By Jim Hughes, Fort Rucker Public AffairsSeptember 24, 2019
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Fort Rucker went under the microscope when Installation Management Command conducted a higher headquarters assessment at the post Sept. 9-13.
The assessment team of 11 subject matter experts from various Army posts delved deeply into numerous programs, plans and agencies to ensure Fort Rucker leadership is doing all it can to run a safe and secure post, and the results are something the entire team at Fort Rucker can be proud of, according to Chester M. Witkowski, Fort Rucker deputy to the garrison commander.
"Assessment team members visited with us for a week, and they went through our programs and met with our people, and validated that we're doing things right," Witkowski said. "The entire team at Fort Rucker can be proud of what we're doing to keep Soldiers and their families -- and everyone who works on post -- safe.
"The inspection also pointed out that there are some things we can do better. While none of those items are major issues, we will work on them -- you can always get better," he added. "In the end, this assessment proves what we've known all along -- Fort Rucker is a safe, secure and great place to work, live and play."
Inspection team members analyzed more than 20 different programs and areas, including physical security, anti-terrorism, risk management, force protection, emergency management, law enforcement, health protection, cyber security and more, according to Mike Whittaker, installation anti-terrorism officer.
And the results were a marked improvement over the previous inspection in 2017, said Sean Sparks, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security director.
"Although resources have continued to decline, the efforts of the Fort Rucker team ensure we continue to seek increased efficiency and effectiveness within our protection programs," he said. "One prevailing theme we received from the inspectors' feedback was the need for increased awareness, collaboration and participation from all tenant units on the installation."
As an example, Sparks said, 50 percent of polled personnel on post didn't know the current Force Protection Level, even though it is posted at every gate, in most facilities and identified each month during the Tactical Tuesday exercises.
"It is imperative that we all take measures to protect our personnel, assets and equipment on a daily basis," Sparks added. "None of us want to experience a tragedy like the Fort Hood (Texas) shooting or another 9/11; therefore, we each must remain vigilant, and ensure our protection plans and measures, along with our emergency response capabilities, remain a priority.
"Complacency has a way of creeping in," he said. "I would ask everyone to take the time to familiarize themselves with the specific protective measures organic to their organization and the installation as a whole. Your feedback remains a critical key to how we identify and mitigate vulnerabilities across the installation."