By Kari Hawkins, USAG RedstoneJune 9, 2010
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Rodney Bailey's job is all about connecting Team Redstone employees with their paperwork.
They come from all across the Arsenal - from the Redstone Test Center, Logistics Support Activity, Aviation and Missile Command, and Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, among others - with one thing in mind: to turn in unneeded and obsolete equipment per Army regulations.
And it's with those regulations that Bailey's expertise in his job as a materiel handler for the Turn-In Section of the Garrison's Central Receiving comes into full view.
"Before I got here, for some reason, people, just didn't connect with their paperwork," Bailey said. "I've learned so much working with these employees. I know how to get involved and help them and show them the way so that, hopefully, next time they turn in equipment they will know how to do the paperwork and follow the process.
"Most people don't want to deal with the paperwork involved or they are intimidated by it. But it's not as hard as it's made out to be once you're on the right track. Our job is to help the customer. That's who we're here for."
Bailey, one of about 30 employees who manage Central Receiving activities for all Arsenal and Arsenal-related organizations, has received many ICE (Interactive Customer Evaluation) compliments from Arsenal employees on his performance. It's not surprising, considering the number of employees and the amount of equipment this service-oriented Central Receiving employee works with on a daily basis.
"We take in everything - vehicles, test equipment, computers, printers, office machines and all other types of durable items no longer needed in work areas," Bailey said. "Durable items are things that get a lot of usage and probably don't have a high dollar value when they are turned in.
"It's overwhelming sometimes. We have anywhere from six to eight appointments a day for turn-ins. It's just constant."
During those turn-in appointments, Bailey confirms that paperwork documentation is correct, and that items valued at more than $5,000 or inventoried as Property Book items (such as computers and cameras) are first verified for turn-in through the Property Book section in building 3205.
"Nine out of 10 items are on the Property Book," Bailey said, referring to the federal government's inventory auditing process. "We have to verify the items are off the Property Book before we can receive them."
When the paperwork is in order, the equipment is then put on pallets and brought into Central Receiving Turn-In Point in building 8024. Paperwork and packing slips are attached to every item in preparation for shipment to the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office at Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins, Ga., where it is disposed of or recycled, resold or reissued.
The codes placed on that equipment - new, still in the box; new, out of the box; condition incomplete and scrap - dictate the fate of turn-ins.
"We are the first line of defense for the turn-in process," Bailey said. "We work hand-in-hand with the customers to make sure the codes and documentation are correct. The codes are critical to letting us know if something is eligible to be resold or reassigned. Once the customer leaves the equipment with us, it's our responsibility."
In years past, only about 60 percent of turn-ins were accepted with proper documentation. That rate has grown to 90 to 95 percent since Bailey began overseeing the turn-in operation.
Also, in years past, a "free day" allowed employees to drop off any items - including things as unusual as live grenades -- for turn-in without proper documentation. That is no longer acceptable because the turn-in process is important to the integrity of the Army's inventory system.
"This is not just a warehouse," said Danny Herron, chief of the Supply Division for the Garrison's Directorate of Materiel.
"This is a major receiving area for turn-in or transfer out of items used in support of the war fighter or for testing, development and support in association with the war fighter. The important thing here is that we have equipment accountability and customers get credit for turn-ins."
Turn-ins are only part of the work performed at Central Receiving. It also receives equipment and merchandise coming on-post for every Arsenal and Arsenal-related organization, and organizes it for shipping to various locations on and off the Arsenal.
"Anything being delivered to the Arsenal comes here, is inspected and then organized for delivery," said Roy Barrett, the supply branch supervisor for Central Receiving.
"We are Redstone Arsenal's authorized receiver of equipment. Fifteen percent of items are SARSS (Standard Army Retail Supply System) items, such as military parts, testing parts and tool kits, that are already in the Army stock. Eighty-five percent are mostly commercial or credit card items."
Central Receiving employees, most who are Northrop Grumman contractors working on a contract the company has held since 1994, work out of two brick 1940s buildings once used for munitions manufacturing. They are located in the Arsenal's southern section. Building 8024 is the Turn-In Point, and building 8022 is Receiving and Issue.
Their work is non-stop. As long as UPS, FedEx, DHL and other delivery companies are moving items to Redstone Arsenal, so, too, is Central Receiving moving items out to its Arsenal and Arsenal-related organizations.
"We work together to make sure people get what they are supposed to get in a timely manner," Herron said.
"We are looking at anticipated growth and job requirements, and there will be additional manpower requirements to keep our work timely. We support a lot of research and development efforts for the war fighter. We are customer based and customer oriented. We do support the war fighter, even though we aren't in a combat role."