CG hosts work force town hall Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 October 2013
Story and photo by Dawn Arden
Assistant editor
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The Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood leadership hosted a town hall meeting Oct. 24 in Nutter Field House to discuss operations, current budget contraints and future funding considerations with the workforce.  

Following opening remarks, Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, turned the floor over to other leaders from a variety of functions on post.
Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, answers a question from David Neese, left, during a town hall meeting Oct. 24 in Nutter Field House.

Col. John Riley, G-3 director of operations, stressed that even though the government is back to work, the Army is still working with limited resources and that courses that were postponed or canceled as a result of the furlough or shutdown will be rescheduled starting in January.

“The most  important thing from an operational standpoint is, we are  now moving full-force, straight-ahead forward on our primary mission on this installation, which is to train our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines,” Riley said. “Units, organizations and  support personnel have to understand we are still under a situation of limited resourcing. Therefore our training management, our planning and our forecasting for resources continues to be a paramount issue, and we have to work through those —work with your sister organizations with the support structure and support organizations to make sure we don’t have any resource short falls.”

Also briefing were Shirrell Johnston and Gail Williamson, G-8 Directorate of Resource Management and Garrison Resource Management; Pam Welch, Civilian Personnel Advisory Center and Col. William Pfeffer, Garrison commander.

Johnston and Williamson briefed about civilian pay  and leave issues reminding everyone to check their Leave and Earning Statements for today’s payday to ensure that there are no issues with back pay and leave reimbursement. Any discrepancies should be reported to your timekeepers.

“We will continue to monitor and distribute information as we get it. We do have limited authority to spend money — some of those things include TDY and travel, the restrictions that started in FY13 will continue. In FY14 we will also see continuing restrictions on the hiring process and requests to hire,” Johnston said.

CPAC put out a reminder to those who have use-or-lose leave to get with their supervisors to work out a plan for usage by Nov. 30, and that only 240 hours may be carried over into the next year.

“We currently have some commands that are looking at their positions to make  determinations on if they need to make changes in their organization to then allow an employee to retire or resign with the voluntary separation incentive,” Welch said. “If you are a manager and you have questions about whether you have individuals, or what individuals you have that are eligible to retire, we can help you with that.”

Pfeffer said that assistance is still available to those who need it and reassured those present that despite government setbacks, Fort Leonard Wood is still growing.

“We are still continuing to do a little more than half a billion dollars in military  construction here on post,” Pfeffer said.

Smith fielded questions from the workforce and added additional comments to close out the meeting.

Smith said in closing that the mission of training needs to be the fort’s main focus, especially during tough times.

“We have been under stress; we are under stress — I see it in your faces,” Smith said. “Are the tough times over — no, they’re not. I will come before you and I will talk about things as we know them, and as we find out information we will pass that information to you. I trust you to do the mission  that you came to do, you trust us to take care of you and have your best interest at heart — because I do.”

Smith said that although we may not be able to control the budget, we should focus on the things that need to be done within our individual organizations.

Lincoln Hall was connected to the meeting via VTC and Baker Theater was set up to participate through the phone line. The event was also broadcast on Channel 59.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 November 2013 )