Garrison Commander Col. Brian Michelson addressed budgetary constraints and publicly recognized several employees during a Town Hall Jan. 22.
Representatives from Resource Management and Department of Public Works were also on hand to discuss several pressing issues.
Resource Management provided a brief overview on the upcoming 2016-2019 Army-wide Garrison Wedge cuts. WSMR Garrison stands to lose 10 percent of their manpower between those upcoming years. The hardest hitting year would be in 2016. There are two phases to the reduction, the first is the reduction itself and the second is an impact statement that will help determine a rebalancing plan of action between Garrisons.
The Department of Public Works followed with a refresher on how Real Property Inventory Inspections are conducted in order to prepare for upcoming audits.
“Like everything else, if we continue that communication we will work a lot better if we’re doing it as a team,” Michelson said. “We will continue to do the best with the resources we are given.”
Michelson kicked off the Town Hall by recognizing several employees for their time of service and exemplary efforts. Five employees were recognized with a length of service award: Richard Gardella was recognized for 35 years of services, Lowell Aeschilman and Christopher Walker were recognized for 30 years of service, June Valdez was recognized from 25 years of service and Robert Diaz was recognized for 20 years of service. Anitta Montijo from the Department of Emergency Services was also recognized with a safety award for her efforts in ensuring safety when moving an entire department to a new building.
Army Community Services Sexual Harassment Assault Response and Prevention Victim Advocate, Damaris Powe, was named December’s Hero of the month and White Sands Police Department Lt. Tom Benavidez, was named the January Hero of the month. The two were awarded with time off awards. Benavidez was recognized for bringing in emergency services from outside agencies to train on WSMR. Recently, Benavidez brought in training programs from both Border Patrol and from Homeland Security. Powe was recognized for her actions during last year’s Holiday Helping Hands.
“It’s a huge undertaking and it takes a lot of planning,” said ACS Director, Patsy Gomez. “It’s truly a privilege and an honor for this installation to recognize her.”
The presentations ended with the introduction of the On Site Strategic Planning that began earlier this year and a safety briefing on high winds. Prior to dismissing the audience Michelson took the time to thank the Garrison workforce for continuing to push forward during trying and ever changing times. He also provided his cell phone number, (575) 993-8711, to the audience in an effort to handle any issues the workforce may be dealing with in an internal matter first.
“If you have something going on give your chain of command a chance to handle it first,” he added.
“Thanks for what you’re doing, I appreciate everyone’s effort in doing what it takes to make this place a great place to work,” Michelson said.