ann E. Dunwoody took over as deputy chief of staff, G-4 for the Army in October 2005. Prior to this, she served as commanding general of the United States Army Combined Arms Support Command in Fort Lee, Va.

Among her assignments, she has served as commander of the Division Support Command, 10th Mountain Division (light), at Fort Drum, N.Y., and special assistant to the Chief of Staff in the Army. Dunwoody has also served as executive officer to the director of the Defense Logistics Agency.

From May 1989 to May 1991, Dunwoody served as executive officer and later division parachute officer for the 407th Supply and Transportation Battalion, 82d Airborne Division, in Fort Bragg, N.C., and Operations Desert Shield/Storm in Saudia Arabia.

Dunwoody graduated from the State University of New York with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. She holds a master’s degree in logistics management from the Florida Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in national resource strategy from National Defense University.

Her awards and badges include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, Master Parachutist Badge and the Army Staff Identification Badge.

General Dunwoody was interviewed by Dawn S. Onley, MLF editor.

Q: What does your job entail? Also, what is the mission of the G-4?

A: As the Army G-4, my job is to make sure our warfighters have the supplies and services they need to fight and win and that our logisticians around the globe have the tools and equipment they need to deliver materiel and protect themselves on today’s asymmetrical battlefield. Now this briefs well and sounds easy, but it is darn hard work. In CONUS [Continental United States], our Army logisticians in the generating force handle everything from deploying forces, maintaining equipment, feeding, fueling and arming soldiers and resetting the force. Our logisticians in the operating force are out on point, with boots on the ground, securing convoys, while delivering critical supplies and services.

Q: Can you give me the personnel breakdown of your organization in terms of civilians, uniforms and contractors?

A: Let me first say that we recently reorganized and transformed the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4. We did this to better meet the needs of our transforming Army for the 21st Century. We wanted to align directorates, our functions and our processes with our joint and strategic partners. This allows us to better support all service members while operating in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational environment. We placed an increased emphasis on readiness and established a Reserve Mobilization Directorate to interface daily with the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard Bureau. We wanted to evolve into an organization that was a catalyst for change.

The result is a more readily recognizable organization that ensures the goals, objectives, and priorities are in place to best support the Army. We currently have 80 active military, 48 mobilized Reservists, 103 civilians and 95 contractors on our G-4 team. We have a team of professionals, from all walks of the Army, who understand the complexity and challenges of today’s dangerous environment. These hardworking logisticians—soldiers, civilians and contractors—are making a difference everyday.

Q: What are your top goals/objectives this year for G-4?

A: Supporting soldiers is our number one priority. Now, more than ever, we as leaders, we as an Army, and we as Americans, need to do all we can to preserve and sustain our all volunteer force. Our Army is stretched; we have been at war for almost 6 years—that’s the longest war we’ve fought with an all-volunteer Army. We cannot underestimate the impact third and fourth deployments have on soldiers and their family members. For them, the optempo has never been higher. If we cannot maintain and sustain this all-volunteer force … everything else is academic. The symptoms of stress on our force are there, and we are paying attention. To alleviate that stress, our chief of staff and secretary of the Army are working to shorten deployment and increase the amount of time soldiers spend at home with their families. We want quality of life for our soldiers and their families to be commensurate with the quality of their service and we need to accelerate the restoration of the strategic depth of our military.

In order to support our soldiers, the Army G-4 is focused on several priorities: transforming our logistics formations and right-sizing our logistics capabilities; funding and fielding logistics automation; and supporting high readiness levels by providing the Army shortened redeployment cycles, streamlined worldwide retrograde, intensively managed equipment reset, increased property accountability and Lean Six Sigma initiatives.

To maintain and sustain a ready Army, we had to rid ourselves of the legacy systems, processes and policies and deliver agile, modern, integrated and synchronized systems to support our new expeditionary and campaign quality Army. For an Army whose people and equipment is in constant motion, knowing what we have, who has it and what condition it’s in is a big challenge. This requires us to look at all of our systems in a holistic way—a 360-degree view of equipment readiness from the national sustainment base to the most forwarddeployed soldier. This is not glamorous or well-celebrated work, but I know our logisticians are up to the task.

Q: What have been your greatest success stories since becoming the deputy chief of staff, G-4?

A: We are an Army at war and transforming. For the past five years, the Army has been able to sustain Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom [OIF/OEF] with ground equipment readiness rates greater than 90 percent. Our depot production is twice as high as pre- OIF levels. Reset is well underway. In fiscal year 2007, our depots will repair approximately 117,000 major items of equipment. Additionally, hundreds of thousands more items of equipment will be repaired at the field level. Since 9/11, we have reset more than 200,000 pieces of equipment and weapons and have provided approximately $193 million in depot support to other services—the largest output we have produced since the Vietnam War.

Also, our logistics transformation is on track and our modular formations have been deploying to the theater with great success including formations from theater-level [Theater Support Commands (TSC)/Expeditionary Sustainment Commands (ESC)], to brigade [Sustainment Brigades], to battalion [Brigade Support Battalion], to company [Forward Support Companies].

A great example of this success was the 10th Sustainment Brigade that deployed to Afghanistan in 2006. This brigade supported all operations in a country larger than the size of Texas from more than 50 forward operations bases without mission failure. What a great testament to flexibility and power of the Army’s new modular capability. Additionally, the 316th ESC, from the U.S. Army Reserves, was the first ESC to deploy in Iraq. And, the 1st TSC assumed command and control of logistics in the USCENTCOM [United States Central Command] area of operations—marking the first deployment of a modular TSC. We are now fully employing the logistics concept of support for modular forces and we have activated units capable of providing expeditionary and campaign quality support to joint and coalition operations.

Another great achievement in logistics transformation is the activation of the Army Sustainment Command (ASC). The ASC is a subordinate unit of the Army Materiel Command (AMC) and serves as a CONUS-based TSC, supporting the deployment and redeployment of our forces. The ASC brings together the power of our strategic and joint partners in the national sustainment base. The Army Field Support Brigades [AFSBs] are assigned to the ASC but operate under the operational control of TSCs or ESCs to integrate acquisition, logistics and contracting requirements. Both the ASC and AFSBs are key to strategic and operational sustainment as well as planning, coordinating and executing our reset efforts. The newest modular capability will be AMC’s contracting brigades. Logisticians are now providing combatant commanders with seamless, end-to-end support from the national sustainment base to the most forward deployed units in Iraq.

Q: What are your biggest challenges and how are you overcoming them?

A: Our Army is experiencing a significant stress on the all-volunteer force right now. Today the Army has high-demand, low-density career fields that are maintaining high operational tempo—many of these are in the combat service support (CSS) branches. CSS force structure currently has six of the top 10 high-demand, low-density career fields, which means these men and women sometimes spend as much time deployed as at home. We’re asking a lot from these soldiers, not just in the operational missions associated with sustaining 700,000 soldiers and their equipment around the globe, but also in their personal lives and family relationships. We have two opportunities to mitigate this stress: growing the Army and rebalancing the forces through the Total Army Analysis (TAA) process. In doing this, we must strike the right balance between combat arms, combat support and CSS forces.

In addition, keeping CSS formations combat-effective requires that all units get what they need for their mission and receive the most current systems available. I think it’s clear that the entire Army is facing challenges meeting its resource requirements, but it’s imperative to adequately equip all CSS units across all components—active, Reserve, and National Guard.

Q: Tell me about the G-4’s work in transforming logistics processes? Also, what does this transformation work involve?

A: I’m very proud of the entire G-4’s work in transforming logistic processes. We have a team of innovators, change agents, and Lean Six Sigma [LSS] black belts who have gone after the initiatives with the greatest return on investment. Most transformations require organizational, technological and cultural changes to be effective. Our logistics transformations are no different. We are modernizing many of our logistics processes. Many of these changes capitalize on the benefits captured through LSS initiatives.

Units are deploying and redeploying so quickly, we must look at redeployment, retrograde, and reset with a heightened sense of urgency. We cannot afford to let redeploying units trickle back over a 120-day period; and so, we’ve analyzed and streamlined that process to get units back to CONUS in 60 days. We are currently staffing the first deployment/redeployment regulation that will provide standards that more appropriately reflect the demands of our current operating environment.

In addition to getting units and their equipment back into the fight more quickly, streamlined retrograde operations have also benefited the Integrated Global Presence and Basing Strategy [IGPBS]. IGPBS calls for the relocation, and in some cases, inactivation of units around the globe. The restationing of units as a result of IGPBS created tremendous stockpiles of equipment in locations such as Korea and Europe. These are valuable Army assets that must also be accounted for, their serviceability assessed, and redistributed to units or the appropriate maintenance activity for issue back to the supply system.

Also, there are millions of repair parts around the globe that are just as critical as the major end items discussed above. We are instituting another set of business processes to deal with Class IX Retrograde. Our logisticians are working with a prototype system called MyRetrograde Business Intelligence Tool dashboard, located at the Logistics Information Warehouse in Huntsville Ala. This tool provides Armywide visibility of millions of dollars worth of useable class IX items around the world to enable decisions that will enhance readiness. Lean Six Sigma has improved other business processes as well. Already completed projects have improved the accuracy and timeliness of reporting equipment losses, reduced the cycle time for disposition instructions of major end items returning from operations in Southwest Asia, and reduced the cycle time for second destination transportation “stop shipment” waiver requests.

The remainder of our projects is focused on improving requirements determination and management of major resource program areas. As the Army enterprise lead for sustainment, we are sponsoring quarterly forums to share best practices for logistics process improvement across the Army.

Another transformation initiative is the establishment of the Logistics Corps. Today’s environment places greater requirements on our Army logisticians and requires them to be multifunctional much earlier in their careers. Thus, we are doing all we can to ensure our institutions are prepared and equipped to develop adaptive, innovative and flexible leaders—Pentathletes. While the needs of the modular Army require a joint, multifunctional mindset and we must balance that need with ability to retain the functional expertise needed on today’s battlefield.

Q: Tell me something about the G-4 that people might find surprising.

A: You might be surprised to know how often our young warriorlogisticians find themselves engaged with the enemy. Our logisticians are currently supporting over 700,000 active and Reserve soldiers in nearly 80 countries across the globe. The nature of the global war on terror has drastically changed the way logisticians operate on the modern battlefields. They are warriors first and logisticians always. We have significantly changed the training that a young logistics soldier receives when they enter the Army. The focus is on creating a battle ready warrior first and then we shift to technical training. We fight as fiercely as any soldier in combat. Unfortunately, we must also share the burdens of combat. Nearly one in six of our American soldiers who pay the ultimate sacrifice to freedom’s cause are combat service support soldiers.

Equipping our soldiers with the best gear possible is a priority for the Army. We must sustain this campaign-quality Army. By simple comparison during WWII, it cost $170 to equip a soldier (adjusted to 2006 dollars). Today, it costs $17, 472 to equip a soldier. They deserve the best this nation has to offer.

Q: What drew you to become a soldier?

A: I grew up in the Army and came from a family who, since 1862, has defended our nation. My great grandfather, my grandfather, my father, my brother, my sister, my niece and my husband are all veterans of this country’s wars. My father is a veteran of three wars and is one of the 25 million veterans living today who served the nation with such incredible courage.

While I joined the Army right out of college, I planned to only stay in the Army to complete my two-year commitment, but it wasn’t too long before I realized that there are no other shoes [boots] I would rather fill then the ones I am wearing right now. As a soldier you can continually serve. It is a calling to be a soldier and there is a great sense of pride and camaraderie in serving the greatest Army in the world.

Q: Are there any shining examples of technologies that have gone above and beyond in producing results for logisticians on the battlefield?

A: Logistics automation technology improvements have allowed us to greatly enhance property accountability. Property accountability is harder than ever—there is left behind equipment, stay behind equipment, theater-provided equipment, as well as equipment that is rushed to the field through operational needs statements and the rapid fielding initiative. On an average week in Iraq, over 126,000 requisitions are submitted at a value of $274 million. Imagine trying to manage these assets, which are in constant motion, without a corporate database to provide complete visibility. Imagine trying to calculate the costs of reset, repair and battle damage for equipment that has been deployed up to four years with usage rates more than four times their peacetime pace—all without corporate information systems.

To manage this challenge and bridge our legacy systems to the future, we are on the path to delivering logistics automation systems that accommodate our new modular Army. Currently, Property Book Unit Supply Enhanced (PBUSE), Standard Army Maintenance System— Enhanced (SAMS-E), Unit Level Logistics System—Aviation [Enhanced] [ULLS-A(E)], and their enablers are resident in every unit. These systems are integrated throughout the Army modular force structure and are essential to every unit’s ability to properly equip soldiers and maintain unit readiness. To date, these technology improvements have increased visibility of property assets from 21.8 million to 3.4 billion items, which are now valued at $230 billion.

We’re on the road to making Global Combat Support System-Army (GCSS-A), Logistics Modernization Program (LMP), and Product Lifecycle Management Plus (PLM+) a reality. With continued support for the funding of this whole strategy, Single Army Logistics Enterprise (SALE), we will finally have the corporate database and complete tool set logisticians have been talking about for years. We must continue to improve our ability to see and know what we have, who has it, and what condition it is in. Having constant and immediate visibility of assets enhances the Army’s ability to fight and win.

Q: Do you have any final thoughts?

A: These are dynamic and dangerous times for America and our Army. We are blessed with leadership that has the courage to take the fight to the enemy in order to preserve America’s freedoms. And we are blessed with young, dedicated, highly motivated men and women who have chosen the Army as a profession because they want to make the world safe for their sons and daughters.

I can assure you that logisticians around the world come to work with these questions in mind: What can we do to support our deployed men and women? How can we make their lives better? How can we ensure they have what they need when they need it? Even with all the advanced technology, all the latest and greatest gadgets…at the end of the day…Our Army counts on logisticians with boots on the ground to make sustainment of our combat, combat support and combat service support soldiers a reality. Our Army is counting on logisticians who are riflemen first…logisticians who are trained to survive in order to support our Army…logisticians who deliver the goods to austere places over extended and dangerous lines of communication…logisticians who never quit.

And it gives me a tremendous sense of pride to know that in this prolonged war, our logisticians have been there on point with boots on the ground. ♦

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