State of the Installation 2017

Commander’s Column

Garrison Commander Col. Tom Rickard

Our first commander in chief delivered the first “Annual Message to a Joint Session of Congress,” now known as the State of the Union address, over 227 years ago.

As we remember George Washington’s birthday this weekend, let us also consider the state of our installation.

Fort Meade exists to support the service members, professional civilians and family members who defend our Constitution and defeat our enemies’ will to fight.

Strong installations empower service members and civilians to execute their duties with minimal distractions. Our Fort Meade family includes more than 54,000 service members, civilians and family members. Fort Meade is the third largest Army post by population, serving 118 organizations from every service and multiple federal and state agencies.

Team Meade hosts seven Anne Arundel County schools, five Child Development Centers, over 2,600 family homes, and rooms for 2,000 unaccompanied service members.

This year we celebrate our 100th anniversary. “From Saddles to Cyberspace,” Fort Meade has secured our national interests and is our country’s platform for intelligence, information and cyber operations.

We will “educate, commemorate and honor” as we conduct a series of community events including a concert and Massing of the Colors in May followed by an anniversary gala on June 17 at Club Meade.

As we look to the future, we will expand the Rockenbach Road, Mapes Road (east), Reece Road and Mapes Road (west) gates, in that order.

We will widen those roads and Cooper Avenue, while the state of Maryland will widen Route 175 off post to become a six-lane highway with median and bike lanes.

We will also open the Llewellyn Avenue gate this summer.

Even with road widening, we must reduce the number of single drivers. Use Meaderide at http://www.meaderide.com to carpool or vanpool, or bus to work. Ride a bicycle or walk whenever possible.

We will see road construction on and off post for the next three to four years, but it is all necessary growth for our security.

In the next five to seven years, we will welcome over 1,900 personnel (plus family members) from each service primarily in support of cyber-related missions.

We will build another 150 family homes on post, but we still face a deficit of 1,300 beds for unaccompanied service members and continue to seek military construction funding to build new barracks south of the Freedom Center.

Our cyber-related growth and elevation of U.S. Cyber Command to a Combatant Command could provide tremendous benefits to our local schools. With USCYBERCOM and supporting units seeking our nation’s best talent at Fort Meade, we have optimal conditions to establish the nation’s best cyber magnet programs.

Our regional county school systems and college partners have an incredible opportunity to build a cyber and mathematics talent pipeline from elementary school through community college.

The outlook for 2017 and beyond is exceptionally bright for Team Meade. We are home to many one-of-a-kind organizations demanding special talent and requiring special support.

The garrison team is grateful for the outstanding cooperation of our tenant units and community partners. We can only support this amazing community with teamwork.

Thank you for making Fort Meade the home of our nation’s best.

Team Meade!

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