DUGWAY PROVING GROUND, Utah -- Employees and residents of Dugway welcomed a new Garrison Manager during a change of leadership ceremony today at the Community Club in English Village. The ceremony transferred the authority from outgoing Garrison Manager, Donald E. Smith, to the new manager, Aaron D. Goodman.

Presiding over the ceremony was Army's Installation Management Command Acting Region Director for the Central Region, Joe C. Capps, from Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Capps said he was pleased to honor Smith for a job well done and to welcome and congratulate Goodman on his selection as the new garrison leader.

Capps praised Smith's service, saying "Don, you have worked tirelessly as a well-qualified leader, truly a man with the heart of a servant. You have been a steadfast builder with exceeding strengths in budgeting and manpower management. You have worked tirelessly to improve the community here. "

Capp noted a vast number of challenging projects Smith spearheaded, to include the demolitions of buildings and housing no longer serviceable, to make way for the modernization upgrades that improved the installation's facilities and operations.

New street lights, a recreational vehicle park, a new police department building, progressive heat pump meters, a new swimming pool, and a 7.7 million solar array were highlighted as among Smith's efforts. Smith also acted to provide progressive wildland firefighting gear and a remote automatic weather station. Capps observed these endeavors have had a remarkable impact across the installation and will clearly benefit operations in the future.

Smith said his five years at Dugway have been memorable but went by way too quickly. He also said a lot of extraordinary people are dedicated to making Dugway successful.

"Being in a remote and isolated area can create its own set of challenges, but they're also a unique set of opportunities, Smith sad. Just because some people may think that because Dugway is a small, remote installation, does not make the workload is less."

Smith, who retires to Kansas, thanked his team for their enormous support, adding he really liked it when a project came together, a success the garrison has experienced many times during his tenure.

"I look forward to the future, but I will take with me many memorable times," he said. "I have always liked coming to work." He then complimented Command Sgt. Major Montonya Boozier, "I could not have asked for someone better to count on."

Dugway's Commander, Sean Kirschner, also applauded Smith's time at Dugway.

"We honor his four-decades of service to this nation. You have become a friend, partner and a mentor, I have seen your ease and confidence in dealing with any problem or in tackling every challenge, whether it be dealing with tight schedules, significant money short falls or constant tweaks to the budget," he said. "I appreciate your compassion, empathy and contributions. You will be forever in our hearts and memory."

Capps expressed he was "fully confident" that Goodman would "complete the projects Smith has begun and add new projects that will build and benefit the installation."

Goodman is originally from Bloomington, Illinois, where he joined the Army in 1995 to become a Technical Engineering Specialist. He credits the Army providing him the opportunity to travel the world and work on diverse engineering projects both stateside and overseas in Bosnia, Croatia, and Germany. He brings these skills to Dugway.

He began his civilian career with the Army in 2004. Moving quickly through the ranks, he worked his way from a Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation management trainee through all levels of management, to finally arrive at Dugway, where he has served as its FMWR director. Though the mission at DPG is under Army Test and Evaluation Command, the installation's infrastructure--its police, firefighters, housing and other support activities--are under IMCOM, which Goodman will oversee.

Kirschner couldn't resist taking a moment to tease Goodman. "It is always easy to spot you in a room, you're the tallest one with the biggest smile." He noted feeling "a level of excitement" that Goodman brings to the support team, along with his extensive experience in management. "I have confidence in your capable hands," he added.

Goodman expressed excitement at serving as the garrison leader. "I look forward to working together, securing your needs, and continuing to strengthen our partnerships for an exciting future together."