By Sheila GideonOctober 9, 2013
U.S. Army Garrison-Kwajalein Atoll headquarters was officially transferred from U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command to Installation Management Command in a ceremony Wednesday at the metro hangar. The ceremony marked the official establishment of Garrison Command Kwajalein Atoll as part of the IMCOM organization. The official party consisted of Debra Zedalis, regional director of Installation Management Command-Pacific, USAG-KA Sgt. Maj. Roderick Prioleau, and Col. Nestor A. Sadler, commander of USAG-KA.
A brief history of Kwajalein narrated how the command has changed over the years. Kwajalein officially became Kwajalein Test Site in July 1964, under the U.S. Army Space and Strategic Defense Command. Command changed to SMDC in October 1997. IMCOM was stood up in October 2002, in an effort to standardize Army garrisons. As of Wednesday, IMCOM is now responsible for synchronizing, integrating, and delivering installation services and sustaining facilities in support of senior commanders in order to enable a ready and resilient Army here.
The IMCOM colors were uncased by Zedalis, Sadler and Prioleau. The uncasing ceremony serves two purposes. First, it allows the commander the opportunity to assess the readiness and discipline of the unit and second, marks a definite point in time to commemorate the beginning or continuation of a unit's history and lineage. The uncasing signified the official transfer of all base operations from SMDC to IMCOM.
Sadler welcomed guests and distinguished visitors to the ceremony.
"This is a special day for the Kwajalein family," he said. "Today truly marks a day of unity as Installation Management Command becomes an official partner of the Space and Missile Defense Command." Sadler commented that IMCOM's expertise in the management and resourcing of base operations will have a positive impact on the quality of life for the residents and the mission. "The Kwaj family will no doubt continue to work as a team and continue to meet and exceed all expectations as we move forward together," he said in closing.
Next, Ronald Chronister, deputy to the commander, SMDC/ARSTRAT, thanked the Kwajalein team for all their hard work, especially with the busy mission schedule over the past few months. "What you all do here is phenomenal in terms of its criticality to the defense of the nation."
Chronister visited Kwajalein earlier this year in January. He was given a tour of the island infrastructure and saw firsthand the magnitude of repairs needed. "I was a little concerned when I left," he noted. On Tuesday, he repeated the same tour and was very encouraged by the progress that had been made. "I think that's a direct reflection of the base ops being [transferred] to IMCOM." Everyone at SMDC is committed to this transfer and will continue to support the RTS mission, Chronister said.
Finally, Zedalis addressed the guests. She began by saying, "To the entire Kwajalein community, I extend an official welcome to the Installation Management Command-Pacific region."
On Wednesday, USAG-KA became the Pacific region's 12th garrison and the second garrison in support of SMDC. IMCOM-P is comprised of American and Korean soldiers, supporting U.S., Korean, Japanese, and now Marshallese civilians and contractors in all garrisons. The region supports more than 202,000 servicemembers and their families spanning an area of 15,000 nautical miles that make up the Pacific area. But IMCOM is even more than the Pacific. IMCOM is a worldwide enterprise covering 17 time zones, seven different countries on three different continents, with over 76,000 employees serving more than 1,200,000 active duty Soldiers, civilian employees and contractors in 74 garrisons.
"And so it is an exciting day for everyone in the Pacific region and in IMCOM," Zedalis continued. "I hope it is an exciting day for everyone here at Kwajalein because you have now joined an installation management enterprise that spans the globe, and contributes significantly to the U.S. Army."
"I tell our team we have the best jobs in the U.S. Army, because daily we get to positively impact the lives of our great Soldiers and families," Zedalis commented.
She closed by saying, "To all the units represented here today, I wish to personally thank you for your support. I know that Col. Sadler and his garrison staff will work with you to ensure they provide the finest installation capabilities, services and quality of life for your Soldiers, civilians and families."