News: BRAC Moving Day: USARC Civilians Arrive at Fort Bragg
Story by Timothy Hale
FORT BRAGG, N.C. – Moving day finally arrived for 22 Army Reserve Command civilians from Fort McPherson, Ga., as they in-processed at the renovated Old Bowley School building to start their new lives here on this sprawling Army post in the Sand Hills of North Carolina. This group comprises the largest number of employees from the Army Reserve to arrive so far.
And almost to each man and woman, the transition thus far has been relatively painless.
“This was easy!,” said Sis Akins, a USARC G8 employee. “Just the matter of fact that the boxes were here when I arrived this morning. After our briefing next door all of our boxes were delivered in our cubicles. All I had to do was open them and put things away and I’m just about ready to go to work.”
The day started with a short briefing by Fort Bragg civilian personnel specialists followed by a brief introduction by Jim Ferguson, a member of the USARC BRAC liaison team.
Prior to today’s in-processing, Ferguson said there were already 58 USARC military and civilian employees that had made the move north from Atlanta to set the stage for the main advance team. Couple those numbers with those arriving today will help set the wheels in motion for the main body movements which start in early 2011.
He added there would be 12 to 15 people arriving each week until December 31 when most of the main ADVON team move will be complete.
“The way we do it for the Army Reserve is pretty unique,” Ferguson said. “This is a civilian week, next week is all military. We’re alternating weeks between civilian and military.”
By the time the ADVON move is complete, Ferguson said there would be approximately 200 military and civilian Army Reserve employees in place at Fort Bragg.
Ferguson said the in-processing is relatively simple and doesn’t take that much time.
“We will have them fill out a few forms, answer some basic questions, give them some guidance like going on to MyPay and adjust your W4 to North Carolina (for tax purposes),” he said. Afterwards each employee is taken to their new work-station to set-up and get ready for work.
“The good news is the phone number you get in the temporary building will be the same phone number you’ll have once you migrate into the new building next summer.”
Once the main body starts arriving in March and April of next year, those employees will be moving into the renovated warehouse complex off of Gruber Road. Ferguson said the work there is nearing completion and should be finished by the first of March if not sooner.
For Kathy Clark, this move is just one in a long line of them. She spent 20 years with the 89th Regional Support Command in addition to other assignments as a government employee.
“Everything is on schedule, we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, getting in here on time. Now it’s just a matter of organizing and getting to work,” Clark said.
Many of the employees are taking different approaches when it comes to housing. While some still have family back in the Atlanta area, a few have already purchased homes in the Fort Bragg area.
Richard Cunningham, a USARC Safety Office employee, purchased his house last month and already has his family with him.
“They (wife and children) are settled,” Cunningham said. “I walked in this morning, the staff is ready to go. It was a quick and easy transition this morning and I’m glad to be here.”
Ferguson said the key to making the move painless is keeping a positive attitude and coordination with each employees counterpart that are still in Atlanta or up in Crystal City, Va.
“It takes a lot of coordination with email and telephone to make it run smoothly,” he said. “Support at both elements, people committed to this action that’s really been it.”
“I’ve just been amazed at the positive attitudes as people have walked in,” Ferguson continued. “We haven’t had one case of somebody walking in and saying, ‘I don’t want to be here!’ It’s been very positive and proactive. They’re ready to go to work and do whatever they need to do to take on the challenges, take on the work and get it done.”