A powerful team of teams

Commander's Column

Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard

As we look forward to our Red, White & Blue Celebration on June 30 — a few days before Independence Day — I want to thank our incredible garrison staff and the outstanding partner units who make so many community events possible for our families.

In this issue, please note the tremendous efforts of so many teams working together to produce excellent events and services.

The series of historically themed events in recognition of Fort George G. Meade’s 100th anniversary peaked Saturday night at the 100th Anniversary Gala with government proclamations, extraordinary culinary delights and fabulous music.

I am extremely proud of our garrison staff, especially the museum and FMWR staffs, for leading that effort to a superb result. Perhaps the greatest benefit is that all the proceeds from the gala go directly to supporting our families at Fort Meade. Many thanks to the partner command teams who showed their support by attending.

Looking ahead, Fort Meade will continue to grow by approximately 1,800 employees, plus family members, over the next few years. Nearly all of this growth is cyber-related and demands improvements to our infrastructure — the Installation Management Command’s top priority.

We will see road widening continue on Rockenbach Road throughout this year and next. In a few months, we will start work on the eastern side of Mapes Road and its Access Control Point at Route 175. When that begins, we will keep the Llewellyn Avenue gate open with the same hours we currently have at Mapes Road eastern gate.

This fall, we will prepare office space in Pershing Hall (south end of McGlachlin Parade Field) to establish a consolidated support center for ID cards, in/out processing, property shipment, Soldier-For-Life Transition Assistance Program, Retirement Services, Retention, and our Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation staff.

By next spring, the campus of facilities surrounding Burba Lake will provide most support activities for our community. Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center, Public Affairs, Main Post Chapel, Medal of Honor Memorial Library, Army Wellness Center, Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, and the support center at Pershing Hall will all be within easy reach for our service members, civilian employees and families. We look forward to establishing an Education and Resiliency Center at Kuhn Hall, next to the library, which will serve as the central access point for finding physical, emotional, spiritual, social or educational resources on our post.

With our growth and adjustments to serve our community, please be patient as road construction will be a way of life and a sign of our progress for several years.

The infrastructure is critical to enabling our dedicated professionals to conduct operations from Fort Meade. Unlike other posts whose service members deploy in large brigade combat team-size groups to conduct operations abroad, many of the operators at Fort Meade are conducting offensive and defensive operations every hour right here on post.

Some also deploy quietly around the world in support of operators at the tip of the spear. At Fort Meade, we have to get our professionals to work — safely and efficiently —to accomplish our missions.

Ultimately, it is not great roads or great buildings that allow us to win our nation’s wars, but the will of our people. We are fortunate to have amazing support from our off-post community partners and elected leaders. The collective will to work together —government leaders, corporate leaders, tenant organizations and family members —is what makes Fort Meade so powerful and important to our national security.

Thank you for your teamwork each day and for making Fort Meade the home of our nation’s best. Team Meade!

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