ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Maj. Gen. Kevin O'Connell, commanding general, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, conducted a town hall meeting for ASC headquarters personnel in Heritage Hall, here, June 11.

Topics covered in the town hall were: ASC global update, ASC Staff update, leadership changes, Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP), Rock Island Arsenal events and projects, and Command Climate Survey findings.

O'Connell emphasized ASC's importance to the global Army mission, noting the command's acquisition of more than 70 Logistics Readiness Centers around the world, and the some of the challenges ASC faces with operating them.

"We've got a big funding issue right now to support all the Logistics Readiness Centers across the Army, which will have huge impacts if we don't get the funding," he said. "For the past ten years, we've counted on a mid-year plus-up. They only fund us about 60 percent of what we need to start the year, and then we get the plus-up. This year they're having trouble getting us a plus-up."

ASC's financial needs are extensive, and vital to supporting the warfighter. ASC has about 44,000 people in 32 states and 19 countries, and offers logistics support to six major combatant commands: U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Northern Command.

"Everybody up to the chief of staff of the Army is working this," said O'Connell. "But right now we've got a significant shortfall in funding that we need to get resolved here pretty quickly."

O'Connell reiterated that SHARP is one of the Army's top priorities, a directive passed down by the Secretary of Defense.

"I think we've got a good program," he said. "I think squelching any harassment at the lowest level is the key to preventing sexual assault, and I think we're doing a good job of that here."
The DoD is placing emphasis on workforce revitalization, hoping to positively develop the next generation of federal employees. Norbert Herrera, director of Human Resources, ASC, spoke briefly about the command's push for new blood.

"We're going to start hiring about 50 interns this year," Herrera said. "This is in line with General Via's initiative to hire 1,000 interns throughout AMC over the next couple of years. At ASC you'll start seeing some of the announcements for these intern positions in various areas, to include our brigade sites."

ASC issued a command climate survey in December 2014, in which only 29 percent of the workforce participated. O'Connell expressed some concern about the lack of participation, saying it "indicates incomplete results, right off the bat.

"The most important thing I can do as your CG is establish and maintain a positive command climate," he said. "When you have a good command climate, everything else falls into place and the mission will happen. People will be taken care of and leaders will be developed.

"It comes down to supervisors knowing your people and taking care of your people. And at the individual level, you've got a responsibility to come to work every day with a positive attitude and make it the best organization you've ever been in."

O'Connell called upon the leadership throughout ASC to help improve and maintain the command climate.

"We need all the leadership involved in this too; to help produce an improved or stronger command climate," he said. "I think it's a team effort for us to get after it. I think we're in a good organization, but how do we raise it to the level of great?"

U.S. Army Garrison-Rock Island Arsenal provided an update on the upcoming changes to access control for the island.

In July, RIA will implement new security measures that will affect visitor access on the installation. Visitors who don't have an approved Department of Defense identification card will be required to stop at the Visitor's Control Center, located at the Moline gate, to gain access to the island.

In order to receive the proper credentials, visitors will have to pass a National Crime Information Center-Interstate Identification Index (NCIC-III) check. Visitors with outstanding arrest warrants, felony convictions, or who are listed in the Terrorist Screening Database, will be denied access to the installation.

It will be possible for returning visitors to be issued credentials for up to one year upon successful completion of the NCIC-III check.