By Amy SunseriMay 20, 2010
FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. -- About 60 people attended Fort Huachuca's Garrison Town Hall meeting at Murr Community Center, May 12. The meeting focused on four key points: traffic pattern changes, upcoming summer activities, education, and Army health care issues.
Col. Timothy Faulkner, Fort Huachuca garrison commander, first discussed the post's "good news." The tax assistance center filed 1057 Federal returns and 877 State returns for Soldiers and their families; gaining them $2 million.
This summer the Empire Challenge will take place on post. The program, an intelligence surveillance reconnaissance test bed exercise, is run by the Department of Defense. The program will run the last part of July and first two weeks in August.
Faulkner also addressed the growth of the unmanned aircraft systems mission and the opening of the Human Intelligence Training Joint Center of Excellence building.
"The premier unmanned aircraft system is being fielded here, at Fort Huachuca, and they're deploying out of here as well," he said.
As for the HUMINT opening, "That's another growth industry for the Department of Defense, and this is a Department of Defense entity, so you'll see Army, Navy, Marines and even Coast Guard -- most government agencies will come here for this training," the colonel stated.
Major construction will occur over the next two years on post. Dan Ortega, director, Directorate of Emergency Services outlined some changes.
Traffic at the Main gate is re-configured again due to paving. The Main gate from Fry Boulevard to the Shoppette will be paved; this will take about three weeks. Vehicles now enter post through the Wilcox Street entrance "It's a tight curve there so it's ... slow both going inbound and outbound. It will be open from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday," said Ortega.
The Main gate is scheduled to be completed June 1. However, if construction workers experience delays, it will open by June 7.
Starting June 7, Winrow will close between General Myer and Colonel Johnston Schools. Traffic will be detoured down Squire, Allison and Lawton to Old Post says Ortega.
"Irwin Street will be the detour if you're coming in the Main Gate; you'll take a right at Irwin for the Intelligence Center, Greely Hall, Commissary and PX [Post Exchange]. If you need to get to that side of post I recommend you use the East Gate," said Ortega. That project should be completed in November.
Repairs to Smith Avenue will run from June 1 until Aug. 7. The plan is to re-pave the entire road. Ortega said this will be done while school is closed so there is minimal impact to the parents taking their children to school over the summer.
"The end state here will be a much better Fort Huachuca. The new traffic pattern will be able to route traffic through the installation much easier, much faster and much better for all of us who live and work here," Ortega stated.
Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation has many upcoming summer activities.
Beginning Memorial Day weekend, youth will be able to make a big slash down the new water slide at Irwin Pool.
June 5, the Beatles Tribute Concert "Ticket to Ride" comes to Fort Huachuca. Admission is free.
June 26, FMWR is bringing midnight golf to the Mountain View Gold Course.
"Basically you go out there with a team and we give you a glow in the dark golf ball and you play a round of golf," said Dennis Maruska, director, FMWR.
Read The Fort Huachuca Scout for more information on FMWR's upcoming events.
People who have health care provided at Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center will receive a survey in the mail after their visit. The survey takes about five to 10 minutes to complete.
"We need the feedback to improve the health care here on Fort Huachuca," said Col. Carol Newman, Fort Huachuca U.S. Army Medical Department Activity commander.
Carondelet Health Network's partnership with the Sierra Vista Regional Health Care will have minimal impact on the health care people receive on post, said Newman.
She also addressed the health care reform recently passed by Congress.
"TRICARE beneficiaries will not be affected by the new legislation. The TRICARE benefits as they are today will not change," said Newman.
She also spoke about school physicals.
"I would encourage parents to call our appointment line, 533-9200, and start scheduling sport and school physicals for your children now." She went on to say school-age youth must have their immunizations up to date before they enroll in school as well as participate in extracurricular activities such as sports.
Planning is underway for a new middle school on post. Dr. Ronda Frueauff, Fort Huachuca Accommodation Schools superintendent, said the goal is to be in the new school for the 2012-2013 school year.
New this year is the Fort Huachuca Accommodation Schools will have a kindergarten roll-in versus them starting with all other students.
"This allows the teachers to meet with parents to acclimate the kindergarten student to the school. We can make children comfortable, parents comfortable, and deal with some of that anxiety that we have with five-year-olds," said Frueauff.
Frueauff reminded parents at the meeting that open enrollment for new students began May 3. Applications are available on the districts Web site, www.fthuachuca.k12.az.us.