By Hannah M. Hayner (Fort Drum Public Affairs)July 18, 2008
Anyone who lives or works on Fort Drum should feel extremely safe.
The Installation Management Command has chosen John Simard, Fort Drum's installation antiterrorism officer, as the best antiterrorism program manager for all Army installations for the year 2007, winning his program $100,000.
He has worked here as a civilian since 2004, but his experience with fighting terrorism goes back much longer.
"After 22 years in the military, I still feel as though I am wearing the uniform. I couldn't ask for a better job," Simard said. "The force protection mission is executed daily by many professionals here on Fort Drum - the weight is divided among many."
Simard spends each year observing, planning, developing and fixing vulnerabilities to keep the installation safe, and he documents everything he does.
To find the best program or program manager, DoD officials look at the documentation, as well as the program's initiatives, objectives, overall achievements, level of commitment, adherence to message requirements and the results.
Other things they look for include extraordinary training efforts, capability, knowledge of requirements, effectiveness, sustainability, uniqueness and awareness management.
Simard's program achievements at Fort Drum include the following:
* saved more than $300,000 and months of construction time by applying air intake manifolds to several facilities as well as separate air handling units;
* was awarded millions of dollars for four antiterrorism projects and had the highest number of Combating Terrorism Readiness Initiative Fund dollars in the Northeast region for fiscal year 2007;
* installed a mass notification system including numerous "giant voice" speaker towers and upgraded fire-alarm systems;
* added protection to a key facility with new fences, gates, aircraft cabling and protective entry methods;
* funded a telephone alerting system; and
* conducted trainings such as mortuary affairs courses and force protection exercises that have drawn attention from other installations and the academic world.
"I want to get the word out to the community and Fort Drum personnel that we have a good, proactive force protection program here," Simard said. "My job is to deter, detect and defeat. Being a former Soldier, it is an honor to continue protecting our precious Soldiers, their Families and the garrison workforce."