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CECOM and BRAC 2005

CECOM and BRAC 2005

“There is no textbook; no one gives you your, ‘Here’s how you conduct BRAC.’  There’s no BRAC 101 textbook to tell you how to do that.” –-MG Dennis L. Via, former CG, CECOM, June 2009

There is no textbook for BRAC, but the Communications Electronics Command took the opportunity presented by the most significant move of people, missions, and equipment under BRAC 2005 to create a comprehensive and innovation process that could serve as a textbook on conducting BRAC in the future. In the words of CECOM Commanding General Randolph P. Strong, “You attend meetings in the Department of the Army, and in other places, the move of CECOM is considered the gold standard.  Very, very well executed.”

The guiding principles for implementing the BRAC recommendations were  that  the BRAC move had to be transparent to the Soldiers engaged in combat operations and the civilians supporting them; the Command would do everything in its power, as limited by law, to mitigate the professional and personal turbulence of those members of the workforce that chose to move; and the Command will do everything in its power, as limited by law, to assist the transition of the workforce that decided not to move.

CECOM organized to execute BRAC with the establishment of a C4ISR BRAC Task Force in October 2007 to oversee the planning and execution of BRAC 2005. Realizing that this was not the first BRAC move in the history of the DoD, the Task Force took advantage of “Lessons Learned” and “After Action Reviews” from prior BRAC rounds.

Following the outline of the Strategic Plan developed by the BRAC Task Force, the groundbreaking for the new Team C4ISR Center of Excellence campus occurred on 17 March 2008. This groundbreaking marked the transition from the planning to the execution phase of the BRAC relocation. 

“Our intent is to provide all employees supporting the Army Team C4ISR mission the relevant information they need to make decisions relative to BRAC,” said Raoul Cordeaux, head of the BRAC Task Force, in 2008. With that as the foundation, CECOM developed relocation packages called “RED (Relocation Information, Entitlements and Decision Making) boxes,” hosted motor coach trips from Fort Monmouth to Aberdeen Proving Ground, conducted town hall meetings, brought representatives from Maryland state and local governments to talk about relocation, and provided opportunities for employees to seek out alternate employment if they planned to not make the move. Said MG Strong of the Command’s efforts, “I think the folks have done an absolutely phenomenal job that has set the standard for the Army in terms of the BRAC moves.”

In October 2010, the Command began occupying the buildings started 2 ½ years earlier. As the Command’s mission completes the transfer to Maryland, CECOM personnel continue to work tirelessly to ensure that support to the Warfighter remains uninterrupted.  Said former Deputy to the Commanding General, Mr. Ed Thomas, “we’ve built 2 ½ million square feet of new facilities; admin facilities, laboratories, secure facilities, etc. And it’s ahead of schedule, and under cost, and the quality is great. How many projects have you come across that can say that?… [The CECOM staff] always kept our bottom line in mind, the Warfighter;  and they understood the importance of the work that they do and they just couldn’t have done it any better.”

The long history of advances in communications and electronics systems will be continued at Aberdeen Proving Ground, and a new history will begin to take shape, created by the dedicated CECOM employees who planned and executed this tremendous move. Although the relocation entailed significant challenges, our personnel realized the stakes and rose to the challenge, just as they and their predecessors had with every conflict they supported since WWI. Building on the strong foundations laid at Fort Monmouth, CECOM will use its respect for the past and dedication to the Warfighter to build a new community committed to innovation and technology here at APG.

NOTE: This entry written by Susan, and posted by Chrissie.

Posted in History Happenings.

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