Garrison keeps pace with changes during year

| December 18, 2015 | 0 Comments
Photo by Lacey Justinger, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs Panelists LIST NAMES gather to listen to community members discuss their opinions about reduced forces at Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter at the Listening Session, here, Jan. 28.

Photo by Lacey Justinger, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs
Panelists LIST NAMES gather to listen to community members discuss their opinions about reduced forces at Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter at the Listening Session, here, Jan. 28.

 

Compiled by Aiko Rose Brum
U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii weathered many challenges and garnered numerous achievements in 2015.

In January, hundreds of community members on Oahu gathered in Waikiki and Wahiawa at two Department of the Army Community Listening Sessions to address possible reductions of Army personnel at Fort Shafter and Schofield Barracks.

Personnel from the Army’s G1 took community comments to their senior leaders in Washington.

The public received several opportunities to comment on other Army actions: the study of marine resources near Makua Beach in February, the proposed construction and operation of a

Biofuel station

Biofuel station

50-megawatt, multi-fuel, biofuel-capable power generation plant in May.

Also in February, U.S. Army Hawaii’s Take A Stand! campaign continued to provide new dog tags to units. The awareness campaign, started in November 2014, helps to prevent four “S” priorities: sexual harassment and assault, substance abuse, suicide and safety violations.

In late February, then in March and June, the garrison scheduled a series of power outages needed to upgrade the Schofield Barracks Castner Substation, including replacing failing transformers, outdated oil circuit breakers, damaged air switchers and old metering equipment, according to Gregory Hinkle, Directorate of Public Works operations officer.

Former Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond Odierno visited in February, and Traffic Regulation 190-5, which governs all of U.S. Army Hawaii, became effective in mid-March. It fines offenses, such as illegal parking, seat belt violations and cell phone usage and texting.

The Kolekole Walking-Hiking Trail reopened in March and has been a popular destination on weekends and holidays ever since. Additionally, Community Readiness Expos, held each Thursday at the Nehelani, Schofield Barracks, for newcomers and those redeploying; Community Information Exchange meetings, for the USARHAW community; and Community Information Bulletins have become helpful venues to communicate with service members, their families and civilians.

As Army installations were updating policies on tattoos, Installation Management Command-Pacific welcomed its new region director, Dr. Christine T. Altendorf, during an Assumption of Responsibility Ceremony at Fort Shafter, April 13.

In late April, Army officials began destroying 10 World War I and II-era chemical munitions that were recovered from the range between 2009 and 2012.

“As a matter of safety and environmental stewardship, we have a responsibility to ensure that when we find these types of historic munitions, we also safely destroy them,” said Col. Richard Fromm, commander, USAG-HI, which is what the team from Edgewood, Md., accomplished.

In late April, former Secretary of the Army John McHugh visited, here, and in May, the Directorate of Emergency Services held its prescribed burn to prevent wildfires and protect communities, said Chief Scotty Freeman of the Fire Division. He later stated it was the most successful prescribed burn in seven years.

FeralHIChickensChickens were becoming a nuisance in some areas of the U.S. Army Health Clinic, Schofield Barracks, so the DES and DPW worked jointly to help remove them from areas there and about other areas.

Mid-May, Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel A. Dailey visited and reminded Soldiers at U.S. Army-Pacific that “Every Soldier is a billboard,” and in early June, the garrison won two prestigious awards from the Historic Hawaii Foundation.

“It shows the local community that the Army does take care of its historic buildings and resources,” said Ken Hays, architectural historian with Environmental Division, DPW.

In July, just after Collective Soul entertained the Fourth of July crowd, the Hawaii Transition Summit met with thousands of Soldiers and family members to receive assistance in finding jobs when leaving the Army. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald were in attendance to provide support.

Yet, troublesome news impacted all, soon. Not only did Hawaii’s Cost of Living Allowance decrease in July, but also the Office of Personnel Management began notifying millions of personnel of a cyber breach – 21.5 million Social Security numbers and sensitive information had been stolen.

The garrison welcomed its new deputy commander, Len Housley, in July, and Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias brought humor to Schofield in August.

Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment Katherine Hammack visited Hawaii in late August to discuss more efficient energy usage.

In September, the command highly encouraged all parents to send in Federal Survey Cards to schools; the quantity directly impacts federal impact aid.

As the year winded down, an Army Wellness Center opened at Schofield Barracks, in mid-October; Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited Hawaii in early November; and the Army’s Soldier Show provided two performances, also in late November.

The holiday season began with festive tree lightings and visits from Santa Claus in late-November at Fort Shafter and in December at Schofield Barracks. The Hangar Entertainment Center also opened at Wheeler Army Airfield in early December.

The Explosive Destruction System is a safe and effective means of destroying chemical munitions. The blast, vapor and fragments are all contained inside the stainless steel chamber.

The Explosive Destruction System is a safe and effective means of destroying chemical munitions. The blast, vapor and fragments are all contained inside the stainless steel chamber.

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Category: News, Year in Review

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