White Sands Missile Range Commander Brig. Gen. Timothy Coffin focused on the decreasing Army budget that he said will soon stabilize in the oncoming years during his second quarter Town Hall held at the Post Theater June 23.
“Things should be fairly stable in the future,” Coffin said.
In an effort to provide transparency to the workforce, Coffin showed the WSMR community a series of slides with the proposed DoD and Army budgets up until 2020. The slides show that Army funding should remain consistent over five years.
Coffin said the focus for the future should be to develop a plan to get us from where we are today to where we need to be in the future in the most seamless and effective manner. With the current declining Army budget, Coffin said it is difficult for the Army to support a robust military appearance. Much like the Army is being creative with the money they are being given, so should WSMR as an installation.
One of Coffin’s major focus in this Town Hall was the low training numbers that are currently being reported. Coffin asked for the leadership to hold their personnel accountable and develop a plan of action to complete mandatory training before the end of the year.
“I need your help and I need all supervisors at all levels to make sure training is being done,” Coffin said.
Rule of 45
Coffin also took some time to introduce ATEC’s new commander Maj. Gen. Dan Karbler’s work philosophy. Karbler is a major proponent of the Rule of 45, which Coffin explained to the workforce as taking 45 seconds out of your day to right something that you see is unethical or wrong.
“What Gen. Karbler is asking us to do is take 45 seconds to correct behavior…to be proactive in the way we act,” Coffin said. “Preemptive action allows us to avoid the downstream effects. You can help change the culture, the environment, and the expectation.”
“Everything we do in terms of planning and execution is to eliminate miscommunication and disconnect,” Coffin added.
Why we’re here
Coffin also invited WSMR Command Sgt. Maj. William Maddox onto the stage to introduce himself to the workforce and introduce his goals as WSMR’s Command Sergeant Major. Maddox thanked the community for the warm welcome he and his family have received. He talked about being surprised that the word ‘customer’ was the most commonly used term when talking about test missions. Maddox said he felt as if the installation had forgotten why they’re really here.
“The ‘customer’ is that 19 year old kid behind the trigger who’s going to go to combat with that weapon. He’s going to fight with that weapon and he’s going to win and he’s going to come back home,” Maddox said. “It’s all about that warfighter.”
Maddox said every test mission that is done at WSMR should always keep that young Soldier in mind. He said his goal is to create a campaign and implement it throughout the installation to ensure the workforce knows why they come to work each day.
“One of the greatest thing you could have is someone come up to you and say, ‘I’m alive because of what you did,'” Coffin added.
Stewardship and Pride
Maddox also talked about the importance of having pride in the workplace and working with what you’re given to continue to keep your area, and the installation, clean.
“We have a lot of distinguished visitors who come out to the installation. At the end of the day it’s about having pride in your organization and looking like the professional organization that we are,” Maddox said. “It’s not about me being meticulous, what it’s about is showing the outside community that we are a disciplined and professional organization. That sends a message to our customer.”
“The mission is not going to stop but the dollars are going to start dwindling down. It comes down to being good stewards with what we’ve got,” Maddox added.
Along with taking pride in your workplace and your physical area, Coffin emphasized the importance of taking care of government vehicles. Coffin presented a slide with information on five government vehicle accidents that occurred within 11 days. Coffin said he has never damaged his own personal vehicle because of the amount of care and concern he puts in it and he expects the workforce to do the same with government vehicles.
“We have damaged government vehicles due to inattentive driving. You need to treat the government vehicles as you would treat your own,” Coffin said.
Coffin opened the Town Hall with a video of a recent Navy SM6 mission, which was a unique sight for much of the workforce in attendance who may not get to see these test missions within their time at WSMR.
“Often times, in day-to-day business you don’t get a chance to see what’s going on,” Coffin said. “This is just one example of the many things that go on across the range.”
He also took the time to present a series of awards to the workforce and commended the workforce on a recent in-person compliment he received about Range Operations from a Navy representative. Coffin said that was the kind of reputation he enjoys and it’s all attributed to the workforce and WSMR.
Before dismissing the workforce, Coffin opened the floor for questions and ended the Town Hall with an invitation for the community to provide feedback and topics of discussion for the next Town Hall.
To provide a topic or to provide feedback, visit https://intranet.wsmr.army.mil/feedback.asp