Warehouse makeover yields enviable, larger Soldier processing site
January 13, 2012
What a difference six months can make! Rockenbach Hall, Bldg. 2020, has transitioned from an empty, barren 40,500- square-foot warehouse to a fully functional, state-of-the-art Soldier Readiness Processing site.
Comparing the old site to the new site, Maj. Frederick Grant, Stability Transition Team, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division chief, stated, "It was a melee when we first got here in January 2011. It is much better now. The staff is very professional, knew right where to take me, no problems, which is the best part."
In fact, according to Shawn Pollack, Chief of Plans and Operations, Directorate of Human Resources, Fort Knox has a facility better than any other installation and one others seek to emulate. Thus far, representatives from Fort Campbell, Ky., Fort Riley, Kan., and Camp Atterbury, Ind., have visited the site in hopes of garnering information pertinent to enhancing their own design and overall operating efficiency. However, this now well-oiled machine Fort Knox calls its own, has not always been so efficient and Soldier-centric.
Prior to the new SRP site, Soldiers were forced to visit three separate locations. Not only did these locations span the post, but they also provided significantly less capabilities than the current SRP site. Previously, it was not uncommon for Soldiers to be sitting around for hours awaiting further testing or completion of administrative actions, which significantly decreased efficiency and increased the workload on those supervising the Soldiers.
Sgt. 1st Class Brian Huggins, 3-1 Headquarters and Headquarters Company, combat advisor, said, "The old SRP site was crowded and more overwhelmed. Soldiers don't want to wait around all day and this new site has taken a lot of stress off Soldiers. This has been a very easy process. Everything is set up, planned out professionally, and the movement has been great."
Similarly, Staff Sgt. James Harder, S-1 non-commissioned officer in charge, of the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 3-1, stated, "Now you don't have to worry about Soldiers getting lost. There are personnel at each spot to ensure everything is completed instead of Soldiers wandering aimlessly."
This increased throughput and efficiency is exactly what Mr. Pollack was eagerly awaiting and seeking. The site was modified to include three zones with open flooring innately pushing Soldiers to the center of the site. This plan, which places Soldiers in groups, better identifies those Soldiers that have completed all requirements in a particular zone and allows supervisors and staff to key in on those requiring additional assistance. Mr. Pollack noted, "It is currently working exactly as planned and that is amazing!"
Sharing Mr. Pollack's' appreciation is Staff Sgt. Rick Best, platoon sergeant, 1st Infantry Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3-1, who stated, "The old SRP site was set up for a platoon-sized element. It is night and day now. It is a lot better and smoother."
Today, the SRP site can skillfully accommodate a brigade-sized element and provide all necessary care: full dental exam support, X-ray machines, audio booths for hearing exams, a fully-operational lab for immunizations and blood draws (including a specific room designated only for the administration of the smallpox vaccine), a state-of-the-art Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics room, optometry services, onsite pharmacist, fully functional administrative section (comprised of Judge Advocate General, chaplains, finance, Army Community Service, Military Personnel Division, and Transportation), and behavioral health care.
In addition, the site has a large briefing room and designated areas for unit S-1s to complete their required tasks. The designated area for unit S-1s is particularly important as they are responsible for much of the administrative paperwork for their respective unit. The SRP site is fully automated which reduces wait time for Soldiers as they process through each of the stations.
While the SRP site is essential in performing deployment and redeployment processing, they are also responsible for a wide array of additional services. On any given day, the Fort Knox SRP site will be responsible for all in and out processing, storing and maintaining all U.S. Army Forces Command deploying unit records on site, issuing ID cards to Soldiers, and the completion of Army required Periodic Health Assessments. In order to ensure each Soldier is provided the utmost care and respect, the current SRP site is staffed with an outstanding team of Soldiers, civilians and contractors.
Mr. Pollack added, "Completing this facility has been a team effort by everyone. Support from Medical Department Activity, Dental Activity, and Garrison leadership made this a reality. We wouldn't have it without their support."