Garrison town hall updates community

Deputy Garrison Commander Mitchell L. Jones, right, thanks Lt. Col. Arleigh F. vonSeggern, Garrison Chaplain, left, and his team for helping 70 Soldier families during the holiday season during the Garrison Town Hall at the APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center, Jan. 27. | U.S. Army photo by Lauren Finnegan, APG News

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – Deputy Garrison Commander Mitchell L. Jones had high praise for Team APG during the Garrison Town Hall at the APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center Jan. 26.

“You guys are doing a magnificent job, and I’m really, really impressed to see this crowd of people,” he said.

In addition to providing updates about garrison operations and services, Jones said he and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Toese Tia , Jr. aimed to relieve some anxieties regarding cutbacks slated to take place within the federal government.

Jones read a handwritten letter from U.S. Army Installation Management Command Lt. Gen. Kenneth R. Dahl to the crowd.

Dahl wrote, “I am certain that IMCOM has been cut too deep, and Headquarters DA must help to grow back civilian manpower specific to critical areas. We owe you the details and I look forward to your support going forward.”

Jones told attendees that if they wanted to know about personnel end strength, that was their answer.

“He [Dahl] is fighting to put more folks on the team and to keep the folks we have on this team,” he said.

APG Centennial

Garrison Public Affairs Specialist Heather Roelker briefed attendees about upcoming events planned for the APG Centennial.Events include a centennial exhibit kick off at Harford Community College’s Hays’ Heigh House, on Feb. 7.

The launch of the exhibit, “APG as a Catalyst: Harford County’s changing landscape, includes a lunch and historical presentation by Jeff Smart, RDECOM command historian.

The exhibit will run through May.

Roelker urged listeners to contact the Garrison Public Affairs Office to share their APG story with the installation and the community.

“Your APG story is valued, and… we want to make sure everybody’s story is told as we celebrate this anniversary,” she said.

Safety Office

Safety and Occupational Health Specialist Mike Allen of the Garrison Safety Office talked about the results of an accident analysis on APG. The study compared the total number of accident reports in 2015 with the total number of accidents reported in 2016. The data showed that there was a 37 percent increase in lost time due to accidents on the installation in 2016, with slips, trips, and falls as the leading factor.

To combat that rising trend, Allen went over preventive measures, such as practicing good housekeeping, wearing proper footwear, and cleaning up spills immediately. He also urged everyone to dab their foot on surfaces when exiting vehicles or stepping outside to prevent slips especially during winter.

Defense Personnel Management and Appraisal Program

Installation Management Command Management Analyst, Jill Brodbeck announced that a new employee appraisal program, the Defense Personnel Management and Appraisal Program (DPMAP), would be implemented over the next six months.

The need for a new appraisal program was solidified in the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, which called for a program that was “fair, credible, and transparent.”


Acting Director of Emergency Services, Rick DeOliveira gave an update on the Automated Installation Entry, AIE, at the entry points to APG. DeOliveira said that installation of the system is 100 percent complete and it will be phased in over the next three to six months.

While DeOliveira said that there is currently, “no credible or imminent threat to APG,” he urged the community to remain vigilant.

“Every moment you’re aware is another opportunity to keep our community safe.”

To report suspicious activity on the installation, call the APG non-emergency line at 410-306-2222, or for immediate threats dial 9-1-1.

Command Cyber Readiness

Information Technology Chief Linda Vanbemmel urged listeners to take cyber security seriously as the installation prepares for the upcoming no-notice Command Cyber Readiness Inspection (CCRI).

The inspection will include surprise visits to APG employees to assess their cyber security practices.

“If we were to go to CCRI today, we would fail,” Vanbemmel said.”

She urged listeners to make sure that they are taking the simple steps to secure their computers by removing their CAC cards every time they leave their desk and reporting suspicious activity on computers to the Cyber Hotline at 800-424-9098.


MWR Director Mike Lupacchino started by thanking Army Community Service, or ACS, for the Angel Tree project, which provided 70 Soldier families with gifts for the holiday season. He also congratulated ACS for receiving Army accreditation after five years of hard work.

Upcoming MWR events include a Newcomer’s Orientation at the APG North (Aberdeen) recreation center, Feb. 15, and a Travel Fair/ Spring Bazaar, March 8, also at the recreation center.

Reveille and Retreat

DeOliveira also touched on the new rules put into place for traffic during reveille and retreat. He said that all civilians on the installation during the 6:30 a.m. reveille and 5 p.m. retreat should stop on the side of the road during the duration of the bugle call. Civilians are encouraged, but not required, to exit their vehicles and place their hands over their hearts. Service members must exit their vehicles and salute the flag.

In the future, failing to follow these directions will result in a traffic violation.

After a brief question and answer session, Jones brought attention to the new MWR Directory which outlines the host of family and recreational services offered at APG.

The next Garrison Town Hall is scheduled for Friday, April 21.

By Lauren Finnegan, APG News