U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii looks back over 2013
December 24, 2013
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii (Dec. 20, 2013) -- 2013 will be remembered for its furloughs, sequestration and hiring freezes, but other significant events took place at U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii and the Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA), Hawaii.
Among them, the 38th Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Raymond Odierno, visited Hawaii, Jan. 8-9; Undersecretary of the Army Joseph Westphal reviewed developments, Jan. 13-14; Hawaii's U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono toured facilities, April 3; Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and the Environment, the Honorable Katherine Hammack, toured in September; and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III wrapped up visits in November with a standing room only crowd at Sgt. Smith Theater.
"We are going to have fewer troops and less assets and equipment," Chandler explained to Soldiers, stating that budget cuts will take the active Army to 490,000 by the end of 2015.
In March, a 6,400-foot deep test water well was drilled at PTA to determine if the high-altitude base and surrounding communities could be sustained by their own water supply.
The garrison's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sponsored the annual Fourth of July Spectacular at Schofield Barracks. This year's event was limited to DOD ID cardholders -- since most Army units were home after 10 years of deployment. Still, 30,000-40,000 people attended the successful event.
Also in July, the garrison became "Nixle" alert ready for emergency messages. The free service is available via text messages or online for all community members.
Before July ended, USAG-HI commander, Col. Daniel Whitney, and the command, welcomed new deputy garrison commander, Howard Johnston.
In August, an Environmental Impact Statement Record of Decision was published to construct and operate a modern Infantry Platoon Battle Course at PTA.
The Directorate of Human Resource's Army Career Alumni Program put the Veterans Opportunity to Work, or VOW Act, into full swing in 2013. VOW greatly supports Soldiers transitioning into civilian life.
A traffic roundabout made its debut just inside Macomb Gate. Now fully operational, the roundabout improves traffic safety and flow.
In September, the installation and 25th Infantry Division began placing renewed emphasis on dress code policies and new courtesy patrols, which increase safety awareness and enforce Army regulations, policies and standards.
Early October, USAG-HI welcomed its new teammate, USAG-Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands.
Finally, three Facebook town halls allowed garrison directorates to personally address pressing issues on the minds of the community. As well, numerous awards and commemorative ceremonies, like Gold Star Families Day, celebrated installation Soldiers and families.