Transformation at the center of Gillis’ visit

Transformation at the center of Gillis’ visit

By Laura Levering – Fort Gordon Globe

Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy, and Environment) Jordan Gillis visited Fort Gordon on May 21-22. He was joined by ASA (IE&E) Deputy Paul Cramer.

As ASA (IE&E), Gillis is the primary advisor to the Secretary of the Army and Army Chief of Staff on all Army matters related to installation policy, oversight, and coordination of energy security and management.

The trip was an opportunity for Gillis to gain situational understanding of current and future construction and growth related to the installation’s transformation to home of U.S. Army Cyber Command. He accomplished this by attending several overview briefings, group discussions with Fort Gordon leadership, a two-part tour led by Fort Gordon Garrison Commander Col. Todd Turner, and a roundtable luncheon with tenant unit leaders. In many ways, the tour helped put into perspective much of what Gillis had been briefed.

“First, we intended to provide a general orientation of Fort Gordon in terms of size, range capabilities, population, and major units and functions,” Turner said. “Second, we intended to highlight the importance of our mission, the 24/7 nature of operations, and how that has transformed our demographics and the nature of the installation.”

From Fiscal Year 2012-2017, Fort Gordon experienced a 12 percent population growth transforming it from a Training and Doctrine Command to a multi-functional operational and training platform. As a result, Fort Gordon is in the midst of executing what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers labels a “mega project” due to the size and complexity of managing more than 80 major military construction, renovation, and modernization projects worth nearly $2 billion over the next decade, Turner explained.

“As we complete the Cyber Center of Excellence’s new campus and the U.S. Army Cyber Headquarters, Fort Gordon will truly become the Army’s hub for cyber, signal, and electronic warfare training across the full spectrum of conflict,” Turner said.

Gillis was able to see firsthand some of the projects that have either been started or have yet to begin; many of them quality of life projects – such as renovated billets, an additional child care facility, and a new chapel – that would help recruit and keep a “world-class workforce.”

Overall, Turner deemed the two-day visit largely successful.

“Mr. Gillis and the entire team have a thorough understanding of Fort Gordon, its unique demographics and missions, as well as the infrastructure required to recruit and retain a world-class cyber workforce in support of the Army’s cyberspace strategy,” Turner said.

Gillis, a Georgia native and Army veteran, said his visit to Fort Gordon was eye-opening.

“I’m very impressed and have been very pleased to see you guys are leaps and bounds beyond the mental model that I had from my 20-years ago Army service when this was just a Signal School,” Gillis said. “It is so much more, and I am really impressed.”

Gillis also said he looks forward to revisiting Fort Gordon in the future and to seeing more progress. He commended everyone for their role in the installation’s transformation, stating that success would not be possible without them.

“None of it happens by process, by doctrine … it is personal dedication.”

Before wrapping up his visit, Gillis presented military challenge coins to six people for their efforts in the transformation process.

“There have been countless people across the installation that have really played a decisive role in not just doing transformation but in developing new capabilities for the Army,” said Col. Samuel G. Anderson, Cyber CoE chief of staff. “Today we recognize six of those individuals.”