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TAEGU, South Korea — Continued interservice cooperation and greater involvement with the Defense Logistics Agency are among the priorities of a major logistics management center’s new leader.

Army Col. Carleton M. Smith took over the 55th Theater Support Command’s Materiel Management Center in a parade-ground ceremony Friday under sunny skies on Camp Walker’s Kelly Field.

Smith replaces Col. John F. Wharton, who directed the 55th MMC since September 2001. The unit is based at Camp Henry. Wharton’s next assignment is at Fort Lee, Va., where he’ll join the Army’s Combined Arms Support Command.

“I look on my command tenure as building on the foundation” that Wharton set down, Smith told Stars and Stripes.

“We’re looking at forward-positioning additional stocks from DLA so that we have just the right things we need to have over here, and not have anything we don’t need to have … a balancing act,” Smith said.

And Smith will carry on Wharton’s plans for using South Korean repair depots.

“The ROK army has some significant capabilities here on the peninsula, and we are working to try to capitalize on those,” Smith said.

In remarks during the change-of-command ceremony, Maj. Gen. Jeanette K. Edmunds, commander of the 19th Theater Support Command, said that Wharton improved the Army’s supply system in South Korea. The 19th TSC is the 55th MMC’s parent unit.

Edmunds praised Wharton for having “leveraged the power of technology” and for working up “strategies” that led to a more efficient system for keeping the Army supplied in South Korea.

She cited Wharton’s leadership in developing the Web-based Joint Requisitioning System for U.S. forces in Korea, which allows them to draw supplies from each other’s in-theater stocks.

Edmunds also pointed to his efforts in developing a program that allows the Army to use South Korean army repair depots for major work on certain types of equipment, instead of shipping them to the United States.

Smith is a 1979 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s also attended the Command and General Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College and the Army War College. Smith has served in South Korea as the 2nd Infantry Division’s G-4, or staff logistician, and as the 8th Army’s G-4 support operations officer.


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