Dialogue between APG, local officials continues

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman welcomes Army and state and local officials to the quarterly Community Leader Luncheon spearheaded by the APG Garrison, at the Univercity Center in Aberdeen, Maryland, Sept. 30, 2016. | U.S. Army photo by Rachel Ponder, APG News

ABERDEEN, Md. – Youth mentoring, community relations, small business development and the upcoming APG centennial were some of the topics of discussion during the quarterly community leader luncheon at the University Center Sept. 30.

Larry Muzzelo, deputy to the commanding general, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, or CECOM, led the meeting. He was joined by Harford County Executive Barry Glassman.

Muzzelo welcomed attendees, calling the turnout “fantastic.”

“We look forward … to really strengthening our partnerships with the community,” he said.

Glassman noted that “great things can be achieved by working together.”

“We are always, in Harford County, so excited to exchange information and work with our partners on Aberdeen Proving Ground,” Glassman said.

Rapport building

More than 40 leaders attended the forum coordinated by the garrison public affairs office and hosted by Harford County.

Garrison Community Relations Officer Rick Scavetta said the main purpose of the forum is rapport building. Attendees were encouraged to network before and after the meeting.

“This is Team APG’s effort to strengthen relationships with community leaders, to talk about topics that are important to APG and people in the surrounding areas,” Scavetta said.

“This is the third time we’ve met this year and we will continue to grow the partnerships through these discussions.”

AMSAA Mentoring Programs

Rachel Champion, with the U.S. Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity, told attendees about the Aberdeen Middle School mentoring program. Champion, who has led the program for four years, said that AMSAA leads science, technology, engineering and science, or STEM, activities, on a monthly basis. Students who participate in this voluntary program typically excel in science and math and have an interest in STEM.

“Our role in the program is to cultivate that interest,” she said.

According to Champion, each year, several eighth grade students are accepted into competitive high school programs and some obtain awards and scholarships.

“Going forward we wish to continue to feed that interest and help them along the path to success,” she said.

AMSAA’s Tony Harris and Eric Johnson briefed listeners about the Kenneth V. Hilton Mentorship Program. The program, offered at Edgewood High School, consists of mentors primarily from AMSAA and the U.S. Army Evaluation Center.

The purpose of the program, Harris said, is to encourage, inspire and support provide African-American male students at Edgewood High School by providing African- American male role models who instill a positive work ethic.

“We want to be a symbol and a walking and breathing example of what you can accomplish, as long as you work hard, put forth the effort, and have a plan,” Harris said.

Community events

Scavetta said APG is increasing its presence in the community by participating in more local community events, like the annual Earth Day celebration in Aberdeen and Operation Purple, a week- long camp held in Cecil County for military children.

Community members who would like to request APG participation in upcoming events should contact Scavetta at richard.a.scavetta.civ@mail.mil.

Small business perspectives

Bryon Young, executive director of the Army Contracting Command-APG, discussed small business perspectives and contracting opportunities.

Young said that as of Oct. 1, the Army Materiel Command, or AMC, Office of Small Business Programs-APG is fully operational. This consolidated office, located in the C4ISR Center of Excellence, provides information and resources necessary for the small business industry to conduct business with APG tenants.

“The primary beneficiary is the small business community seeking to do business with [APG],” he said. “They will know exactly where to go.”

For more information, contact Director Andrea S. Armstrong at 443-861-4371, or email andrea.s.armstrong.civ@mail.mil.

APG Centennial

Heather Roelker, with the garrison public affairs office, provided an overview of activities currently set for the upcoming APG Centennial in 2017.

According to Roelker, many centennial events take place in next year,  including an Armed Forces Week live fire demonstration on May 20, 2017. This event will highlight APG capabilities, she said.

“This is a very big opportunity for community involvement,” she said. “There will be display opportunities, food vendor opportunities.”

A centennial ball and an open house, open to the community, are planned for October 2017, Roelker added.

Additionally, Karen Holt, from the Harford County Office of Economic Development, briefed attendees about the APG Joint Land Use Study, or JLUS.

“It is a proactive measure, as we look to future rounds of BRAC [base realignment and closure] howwe can be better prepared as a community,” she said.

Attendees included leadership from APG Garrison, CECOM, AMSAA, 20th CBRNE Commandhttp://www.cbrne.army.mil/, U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command, ACC-APG, and a host of state and local officials.

After the meeting, Muzzelo called the forum“valuable.”

“The Community Luncheon is a valuable forum to help strengthen partnerships between APG and state, county, and local leaders,” he said. “Taking time as a group to discuss APG community initiatives is indispensable, especially with key efforts such as the APG Centennial fast approaching.

Events such as these enable us to have an on-going dialogue as we move into next year.”

Leader luncheon enables ongoing dialogue-Sept. 30, 2016