By Giselle Bodin and Diane SchumacherJanuary 15, 2009
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- On Jan. 13, 2009, Lt. Gen. Kevin T. Campbell conducted a town hall meeting for the SMDC/ARSTRAT employees at Redstone Arsenal during which he presented two awards and discussed many of the Command's accomplishments.
Charles Lamar received a length of service award for 35 years of civilian federal service, and Dr. Larry Altgilbers received certificates for his work on a project in which triggers can be knocked out of IEDs (improvised explosive devices).
Campbell introduced Dr. Steven L. Messervy and informed the audience that Messervy will transition to Michael C. Schexnayder's position after Schexnayder retires in May. He then briefly explained a few completed projects and thanked project leaders and crews. Projects mentioned were AN/TYP-2 deployment, Orthon Sensor, WeaponWatch, Zephyr Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Ares 1, Toys for Tots and holiday activities.
"I'm extremely proud of the work SMDC is doing," Campbell said. "Our story doesn't get told like it should, but these are things I plan to bring up when I meet with Army leadership. Our work is affecting today's fight."
He welcomed back from overseas tours Col. Mark S. McConkey, returning from Iraq, and Lt. Col. Paul Curry returning from Gaza. Without going into specific detail, Campbell gave some mention to the work both had done during their desert tours of duty. McConkey will become the ballistic missile defense system manager when current BMDS Manager Col. Deborah A. Hubbard retires in May.
The commanding general went on to discuss his command perspective. "Handle things with integrity, treat each other with respect," he said. "I ask all leaders in the room to start with a self-assessment. We must be right with ourselves before anything else can be right."
Campbell also talked about the issue of communications, particularly SkiWeb and its SMDC/ARSTRAT section. He informed town hall attendees that the SkiWeb secure site (on SIPRNET) is a combination of chat room and blog and has Google capability. Campbell believes it's a good place to share information and a good place to learn more about what's going on elsewhere. He encouraged employees with a clearance to use the SMDC/ARSTRAT section of the SkiWeb.
He mentioned that Roi-Namur (Marshallese Islands) water wells were contaminated by ocean water swells. There's enough fresh water left for residents through February 20, and a reverse-osmosis unit is being sent to take care of the issue Campbell said it could be three or four years before the wells clear out on their own.
SMDC/ARSTRAT will have 180 spaces in the new Von Braun Complex III being built. The building should be ready late 2010 or early 2011.
The gym and equipment in this building is looking good, thanks to the efforts of Chief of Staff Col. John Hamilton and G-8 Col. Mark Glynn.
Campbell remarked that many members of SMDC/ARSTRAT do not seem to be good stewards of electricity conservation. He said he often walks the halls of VBC I in the evening turning off lights before he departs and asked employees to be sure to turn off lights as well when they leave at the end of the day.
The USAKA fiber optic cable is due to be installed no later than March 2010 so there will be less of a need to deploy teams to USAKA since work can be done from CONUS.
Leadership is finding the money to send employees to school, training and conferences to better educate them for their job and improve civilian education overall. A Management Cell within SMDC/ARSTRAT is being organized to manage civilian education and its funding.
The town hall meeting ended with a brief question and answer period that addressed issues such as reorganization and SMDC/ARSTRAT's relationship with the Missile Defense Agency. The CG stated that while SMDC/ARSTRAT would not reorganize in the near future, the RDA side was under review. He stated his relationship with MDA leadership is very strong, citing the weekly meetings he has with Lt. Gen. Patrick J. O'Reilly, MDA's new director, and his willingness to embed McConkey in their front office.
Campbell closed the event by restating how proud he was of the work transpiring at SMDC/ARSTRAT and encouraging all employees to continue on their paths toward success.