PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - "As recently as March of this year the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS) was staffed at 42 percent of its authorized strength," according to its director, Craig Cugini.

The directorate helps develop, manage and execute the installation security and force protection programs at Picatinny Arsenal and serves as the principal advisor to the installation and garrison commanders in the following areas: Personnel Security, Industrial Security, Operational Security, Emergency Management, Antiterrorism, Physical Security, Program Support, and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

"You may have experienced delays in some of the service areas covered by this garrison directorate," Cugini said.

"However, the DPTMS is fully staffed as of July 12. With all of the new hiring actions, the community may need to be aware of who has arrived and what service they provide to the community."

Personnel come and go. However, sequestration and hiring freezes have prevented the DPTMS from acquiring personnel needed to achieve mission success after some members of the staff have moved on, either relocating or retiring.

Robert Souders, a Security Specialist within the DPTMS, states "I've been here 33 1/2 years and have seen numerous people come and go. While I miss those who've left recently, we welcome with open arms our new personnel."

Souders is one of four people on the DPTMS staff who have been there for a number of years. He is joined by Security Specialist (Personnel) Kathryn Cuff Physical Security Specialist Patricia Bradley and William Doyle, Anti- Terrorism/Force Protection Officer.

Five new hires were brought on in just a few shorts months as well as an intern and a temporarily assigned military officer, Capt. Justin Metz.

"Captain Metz is assisting the DPTMS with implementation of new technology upgrades / improvements to ensure the garrison is capable to responding to emergencies protecting the force. He is a Medical Service Corp Officer with a background in medical logistics and combat support hospital operations," Cugini said.

Along with Metz, all of the other hires are military veterans.

According to the Picatinny Arsenal's Human Resource Officer, Luiclle Trimarchi: "The Civilian Human Resources Agency recognizes that veterans are a valuable applicant source for positions in the Federal Government. There are several recruitment strategies and appointment authorities that may be used to employ our veterans and wounded warriors as Department of Army civilians, including the Veterans Recruitment Authority, Veterans' Employment Opportunity Act, the Disabled Veterans' Appointment."

"The Picatinny Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC) maintains contact with Veteran Employment Coordinators at the Newark Regional Office and New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development," she added.

"Resumes of veterans are maintained on file in the CPAC and are actively distributed to hiring offcials to review and determine if applicant has the applicable experience to fill their vacancy. Picatinny Arsenal fully supports the Hire a Vet Campaign, proactively recruiting veterans within the Garrison as well as other organizations on the installation."

Meet the new personnel:

Timothy Jordan is assigned as the Installation Emergency Manager. Some of his roles include emergency notifcation and assistance with registration in the Picatinny Alert System, facility emergency action planning / exercising, Emergency Operations Center management / training and installation-wide exercises.

Jordan is a retired firefighter and also served on both active and reserve duty in the U.S. Navy.

"I am presently 'drinking from the fire hydrant' trying to learn the different aspects of my job and how it all relates to keeping Picatinny Arsenal and all its many personnel safe, and sound," Jordan said.

"I look forward to learning the Army way of doing things, and being 'Army Strong.'"

The physical security office has been operating for nearly a year with only one person assigned. Now that the DPTMS has two additional personnel you (the customer) should expect increases in the available services: Intrusion Detection System maintenance / repair support, keys issuance, shipping of weapon systems, inspections, etc.

Additionally, you may see them conducting inspections at the Access Control Points and coordinating repairs to physical barriers / fences. Hendrickson entered the U.S. Army in 1984, serving 15 years as a military policeman. He later served as a Physical Security Specialist at Fort Belvoir, Va., before coming to Picatinny.

Riley, also a U.S. Army veteran and military policeman entered military service in 1992 and served 22 years. Some of the positions he held include Physical Security Specialist, Hospital Force Protection Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, Garrison Physical Security Officer and then culminating his career as Director of Emergency Services Provost Sergeant.

As an intern, Casale will be learning and practicing in all three disciplines with his initial focus in Personnel Security. Kilduff and Casale will also work to restore the Industrial Security program.

For nearly two years, the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center has been assisting the garrison and other tenant organizations with the mission.

They will also be working to assist in Information and Personnel Security, where there has only been one point of contact in the past. This increase in manpower should reduce wait times and ensure there is always someone available to assist you with your security needs.

Casale previously was employed as a police officer with Joint Base Mcguire- Dix-Lakehurst for nine years.

"Before that I was here at Picatinny Arsenal as a police officer where I started my law enforcement/security career right after September 11th," he said.

"Things were a lot different then, our security posture and outlook on physical and operational control had changed. It was quite the challenge but taught me how to be more mature and responsible when it came to fulfilling the mission as I had always did in my military career as well in the Army infantry where I served as a specialist."

Kilduff is a retired U.S. Air Force senior master sergeant. Kilduff comes to Picatinny from Tobyhanna Army Depot, where he served as a Security Specialist (Information Security) and Operations Security Officer. Prior to that, he worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry as a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist.

The program support specialist is responsible for contractor oversight for the visual information service contract and garrison operations. This is a "jack of many trades" position at the hub of ongoing garrison operations and supporting six diferent security programs.

Rubio retired from the Marine Corps earlier this year at the rank of sergeant major after more than 25 years of service.

He deployed during Operation Desert Storm/Shield and later again during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

This is not Rubio's first experience here at Picatinny. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Corps Regiment's Golf Company from 2000 to 2004.

"The DPTMS staff has been juggling many issues and usually multiple programs at one time over the past two years," Cugini said.

"However, now that the shop is fully staffed, we are integrating our program areas, cross-leveling personnel and coming together as a team to deliver timely response to all of the security needs of the Arsenal."