A hugely successful week at Fort AP Hill that began with a bit of whisper
and ended with a tremendous Bang. I did want to make a correction to last
week’s dispatch with regards to our “Hero” signs around the installation.
Last week’s dispatch noted two signs; one at the Main Gate (Heroes Work
Here) and one at Hopemont Community (Heroes Live Here). I was remiss in not noting the third sign located at the South Gate Entrance which appropriately reads “Heroes Train Here.” These signs certainly reflect the standard of excellence that serves as a trademark of our great installation.
Some highlights from last week:
1. Training Support. As a Regional Training Center, we support challenging & realistic training for a diverse training population that includes top tier
units & organizations from our special operations community, conventional
active duty, national guard, and reserve units from across the joint force,
and multiple interagency organizations & activities. Last week, AP Hill supported 24 units and nearly 2000 Warriors executing live fire and maneuver training across our range complex. That said, I would
like to share a message from one of our future customers about a member of our AP Hill Family (message from LTC Thomas Ace Hallowell, 1-114th IN,
Battalion Commander (TDG) and the XCTC Senior Project Officer (full time)
for the 50th IBCT, NJARNG)
“Please know, it has been a long time, since I have worked with
someone so truly excited about their job, so professional in their every
action, so dedicated to customer service and someone so honestly motivated to assist with our mission. He stands out with both military service members and the various civilians I work with through the guard or my civilian job, “back on the block”. Not only was Mr. Eger all these things,
but he is obviously the subject matter expert as well. There was no
question that went unanswered and he commanded the respect of the 80 person audience, yet displayed the same respect for those in the room.”
“Many people have also relayed to me how truly impressed they were with his actions/performance. He is an absolute credit to your
organization. I feel better knowing there is a person like Steve in our
corner assisting us with this process. We have a lot at stake with a
successful rotation and successful planning and good personnel in key
positions are paramount to success. In this case, with Steve in our corner
from concept through recovery, I honestly believe we will be set for
“Lastly, I know all too often when the phone rings or when an email arrives from a unit, more often than not, it is because there is a problem. I pride myself on taking the time, when appropriate, to recognize “the good ones” and Steve is just that. He is a tremendous asset to your organization. Please know you were well represented through his dedication, expertise and professionalism.”
Congratulations to Mr. Steve Eger for a job well done!!!
2. Funding. We have finally arrived at the end of the Fiscal Year and
greatly appreciate the significant effort by all Directorates in completing
our budget. A special thanks to the entire RMO staff that managed our
budget down to the final penny. We now begin a new FY and must remain as aggressive in our approach as we did during the final quarter of this past
FY. Given the realities of fiscal constraints in the year ahead, we must
seek creative solutions that provide the biggest bang for the buck.
3. Community Events. Last week saw a wide variety of community engagements enabling us to tell the AP Hill story to a diverse population of regional leaders, local citizens, and our entire workforce. Some highlight community events from last week:
a. Fredericksburg Military Affairs Council. On 25 SEP, I had the
distinct honor of presenting the AP Hill story to an audience of regional
leaders that included Congressman Rob Wittman. This event included Base Briefings from each of the regional military bases (Quantico and Dahlgren) in addition to our own. I maintained our aggressive communication strategy that reflects changing the perception of AP hill as a “sleepy place in the woods” to one that shows AP Hill as a top tier regional training center. Pictures from the event are posted on the Fredericksburg Chamber website at http://www.fredericksburgchamber.org/Photos or on the MAC Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Military-Affairs-Council-of-the-Fredericksburg-Regional-Chamber-of-Commerce/166319896813550 .
b. AP Hill “Stand Up For Life.” What a GREAT event for our
installation on 27 SEP. Beginning at 0630 with CSM Whitcomb & I standing in
as gate guards to pass out ACE Cards, through the initial training &
facilitated discussion, to the regional resource center overviews, and
finally to the “Hill Family Picnic” & afternoon activities, our training
fully exceeded every expectation that we could have imagined. A special
note of thanks to our regional resource center representatives from the
Employee Assistance Program (Ms. Katina Oats), Snowden Behavioral Health
Facility (Ms. Laura Gares & Ms. Jennifer Burrows), Department of Veterans
Affairs (Ms. Jennifer Garrison), & the Rural Health Support Center. Hats
off to Ms. Lynda Rice, Mr. Ben Allen, and Ms. Susan Botkin for organizing
and executing training that was simply “the best – anywhere!”
c. AP Hill 1st Annual Crab Feast. Another GREAT event for AP Hill
on 28 SEP. If not for the sound of occasional gunfire and helicopters in
the background, you could have easily imagined yourself sitting oceanside
enjoying a seafood delight. The Family atmosphere was second to none and
the laughter was a refreshing sound to end the work week. Many thanks to
Mr. Steve Delevich and AUSA for providing such great support. I would also
like to congratulate the MWR Staff for putting on an outstanding event that
was enjoyed by so many. I have attached several photos from the event for
d. Mica School Reunion. On 30SEP, I had the privilege of speaking at
the Mica High School Reunion at Heth. A wonderful crowd with a range of
stories that recounts the area before AP Hill was AP Hill. My message to
this honorable crowd focused on the word “tradition.” The Mica Reunion is a
tradition that is unique and personal, tying our past to our present. It
reminds us to hold dear what has brought us to this point and acknowledges that the richness of the present is rooted in our past. A personal note of thanks to Ms. Terry Banks for her support in planning and executing this important & significant event.
4. Farewell. A fond farewell and best wishes to Mr. Warren Hills and Mr.
Greg Torres as they enter retirement. We will miss them!!!
My priorities for next week are:
1. Support/execution of challenging & realistic training for both tenant &
rotational training units (planning for 22 units and nearly 2200 Warriors)
2. Execution of the DOL to AMC Transition to ensure a seamless transition of
DOL services to the installation (garrison, partner units, and rotational
units) to include completion of Ammunition Supply Point (ASP)activities such
that we are in position to safely and effectively execute all ASP work
activities IAW the standing site plan.
3. Execution of the AP Hill Real Property Board (3OCT).
4. Monthly Meetings with DPW (1OCT), IMO (2OCT) and RMO (4OCT).
Tuesday’s Staff Call will be Training Focused. We will conduct a focused
topic discussion on the establishment of an ISSA with Asymmetric Warfare
Thanks again for all you do every day to ensure AP Hill’s success.
“Bring Hill Up!!!”
Peter E. Dargle
USAG Fort A.P. Hill Commander