ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Getting open, honest feedback from your customers drives responsive customer service. That’s why U.S. Army Garrison Aberdeen Proving Ground and other service providers gathered to hear community feedback in the APG South (Edgewood) Chapel, Feb. 23.
A number of topics were covered and questions were invited from the audience, numbering about 50, throughout the afternoon. On behalf of installation leadership, APG Garrison Commander Col. James Davis opened the session and introduced several leaders including his Deputy Garrison Commander, Mitchell Jones, Adelphi Garrison Manager William Cole, and most importantly for this audience, Edgewood Garrison Manger John Kearney.
The need for garrison leadership to have a direct representative for the Edgewood community drove USAG APG to place Kearney here. His remarks after being introduced show how fully he has embraced that role. Having Kearney at Edgewood means that this community will always have a “voice at the table.”
Most people are aware that 2017 marks the centennial of APG, and that subject was highlighted on its own. Included were upcoming events for the next 30, 60 and 90 days as the celebration of 100 years’ worth of history will take place throughout the year. Specifically noted were the March 27 APG Centennial Night at the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis, and the May 13-20 Armed Forces week which will culminate with a live fire demonstration on May 20.
Boosting APG South’s visual appearance
Updates from Medical, Housing, Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, or FMWR, and AAFES followed. Also included was an “aesthetics” briefing conducted by Michelle Goddard of the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center.
The idea of an APG Aesthetics team at Edgewood is to “develop an effective…tenant driven team to support high impact, low cost, aesthetics-related projects,” she explained. This innovative, community based approach helps to address Garrison resources and staff which are increasingly stretched to their limits.
“Maj. Gen. Bruce Crawford, Communications-Electronics Command Commanding General and Senior Installation Commander, came down to APG-South in October 2015 for a roundtable discussion with leadership on quality of life issues specific to the Edgewood Area, in response to some questions and concerns that organizations had specific to Edgewood,” Goddard said. “A lot of the issues were aesthetics related, because appearance has an impact on the morale of our workforce, and we have a lot of external customers and potential job applicants coming to Edgewood. It’s important that the appearance sends the right message.
“So we try to identify some high impact but low cost projects, and leverage existing contracts,” she continued. “The Garrison has been great to partner with, and we work with them to put these projects in their annual work plan. Even after one year, we’ve been able to accomplish a lot of visible improvements that we’re really excited about.”
Projects in progress or planned include landscaping of the Maryland Route 24 gate, improvements to the Civilian Memorial and Post Office, and tree plantings, for example. The Edgewood-Area Aesthetics team gets together quarterly and will next meet to identify and prioritize potential FY-18 projects. If you have an idea, feel free to bring it in. The meeting will be March 23, 2-3 p.m., Edgewood building E3400, room 130.
Other issues briefed by subject matter experts included the challenge of cleaning up contaminated vacant facilities, access to on-post medical care, the status of on-post housing renovations, and highlights of upcoming FMWR events and programs – including Frisbee golf.
Questions came at the end of the Town Hall, and covered issues such as on post speeding enforcement, medical, and some work and employment related questions as well.
The Town Hall wrapped up just before 4:30, and everyone shifted gears to enjoy an installation social.