By Kari Hawkins, USAG RedstoneFebruary 18, 2010
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. In a little less than a week, Garrison commander Col. Bob Pastorelli will be showing his boss -- the commander of the Army's Installation Management Command -- why Redstone Arsenal and its Garrison employees are among the best in the Army.
And, oh, what a show he will be able to present.
From the new Army Materiel Command headquarters under construction to the spacious and kid-friendly School Age Services building, from the modernized guard gates to the new Child Development Center being built on Mills Road, from the expanding and state-of-the art bowling center to airfield upgrades, Garrison employees are indeed shaping the future look, capabilities and services of Redstone Arsenal. About 2,000 Garrison workers provide services for a community of about 33,000 employees, 3,287 active duty Soldiers with 8,218 family members and 78,843 retirees with 157,686 family members.
Topics like Enhanced Use Lease, family readiness groups, road upgrades, expanding on-post shopping and dining offerings, community-related activities and providing the best services possible for the Arsenal's growing community will likely be reviewed and discussed during the Feb. 22-23 visit of IMCOM commander Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch.
And, hosting Lynch's visiting agenda will be Pastorelli, who serves as the unofficial mayor of Redstone Arsenal.
"Lt. Gen. Lynch is currently working on his campaign plan (that will guide IMCOM's mission focus during the next few years)," Pastorelli said of the new IMCOM commander.
"He has given us his commander's intent for IMCOM (to be 'The Sustainable Army Community of Excellence') with guiding principles in four areas - installation readiness, Soldier and family well-being, leader and work force development, and Soldier and family readiness. And we've been given the initial guidance to go forward with that as we transform the Army and its installations into what they need to be for the future."
For Pastorelli, sharing with Lynch what Redstone Arsenal is all about will be an opportunity showcase what the Garrison work force has accomplished and the goals it is focused on for the future.
"2009 was an outstanding year for the Garrison," said Pastorelli, who relies on an 18-member management team to coordinate Garrison programs.
"We were able to accomplish many goals and objectives, and those accomplishments are carrying over into 2010 to make this a good year, also. In everything we do, we want to be the Army premiere Garrison for customer service now and into the future."
In 2009, much of the Garrison's focus was on "maintaining visibility and tracking of BRAC (base realignment and closure) construction and the movement of people," the colonel said. "Part of that means we must continue our success in building new and stronger relationships within Team Redstone and the community."
Although the Arsenal's Soldier population is relatively small and diminishing due to BRAC changes, Pastorelli said the Garrison's support to the Arsenal's civilian and contractor community has a positive effect on Soldiers Armywide who rely on Arsenal technology, products and services to be successful.
"We want to ensure that our tenants are successful in their mission. That is the key to our success," he said. "We hope our customers see us as value added. We have their interests at heart. We want to be a force multiplier for all Garrison customers."
Many of the Garrison's goals are visible to the entire Arsenal community because they often involve brick and mortar. In 2009, the Garrison celebrated the opening of the 2nd Medical Recruiting Battalion and the School Age Services building, upgrades to guard gates at several Arsenal entry points, the beginning of construction on the Redstone Test Center's new airfield facility and headquarters, and completion of the initial development plan for the Arsenal's privatized housing project.
Other goals that were less visible to the entire community - but that improved customer service and quality of life - included enhancing ICE (interactive customer evaluation) and other feedback mechanisms, putting extra guards on Gate 9 during early morning rush hour traffic, transitioning computer support services from the Garrison to the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, conducting a full-scale force protection exercise, hosting several community, state and Army dignitaries, providing biodiesel fuel for government vehicles, hosting Retiree Appreciation Days, and offering several Family and Morale Recreation and Welfare activities, including the summer concert series with Sugarland and Oktoberfest.
In 2010, as construction continues on buildings for the Army Materiel Command, Missile Defense Agency and Redstone Test Center, among others; as older facilities, such as the Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space headquarters, receive upgrades; and as other new tenants look for Arsenal locations for new facilities or expansions, Pastorelli's staff will continue to provide support. The year will bring yet another tenant - the Army Contracting Command - moving from Fort Belvoir, Va., to the Arsenal.
"That means we will have the senior contracting headquarters for the Army right here at Redstone Arsenal," Pastorelli said of the 300-employee command.
One top program for 2010 will be establishing the Enhanced Use Lease program, which will involve 470 acres of land near Gate 9 that will be converted to office space for administrative needs, educational programs and related businesses.
"We want to conduct a groundbreaking and the initiation of the construction effort on EUL this year," Pastorelli said. "EUL is essential to our expansion in order to help with the over 1 million square-foot shortage we have for space requirements on the Arsenal. It will continue to build and enhance the Arsenal community."
Also at the top of the list is the expansion of Martin Road, which will include upgrades to Gate 7, addressing the need for dining options along Martin Road and energy efficiency.
"Martin Road is the number one priority that is a challenge for us," Pastorelli said. "As we expand so does the need for the Martin Road expansion. We also have to focus on cafeteria requirements for the Army Materiel Command, and enhancing efficiencies postwide. Energy conservation has not yet come to the forefront of what we do."
Last year, the Arsenal consumed $62 million in energy usage. The Garrison must find ways to reduce energy consumption by 2 to 3 percent per year.
Other programs for 2010 include the transition of gate guards from contractor to Department of the Army civilians, the reorganization of the Garrison Directorate of Logistics with the Directorate of Materiel being aligned with AMC and the Directorate of Services remaining with the Garrison, supporting a growing list of programs for military families, increasing efforts in the area of work force revitalization, and working with community leaders on Arsenal-related road projects, educational initiatives and work force development programs.
"Community outreach is essential to our growth," Pastorelli said. "We must work with local, state and federal representatives in addition to schools and other specific groups to bring improvements to Redstone Arsenal as well as to Madison County and North Alabama."
In 2010, the Garrison will be involved in a community-wide recommitment to the Army Family Covenant and the Army Community Covenant.
Even as the Arsenal's population grows - and with it the demand for Garrison services - Pastorelli said Garrison employees must keep a close eye on budget issues.
"We have to balance the cost culture versus the budget culture," he said. "We have to continue to sustain quality services while also producing savings, avoiding extra costs and improving efficiencies.
"The Garrison budget is our biggest challenge. We have to continue to look at ways to save money while still supporting customers at the level of support they expect. We're still reviewing all segments of the Garrison budget. The Garrison mission is to provide services. But there may be a need to cut back on certain services."
Even with budget concerns to address, Pastorelli remains confident the Garrison will continue to provide high quality services to the Arsenal's tenants.
"I remain optimistic that the Garrison will indeed rise to the occasion in providing the best customer service on Redstone Arsenal," he said. "The Garrison staff is second to none throughout IMCOM. Employees are fully focused on the customer and we are always looking introspectively to ensure we are always moving in the right direction to meet customer needs. We have some of the best professionals in the Army right here at the Garrison."