By Michelle Butzgy/ParaglideOctober 29, 2010
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - About 30 U.S. Army Forces Command and U.S. Army Reserve Command Soldiers and civilian personnel arrived in 'Carolina Country' Monday.
They are part of the first large group of personnel to in-process at Fort Bragg from Fort McPherson, Ga. Added to the 'Torch Party' that arrived in August, and the liaison team that has been here since last summer, there are now 190 Soldiers and Army civilians on the ground. About 350 personnel are expected by the end of November.
Ronna Rowe Garrett, human resources director and officer-in-charge of FORSCOM's forward presence at Fort Bragg, welcomed 15 civilian workers while they filled out forms in one of the conference rooms at the newly renovated Bowley School.
"Many of you have chosen to make the move from Fort McPherson, Georgia to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I think that you'll find that the surrounding community is going to welcome you with open arms," said Garrett. "The school system, the local public officials are absolutely phenomenal in welcoming the workforce and offering help and assistance in any way that they can."
Melissa Visek, an information technology specialist from USARC G2-6, already knows about the Fort Bragg community. She decided to go back to IT from working at Fort Bragg Garrison Plans, Analysis, and Integration Office for 10 and a half years. "I'd like to meet new people, have new experiences and grow," said Visek.
Iris Dorsey, an information technology specialist moved up to Fort Bragg from Fort McPherson along with her husband, Charles Pegg who works in G-6. "This is about my 10th move," she said. "I'm an Army 'brat' and former Air Force." Dorsey was helping make the move for FORSCOM and USARC personnel before she arrived Monday. As the Base Realignment and Closure plans/staff action officer, she helped the BRAC team oversee of setting up network capabilities for the new FORSCOM/USARC headquarters building.
Garrett also praised the Torch Party and some of the other staff who came early to prepare for FORSCOM and USARC's arrival. "You'll find that we have worked very hard to set the conditions for your arrival so that it is as smooth as possible transition," Garrett said.
The civilians also listened to representatives from Civilian Personnel Advisory Center and the Staff Judge Advocate office while they filled out vouchers and forms.
Scott Ferguson, USARC deputy public affairs officer, had a chance to speak with many of the new arrivals Monday morning about their move from Fort McPherson to Fort Bragg. "Their enthusiasm and spirits are high," he said. "One of our employees was surprised to see that her cubicle items she packed last Thursday had arrived already. She had her cubicle set up, to include her computer, and was working within 90 minutes."
Most everyone Ferguson spoke to said they were well prepared for their upcoming move to Fayetteville. "One civilian told me you could see how the coordination and planning by FORSCOM and USARC paid off by how easy it was to get settled and start work so quickly," he said.
The rest of the USARC personnel will continue moving to Fort Bragg throughout the next six months, added Ferguson. Civilians must report no later than April 24, unless there's security reasons or other issues, he said.
"We will continue to pick up uniformed folks as the days go by, in sporadic fashion as their orders have them reporting to Fort Bragg on various dates," said Jim Hinnant, a FORSCOM Public Affairs Officer who has been here since early August. "The next influx of Army civilians will be two weeks from today (Nov. 8), and every two weeks into the foreseeable future."
Some of the USARC team have already arrived and made themselves at home in their cubicles. Others were pushing dollies loaded with boxes. Chief Warrant Officer Trey Boatman, USARC chief of the Army Reserve Data Center, has placed a two and a half foot "Pirates of the Caribbean" pirate ship on the top shelf of his cubicle for all to see. He moved from Fort McPherson to Fort Bragg, waiting to move into the new headquarters. Boatman has been getting used to the new surroundings. "Coming from Atlanta, you were dealing with traffic in general because of how many people are down there. I haven't found the same route twice coming to and from Fort Bragg," said the Little Rock, Ark., native. "So far so good."
Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Raeford, Spring Lake are some of the communities where Boatman's co-workers are finding homes around the area.
Thousands of Soldiers, Families and civilians are scheduled to be in-processed by Sept. 15, 2011, as part of the 2005 Base Closure and Realignment act according to the BRAC regional task force at www.bracrtf.com.