By Jim Hinnant, U.S. Army Forces Command Public AffairsSeptember 22, 2010
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Sept. 20, 2010) Aca,!aEURc With just ten days remaining before more than 300 members of the advance echelons of Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces Command and Headquarters, U.S. Army Reserve Command begin reporting here for duty, the liaison teams and "Torch Party" representing each command are making final preparations as the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure-directed relocation of the two commands' headquarters begins in earnest.
Ronna Garrett, Officer in Charge, FORSCOM Forward, said the entire team has worked tirelessly to be ready for the ADVON's arrival.
"Our goal is to achieve a 'plug and play' standard," she said. "After a FORSCOM or USARC member reports in to our Welcome and Inprocessing Center here at the Old Bowley School, we want them to take care of administrative requirements, pick up their laptop computer, plug it in, and go right to work."
Achieving the plug and play goal from the start will set the standard for main body arrival in 2011, and facilitates the need to maintain operational continuity throughout the relocation, said Garrett.
"Both of our commands (FORSCOM and USARC) have critical missions in support of our national military strategy," she said. "We have to ensure those missions, which are centered on providing trained and ready forces to combatant commanders - at home and overseas - are accomplished even as our headquarters transition from Fort McPherson, Georgia to Fort Bragg, North Carolina."
REPORTING FOR DUTY
A combined Welcome and Inprocessing Center has been established in the J Building of the former elementary school, and for each inbound member of the FORSCOM or USARC staff, this will be their first exposure to what will be their work location until mid-June of 2011.
"We have worked very hard preparing for the ADVON," said Sherrie Glass, USARC's chief BRAC liaison officer at Fort Bragg, since 2009. "We want to make their arrival as smooth as possible, so we have information-packed welcome packets for everyone, and staff representatives from various agencies who will be available to assist them with every aspect of settling in."
"Fort Bragg is a very large, very busy place," she said. "It's key that we make our team members feel at home right away, since for many of them the BRAC move has already been difficult enough."
Soldiers, Army civilians and contractors will check in, be issued welcome packets, and attend orientation sessions designed to help them, and their families, integrate with their new work and living environment.
USARC Soldiers should, during normal duty hours, report as their orders state, to the FORSCOM/USARC Welcome Center in the J Building of Old Bowley School, said Glass. Once they have been accounted for, they will be directed to report to the Fort Bragg Reception Company.
Active component Soldiers will typically report directly to the Reception Company, but some may first stop in at the J Wing. Not to worry, they'll also be welcomed aboard and then sent to the Reception Company.
According to 1st Sgt. Blaine Huston, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Reserve Command, the Fort Bragg Reception Company, located adjacent to the Soldier Support Center, which is housed in the former Womack Army Hospital building on Bastogne Road, is ready to welcome and process FORSCOM and USARC Soldiers.
"All Soldiers, Active or Reserve Component, from either command should report as their orders direct, " said Huston. "Once they are with the Reception Company, they'll accomplish their Fort Bragg installation processing and orientation, and then report back here (to the FORSCOM/USARC Special Troops Battalion) at Old Bowley School, do any additional processing necessary with the good folks in our Welcome Center in the J Building, and join their respective company."
The STB will make sure the Soldier and family is properly situated in the community and that the Soldier is ready to devote full attention to his or her job within their respective headquarters staff section.
For Army civilians, the Fort Bragg Civilian Personnel Advisory Center will be on hand to help with administrative needs, such as completing tax withholding forms changing their residence for tax purposes to North Carolina.
CPAC reps will also answer individual personnel-related questions and make sure the new arrivals know where to go for follow-on assistance.
FLEXIBILITY, ATTITUDE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL ASSIMILATION
With renovations at areas of the former elementary school still underway, as furniture and information technology installation continue, new arrivals need to be aware the atmosphere is one of constant change, said Garrett.
"Every day something new has been installed, or some other feature of our temporary home here at Old Bowley School - like the parking area - moves closer to completion," Garrett said. "With more than 400 people here, it (the Old Bowley School complex) will initially be a hectic environment requiring everyone to work together to minimize disruption and maintain mission focus."
Will everyone have a "plug and play" arrival experience'
"We were able to use members of the Torch Party, who arrived in August, as a sort of "test group" to work out some kinks," said Garrett. "We feel prepared for the rush; with everyone from U.S Army Forces Command and U.S. Army Reserve Command working together, I believe we'll meet our goal."