PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Having left here in 1996 as a major who worked on infantry systems and mortars, Picatinny's new senior mission commander and Program Executive Officer for Ammunition marked his return at a Town Hall meeting Nov. 13 on a triumphant note.

"It's an honor and a privilege to return to Picatinny," said Brig. Gen. John J. McGuiness, who said he and his family had truly enjoyed their time here.

Then he explained how important it was to ensure that when members of the Picatinny community remember their time here, they will sing praises, too.

"It's my ultimate responsibility to ensure that when you look back at your time here that you feel the same way," he said.

Wherever he has served in his Army career, McGuiness said there were always teams that stood out from the rest.

"There is always a team that seems to be earning accolades, that is outperforming others, and everyone seems to be having a good time.

"I like to build teams that people want to be on," said McGuiness.

And a big part of how he plans to accomplish that for Team Picatinny involves gathering input from the community and building transparency in how decisions are made.

Before the Town Hall, a message went out to the workforce that explained that attendees could ask questions beforehand of the general or Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Jason Mackay. Also, community members watching on EZTV could e-mail questions during the meeting.

At the gathering, McGuiness explained that he did this because he wanted to track questions from the community and track the responses.

"I want to be held accountable," said McGuiness.

Susan Elias, Garrison Director of Plans Analysis Integration and Operations, said she received nine e-mail questions. When all the responses have been completed, they will be posted on "PicaWeb," the employee portal.


Similarly, a thorough review is being conducted of "what went right, what went wrong" during Hurricane Sandy, said McGuinness.

Col. Steven F. Cummings, Picatinny Chief of Staff, is leading the effort and has held open meetings to gather input from community members. The final report will be released online in early February.

McGuinnes said Town Hall meetings would be held regularly and serve as an opportunity for the different Picatinny organizations to relay significant events in their organizations.

Shortly thereafter, presenters from different Picatinny organizations and the command sergeant major did exactly that.

Topics included:

How Company G, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment needs volunteers for its Toys for Tots drive and how to volunteer.

The progress that Naval Surface Warfare Center's Indian Head Division, Picatinny Detachment, is making in relocating employees, hiring new employees and completing construction as part of Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005.

The value that the Defense Contract Management Agency can add to weapons system development programs when DCMA members are included in integrated product teams and the support DCMA provides before and after a contract is awarded.

A progress update by the Network Enterprise Center on the Windows 7 migration and other network projects.

A briefing by the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center on how to make changes to Federal Employee Health Benefits, Federal Employee Dental and Vision or the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program during the 2013 Federal Health Benefits Open Season that ends Dec 12.

Accomplishments of PEO Ammunition, including receiving the Packard Award (see the Nov. 16 Voice) and the 2012 Product Manager of the Year award received by Lt. Col. Terrece B. Harris, Product Manager for IED Defeat/Protect Force.

A pitch by Project Manager Soldier Weapons to attend the Holiday Ball they are hosting this year, the success of their 20th Anniversary Celebration and other recent accomplishments.

How the command sergeant major plans to enhance well-being and ensure safety on the installation.

Mackay gave updates on a number of fronts: upcoming community events, construction and hours at the entrance gates, Picatinny's tree memorials for fallen service members, the Army Family Action Plan, holiday hours for Family Morale Welfare and Recreation programs, and how to use e-mail, telephone text alerts and Facebook to stay connected to FMWR programs.

Mackay also discussed the snow plan notification and removal procedures.

He reminded the attendees to avoid parking in areas not yet cleared of snow, adding that personnel should never try to "flag down" snow removal vehicles while they are in operation because it is hazardous.

Mackay also gave a candid overview of Interactive Customer Evaluation comments and ratings that included responses to all suggestions and comments and graphs showing ratings for programs that registered from "the good, the bad and the ugly," said Mackay.