By Yvonne Johnson, APG NewsApril 27, 2012
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The first installation town hall meeting at the Post Theater on April 18 drew more than 600 Soldiers, civilians, contractors and Family members interested in receiving updates from post leaders. Hosted by Aberdeen Proving Ground Commander Maj. Gen. Robert Ferrell, the event was designed to replace the quarterly Community Action Council meetings.
Ferrell commended the garrison staff and shared "hot topics" challenging the Army's senior leaders today. These include maintaining quality of life for Soldiers, civilians and their Families while standing up a smaller Army in a "constrained fiscal environment" amid manpower and budget reductions.
Col. Orlando Ortiz, Garrison APG commander, introduced members of his staff to provide updates regarding installation operations. Those briefings began with plans for Armed Forces Week May 14-19 activities
The Directorate of Public Works discussed what the community should expect as major construction and demolition projects continue to change APG's landscape. Those changes include modifications to intersections, part of ongoing efforts to improve traffic flow. Transportation continued with Karen Holt of the Chesapeake Science and Security Corridor briefing attendees on traffic changes related to the Route 715 construction project which will affect Aberdeen Area commuters for the next year.
Topics also included on-post housing options for both military and civilian personnel; health information from Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic; the many upcoming spring and summer activities from the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, including the Army Birthday celebration and the summer concert featuring Kansas and Boston.
The post chapel provided ways to strengthen marriages; and the Army and Air Force Exchange Service discussed two new dining locations opening soon with healthy options.
The end of the meeting was reserved for questions from the audience, which included on-post housing topics, comments about Edgewood Area activities available for youth, and child care costs. Staff members remained at the event for more than an hour to resolve issues, provide more information, and arrange meetings.
"The bottom line," Ortiz said, "is that on a quarterly basis we will bring service providers to the table to review where they are as far as serving you."
Since so many questions were received at the event, those submitted in advance could not be addressed at the event. Responses will be provided via email. The presentation from the event is available at http://www.apg.army.mil/apghome/sites/commander/wellbeing.cfm. For more information about the next Installation Town Hall in August, call the APG Public Affairs Office, 410-278-1147.