ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Community and installation leadership met with congressional staffers last week to collaborate on the issues facing Aberdeen Proving Ground's transformation.

Staffers representing Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Senator Benjamin Cardin, Congressman C. A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, Congressman Roscoe Barlett, and Congressman Frank Kratovil participated in the annual event Feb. 2 at the CACI building to increase their awareness of activities and projects for APG. 2012.

The event was hosted by the Army Alliance, Inc., a non-profit civic organization formed in 2001 to support APG programs and infrastructure by promoting a clear, coherent image of APG as a national asset.

Col. Jeffery Weissman, APG garrison commander, detailed the status of APG 2012, an initiative which will transform the installation to support the Army's future research, development, test and evaluation work so it can sustain the world-class support provided to the nation's Warfighters. The transformation of APG will focus on quality of life, facilities and infrastructure, services, and human capital in order to accommodate the existing post population and the influx of people expected due to BRAC.

Over the next few years, APG will undergo its most significant growth since World War II. As a result of the BRAC Commission's recommendations, the organizations moving to APG will allow the Army to pursue the transformational and BRAC objectives of consolidating research, development, test and evaluation on fewer installations to achieve efficiency and synergy.

Maj. Gen. Paul S. Izzo, senior commander for APG and commander of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command also briefed congressional staffers about the status of ongoing projects and upcoming needs of APG and Harford County as they collaboratively prepare for personnel coming into the area. Izzo told the participants he looks forward to working with the congressional delegation and the local communities surrounding APG as the implementation of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure and APG 2012 progress.

Harford County Executive, David Craig, talked about the need to expand the local transportation infrastructure such as rail extensions, road and highway renovations, and improved bus and train service.

"It was a very productive meeting. It is good to establish personal relationships - especially if it can enhance our joint goal to support the safety of our Warfighters," Craig said.

Frank Mezzanotte, Leah Skica, Eric Cromwell, and Donna Clem of the Harford County Public School System spoke about the successes of the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Program at Joppatowne High School and the Science and Math Academy at Aberdeen High School, as well as the desire to allow more students to take advantage of these programs.

Staffers were also taken on a windshield tour of Phase I of the Team C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) complex currently under construction. When complete, this $477 million project will provide approximately 1.5 million square feet of state-of-the-art office and specialized laboratory space for nearly 5,000 employees.