JBM-HH command team positions to tackle dynamic missions in 2022

By Alice SwanMarch 15, 2022

Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. --Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall leaders — Commander Col. David Bowling, Deputy Commander Marine Lt. Col. Mark Paolicelli, and Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew Majeski — shared their 2022 priorities list with The Pentagram Magazine as their focus shifts from COVID-19 to new challenges on the horizon, such as reintegration of the work force back into the office and the Department of the Army’s Climate Strategy plan.

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“A first step in accomplishing our goals will be getting things back to normal for the JBM-HH and Fort McNair community, noted Paolicelli. “It’s been challenging dealing with the pandemic these past two years. We feel we successfully navigated through it, and I feel it solidified our partnerships with our community and partners on base and with Arlington County and the District of Columbia. We were able to keep everyone safe while maintaining the readiness of our Soldiers, Marines, and everyone who works here.”

Bowling said operating in a COVID-19 environment allowed the team to gain some efficiencies.

“For example, we can have a virtual meeting with multiple stakeholders to address a complex issue on very short notice,” said Bowling. “There are definitely some lessons learned and it will be important to consider these and ensure we don’t lose this new ability as we transition back to the work place.”

The leaders expressed pride in the fact that they did not have to close post facilities during the pandemic. Staff were able to develop safety plans that provided full services and support not only to military personnel and employees but the extended JBM-HH community.

”We’re looking forward to getting our workforce back in person,” said Paolicelli. “As Center for Disease Control (and Prevention) guidelines permit, community members can expect to see even more COVID safety protocols lifted for post facilities, especially (Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation) activities in coming months.

“Now that the workforce is coming back, the joint base will move full force into several major construction projects for 2022, which include renovating the staff noncommissioned officer quarters on Fort McNair, two barracks renovations on JBM-HH, and the completion of the new dining facility on post. Our new dining facility will include energy and environmental design concepts the Department of the Army has adopted, with efficient windows, lighting, HVAC systems, and appliances.”

The new DFAC will focus on proper nutrition for the service members who will eat there, but also modernize it to provide a better atmosphere for users. The building improvements will also benefit the other programs co-located there, such as Soldier for Life and Transition Services, which will have brand new offices, Paolicelli added.

For Bowling, the most exciting work ahead for the JBM-HH team is adopting the initiatives outlined in the Army Climate Strategy introduced in February.

“With 2021 behind us, we have shifted focus to 2022 and a return to the ‘new normal,’” said Bowling. “Moving forward we are excited to focus some of our time and resources on the Army’s Climate Strategy Plan.”

Bowling emphasized that now is the time for the U.S. Army to create irreversible momentum that enhances readiness and resilience for the next 30 years.

“By building upon decades of research, development, and innovation, the Army will become the resilient and sustainable land force the nation needs,” said Bowling. “The Army must help the United States mitigate climate change while ensuring competitive overmatch in crisis and conflict, and adapting to a rapidly changing landscape.”

“In line with Army Climate Strategy goals, we have been seeking partnerships through the Energy Savings Program with private companies that offer technology for monitoring post HVAC systems for efficiencies and problems,” said Majeski.

“One of the things we know, with this being an old base, and the same with Fort McNair, is that a lot of our infrastructure has aged and hasn’t been modernized through the years,” added Paolicelli. “We are excited about these energy saving projects so we can modernize our buildings and it’s tied to quality of life too.”

Majeski shared that JBM-HH is also reviewing how it can begin adding electric vehicles in its government vehicle fleet to meet the Army Climate Strategy targets. The post will be included in the Army Climate Strategy’s initial charging station infrastructure investment, with 470 stations being installed Armywide in 2022.

“We are in coordination with our partner and tenant organizations on the number of vehicles they utilize and where they are parked to create a plan for where the charging stations should be located and to develop a timeline on converting to an all-electric or hybrid fleet,” Majeski explained.

Bowling noted that his team will continue to look for ways to utilize more Army Climate Strategy initiatives at JBM-HH and Fort McNair to help modernize and build resiliency into the installations’ infrastructure. It seems only natural that “America’s Post” will be a leader in the Army’s effort to address climate change.

“As the secretary of the Army said, The Army will lead by example,’ and JBM-HH will be at the forefront of that change,” said Bowling. “We will do this through various initiatives both on and off post as we partner with our local communities to set the standards on energy efficiencies and sustainability while saving money and reducing our footprint.”