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(Enlarge) Col. Edward C. Rothstein, Garrison Commander

Last week, Fort Meade submitted its entry for the Installation Management Command Army Communities of Excellence.

The competition recognizes excellence in installation management and the outstanding and innovative efforts of the people who operate and maintain U.S. military installations.

The program is also an opportunity for IMCOM to encourage and recognize installations that build on organizational knowledge, foster a change in culture and demonstrate a commitment to excellence.

In many respects, the ACOE represents Fort Meade's commitment to create an environment that delivers services and infrastructure to enhance the quality of life for service members, families and civilians who serve our nation. By doing so, we allow our partner commands and agencies to perform their missions with great confidence.

One of the unique aspects of Fort Meade is that Fort Meade is not designated as a "joint base" installation. We are a large, multiservice, multiagency population with more than 95 partner commands and agencies. Our composition provides unique challenges that require us to create innovative solutions and encourage partnerships, on and off the installation.

As a growing community, Fort Meade strives to consistently improve the quality of life for our community members. We continue to look for innovative ways to accommodate the entire installation community in ways that will have a positive impact on everyone's daily life.

One example of how we are working to accommodate our growth is related to the development of new facilities. Currently, we are planning for a new Exchange, two new Child Development Centers and another gas station/Shoppette.

Plans are also in place to develop additional privatized barracks and garden apartments for enlisted service members who work and live here.

Fort Meade also is concerned with the environment and is moving toward a sustainable future through reduction of our energy footprint, water conservation and new construction that meets or exceeds standards for energy and environmental certifications.

This year, the Environmental Division coordinated a massive cleanup of more than 24,000 tons of methane-producing waste material from a 1940s-era dumpsite located between residential housing and Manor View Elementary School.

This cleanup project will allow us to return to community use an area that had been restricted.

Off the installation, we conducted coordination with Howard County officials to use more than 5 million gallons of treated water daily in the cooling systems for the planned recapitalization of National Security Agency facilities.

In addition to saving aquifer water, which is a limited resource, the treated water is projected to reduce costs by 40 percent.

As transformation moves forward, we continue to plan for infrastructure and facility expansions. We have established a Mission Growth Initiative to ensure that our growth is fully supported by, and integrated into, regional jurisdictions.

We also have established a regional business initiative through the Regional Growth Management Committee with 2,300 member businesses that focuses on improving the quality of contract support provided to the installation and its partners.

Fort Meade is able to achieve mission success in many respects due to the innovations of its workforce and the partnerships that allow us to find balance between available (and at times reduced) resources and the needs of our community.

The ACOE program is more than just a contest. It is an opportunity to allow garrison leaders to say "thank you" for all of your ideas and work that have attributed to excellent services, excellent facilities and a quality environment that lets service members and their families know we care about them and that we are doing our part to make sure they are able to perform their missions with great confidence.

Have a great week!

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