Anniston Army Depot Commander Col. Martine Kidd held a town hall session Feb. 15, which was broadcast live to the workforce.

Several leaders from throughout the installation assisted Kidd in relaying important information to employees on topics from safety and workload to the Logistics Modernization Program.

SAFETY

During fiscal year 2016, the depot exceeded goals set by TACOM Life Cycle Management Command regarding safety. During FY16, there were 239 incidents/investigations. Of those, 114 were Occupational Safety and Health Administration recordable, 72 were first aid injuries, 19 were property damage and 34 were near misses.

The total OSHA recordable injuries for FY16 were up approximately 14 percent from FY15, with 16 more injuries than FY15 and the depot's total case rate was up 17 percent compared to FY15.

Kidd encouraged the workforce to continue to report safety incidents.

"That helps us understand if our procedures are good and what we need to do with our job hazard analyses to keep improving," she said.

The top two causes of injuries were overexertion and being struck by an object.

"You have to think of yourself as an industrial athlete," Kidd told the workforce. "Your jobs are physically demanding. So, you have to warm up for work the same way you would if you went to workout at the gym."

To assist the Safety Office in reducing injuries, a Safety Summit was held Nov. 2, 2016. The primary goal of this meeting between senior leaders and representatives from ANAD and its major tenant and contractor organizations was to ensure open dialogue to address safety issues and share best practices.

OSHA CHALLENGE

The depot began to work toward the OSHA Challenge in 2016 and is currently still in the plan development and training phase. Scotty Arrington, the depot's special project officer said he anticipates completion of phase one in April.

"The biggest issue we have and the hardest part of the OSHA Challenge is the culture change. We have to make sure employees put safety first in their job," said Arrington as he encouraged employees not to take shortcuts that may increase production at a risk of working in unsafe conditions.

WORKLOAD

In 2016, the FY17 workload was anticipated to be approximately 2.19 million direct labor hours. This has increased. Currently, the depot is anticipated to execute 2.72 million direct labor hours.

Additionally, the installation's revenue is increasing. The FY17 revenue plan is currently $511.9 million, however the installation is expected to produce an additional $27 million, for a total of $538.9 million.

Changes such as these are a regular occurrence in the depot's workload, as the commander pointed out.

She told the workforce that 77 percent of programs in the work breakdown structure had changes in FY16 and to-date 81 percent of work breakdown structures had changed already for FY17.

"That is the tool we represent for the Army. We are flexible, capable and able to adapt to changing priorities," said Kidd. "We are the experts at that."

In adapting to the increased and changing workload, employees were asked to always keep an eye on ways to make processes more efficient to stay within schedules without affecting quality or safety.

HIRING FREEZE

On Jan. 23, the president signed an executive order imposing a federal hiring freeze. This freeze not only affected the installation's ability to hire new employees, but has also raised questions about extending temporary and term employee contracts and temporary promotions.

Kidd informed the workforce there is an approval process for term and temporary employees through TACOM LCMC and AMC. Employees whose contracts were set to expire in February have been extended and the installation is working through the approval process for additional term and temporary employees.

At the moment, there is no approval process for temporary promotions.

"If you are on an internal, temporary promotion with a not to exceed date, you need to know what that date is because, right now, we are not being successful at getting those extended," said Michael Burke, the depot's deputy to the commander.

NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT

The National Defense Authorization Act included personnel actions which are applicable to depot employees, including the ability for term and temporary employees to compete for internal jobs.

The NDAA temporarily authorizes employees who have served under one or more time-limited appointments, for a period totaling more than 24 months, who have not had a break of two or more years of service to apply for internal positions.

"It's not a conversion process," said Burke. "There is still no way to take a term or temporary employee and convert them to permanent status."

The NDAA also increased the maximum payout allowable under the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority or Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment to $40,000.

The depot has no plans to institute a VERA/VSIP this fiscal year.

The NDAA is only applicable through FY18 and these personnel action changes will end at that time unless extended by other legislation.

COMMUNICATION

A depot taskforce is developing topics for TRACKS, The Morning Show, LAN slides, Facebook posts and six-minute huddles.

These topics are intended to keep the workforce informed of topics noted on a survey as areas of concern.

The top five topics currently for six-minute huddles are workload, overtime, SHARP, safety and quality.

Employees are encouraged to provide feedback regarding information they would like to receive in the six-minute huddles by contacting Steve McCarley, the depot's deputy chief of staff.

They are also encouraged to request answers from supervisors.

"If you have a question, ask your supervisor. Make them get you the answer. Be the squeaky wheel that says, 'I still need to understand this,'" said Kidd.

LOGISTICS MODERNIZATION PROGRAM

The Logistics Modernization Program Increment 2 went live last May and, through the Complex Assembly Manufacturing Solution, is now in more work areas throughout the installation.

Chuck Gunnels, the director of Production Management, spoke to employees about the current and future state of LMP.

Currently, CAMS is utilized throughout the depot's industrial area and pilot programs are planned which will expand the utilization CAMS into the areas of quality, work in process tracking and fabrication.

CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

The installation has several construction projects ongoing.

Along Roosevelt Drive and in the Restricted Area, the solar project is nearing completion. The array is expected to be operational in March.

Throughout the installation, there are three concurrent projects on-going to repair and replace underground water infrastructure which will continue through this year.

These projects have, and will continue to, create traffic detours.

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Making Tracks 5K race is approaching in April. The event will be April 22 and will begin at 8 a.m. Registration is available through the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

A shutdown is tentatively planned for the week of the Fourth of July, pending workload requirements. If the shutdown is implemented, it will necessitate 27 hours of leave. As plans are finalized, the workforce will be informed through TRACKS and The Morning Show.