ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- Army civilian leaders are focusing on collaboration as APG faces challenges from base realignment and closure, or BRAC, and future budget constraints.

The APG Leadership Cohort program, which kicked off its third year March 22, aims to help overcome those obstacles by bringing together workers from the across the installation.

Cohort held its first classroom session April 12 and will provide a year of professional development.

"Our biggest challenge is that our organization just moved from Fort Monmouth. In many ways, it's a new organization," said Marc Rosen, deputy chief legal counsel for Communications-Electronics Command. "We've lost a lot of experienced folks. We've gained a lot of new folks who haven't had the history with the organization. That type of transition is always difficult."

Gary Goldsmith, deputy product manager at Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense-Joint Project Manager Guardian, said APG tenants should take advantage of the influx of scientific talent from BRAC. Groups can then combine their talents to most efficiently support Soldiers.

"When you are working in an environment of reduced budgets, it becomes contingent on organizations to look for ways to collaborate with each other to build their core business practices, look for what they do well and look for partners to get products more efficiently out to the Warfighter," Goldsmith said. "Through the cohort, we begin to build some of those relationships and forge those strategies."

Chris Hoppel, chief of Army Research Laboratory's High-Rate Mechanics and Failure Branch, said building relationships across APG's scientific communities will save money and improve Army research and development.

"We hope to keep the right focus on the research needed for the future," Hoppel said. "Having cohort [with] a mix of leaders from different organizations [helps to] identify projects where you can work together to take advantage of expertise and reduce redundancies."