The work being done at Fort Drum since late last spring to meet manpower shaping goals set by the Army has the installation well-postured to potentially avoid involuntary separations in the future.
In July, the Army announced a planned reduction of approximately 8,700 positions by Sept. 30, 2012. These cuts are based on Department of Defense resource decisions as reflected in the fiscal 2012 President's Budget and require a reduction of Army civilian employees to comply with decreased funding levels. Fort Drum Garrison was given an end strength goal of 1076 (authorized positions).
Since that time, on board strength of permanent status employees was reduced to 1080 through the implementation of voluntary early retirement and voluntary separation incentive programs, constructive personnel management strategies, limiting hiring to health and safety positions and normal attrition. Temporary and Term positions were not to be extended.
While this looks like Fort Drum Garrison is very close to the goal, the number is slightly deceiving. Of the current 1080 permanent status employees encumbering positions, 85 positions exceed the authorized end strength when you take into consideration currently vacant positions.
"We know this is where the really hard work begins," said Michael McKinnon, Deputy to the Garrison Commander, Fort Drum.
"We continue to look for efficiencies and redundant services. Also, we're looking for employees who may be in an overhire job series, who have the skills to fill a vacant authorized position. We've made great strides to this point because of the consistent cooperation from our incredible work force. I don't see that changing as we continue to reshape. We will set the standard for the Army in taking care of Soldiers and Families as we evolve with the fundamentally different fiscal reality," McKinnon said.
The U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Drum is subordinate to the Installation Management Command.