Greetings to the entire Aberdeen Proving Ground community. I want to take this opportunity to tell you some of the exciting things happening at APG. We continue to rapidly move forward with the Base Realignment and Closure process.

Earlier this month, I met with a group of military and local officials to discuss the regional transformation set in motion by the closure of Fort Monmouth, N.J. and the movement of organizations to and from Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Base Realignment and Closure is well on its way to becoming reality as major units move to and from the proving ground. There is a tremendous synergy going on and the opportunities are exciting.

For example, we are standing by to officially receive the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command from Fort Monmouth. They cased their colors in a New Jersey ceremony Sept. 13. The entire Team APG will welcome them with a proper ceremony Oct. 22.

This is one thing I want you to embrace -- all of us who live and work on Aberdeen Proving Ground are part of one team. We are Team APG! Consider the people we have working here in our community and the kinds of missions we have here. It is truly breathtaking. All of us, Soldiers, civilian employees and contractors working on this installation have one goal in mind -- supporting the Warfighter.

About 2,700 people have already moved to APG due to BRAC, and we can expect thousands more to join us in the coming months. Our installation is growing -- and it's growing fast.

Folks, APG is transforming into an installation of the future. Did you know we have more than $1.4 billion invested in ongoing projects' Our mantra is build, renovate and demolish. I guarantee you will find it hard to recognize APG when it's all said and done. But, transformation is not just limited to buildings. It's also about the spirit and pride of our community members. Working at APG does not just mean getting a paycheck from the Army. You are part of a team focused on supporting our Soldiers in the fight. Team members look out for each other and stay involved.

Recently I participated in some fantastic community events. We cut a ribbon to officially open the Harford Community College Education and Training Center Sept. 28 at the Gate Complex. Our partnership with local educational institutions is the key to our future. When you think about workforce development and professional education opportunities, you don't even have to leave the installation. They want to be part of Team APG. They know that the future of this region includes being good neighbors with Aberdeen Proving Ground. We welcome Harford Community College and value their friendship!

Every month, we honor Servicemembers and civilian employees moving on to greener pastures at the Installation Retirement Ceremony. The last ceremony was Sept. 29 at the Ball Conference Center. This is a bittersweet event. We're happy to honor the accomplishments of our longtime employees, but sad to see them go. I encourage you to attend these events. Your attendance will add meaning to the ceremony and show your commitment to the community.

Finally we celebrated the vibrant contributions of our Hispanic community with an event Sept. 29 at the APG Recreation Center. We showed our support, enjoyed the food sampling and got to know our fellow community members. Again, these are the types of events Command Sgt. Maj. Hector Maron and I, as well as the garrison leadership, Col. Orlando Ortiz and Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney Rhoades, recommend you attend.

I hope to see you at all our future events. Again, congratulations to our retirees, a well-deserved salute to our Hispanic community during Hispanic Heritage Month and welcome to our new partners at Harford Community College.

Page last updated Fri September 9th, 2011 at 15:42