“Service to the Line, On the Line, On Time”
Vol. 09, No. 9 U.S. Army Watervliet Arsenal, Watervliet, NY (www.wva.army.mil) Sept. 30, 2009
Arsenal’s future is tied to its secrets
Centered on the newest class of Arsenal apprentices is Donald Scott, from the Arsenal Civilian Personnel Advisory Center. One of
Scott’s ﬁrst orders of duty was to ofﬁciate the swearing-in ceremony that each new Department of the Army Civilian must undergo.
By John B. Snyder to the senior workforce to share their trade secrets with the
Arsenal kids that some call “apprentices.”
Given that the Arsenal is nearly 200 years old, there The Arsenal commander recently spoke about his
are bound to be a few ghosts and skeletons in the closet concern for workforce management in regards to an
among the buildings that some date to 1828. In addition to overpowering statistic that more than 50 percent of the
ghosts and skeletons are secrets that some say are the key Arsenal workforce is eligible to retire in the next ﬁve years.
to the Arsenal’s long-term survival, but are disappearing According to Col. Scott N. Fletcher, the Arsenal has a
more and more every day. personnel “bubble” due to the nine reductions in force that
No, this isn’t a story that will inspire you to run out to rippled through the Arsenal workforce from 1991 to 2001.
buy candy for Halloween, but maybe it is a call to action Please see Apprentices on Page 3
Commander’s Corner Vanpool Post Exchange H1N1 Flu Info
Page 2 Page 4 Page 5 Page 7
Page 2 Arsenal-Salvo Sept. 30, 2009
You may be like most folks who drive through the gates
everyday and don’t see change. After all, there aren’t any
new buildings, fences, or structures that to the naked eye
But change is here and more is on the way. Photo by John B. Snyder
Col. Scott N. Fletcher welcomed the new Arsenal Equal Employment
I can remember early in my career and before Opportunity Manager, Howard Kindell, this month,
computers I had to use something called a typewriter. In
order for policy letters, guidance, and directives to be production will be signiﬁcantly reduced, and we will
issued, we ﬁrst had to type them on a Disposition Form or become more transparent and responsive to the customer.
DF and include carbon papers behind the DF for copies. By October 2010, we will go “live” with LMP at the
I also remember when the Army ﬁrst issued me a cell programming and planning level. Then, beginning in
phone that was called a “brick.” You can imagine the size December 2010, we will start to phase the Manufacturing
of the phone in order to have such an affectionate name. I Execution System or MES into our production facilities.
blew out many pockets trying to stuff that baby into them. The toughest part of this transformation may be
I may have even broken a toe or two when my “brick” acceptance from the workforce. After all, we must change
occasionally fell off of table tops. the way we have been doing business since the 1970s,
So change in itself is not all bad. which means we will have to change the culture of our
I have always thought of change as I do for snow on the workforce.
battleﬁeld. In essence, you know its coming and no matter As we move toward going live in 2010, I ask you to
how much you may not like it you still have to work in approach this event with an open mind, learn about LMP
that environment. So, you might as well plan for it. by asking your supervisors, and by going onto https://www.
And planning for it is what we are currently doing via po.lmp.army.mil/_site/index.html
the Logistics Modernization Program or LMP. LMP is your snow on the battleﬁeld…you know it’s
Today, the Arsenal is undergoing a transformation that coming, so you might as well plan and prepare for it.
will not only make us more efﬁcient and thus, a better
business enterprise, but also will make the Arsenal more
responsive to the Soldier.
More than a computer program, LMP will ensure
vertical and horizontal integration of programming Scott N. Fletcher
and planning with our production, as well as with our Commanding
customer. The bottom line is that the days of multiple “Forging On”
software solutions for logistics management and
Commander, Col. Scott N. Fletcher The Arsenal Salvo is an authorized monthly publication for members of the Department
Public Affairs Ofﬁcer, John B. Snyder of Defense. Contents of the Salvo are not necessarily the ofﬁcial views of, or an endorse-
Editor, John B. Snyder ment by the U.S. government, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, or
Photographers: John B. Snyder
the Watervliet Arsenal.
Billy Martin News may be submitted for publication by sending articles to Public Affairs Ofﬁcer,
Front Page: Top photo is from 1893 1 Bufﬁngton Street, Bldg. 10, Watervliet, NY 12189, or stop by ofﬁce #102, Bldg 10,
and was provided by the Arsenal Watervliet Arsenal. The editor may also be reached at (518) 266-5055 or by e-mail:
Museum. Bottom photo is by John B. firstname.lastname@example.org. The editor reserves the right to edit all information submitted
Snyder. for publication.
Page 3 Arsenal-Salvo Sept. 30, 2009
Apprentices: from page 1 apprentices deal with high-tech smart boards.
Apprentices in 1905 dealt with mud on the streets of
“When the Arsenal reduced its workforce from more Watervliet as they walked to work ― today’s apprentices
than 2,000 in 1991 to a little over 400 by 2001, only the deal with trafﬁc on I-787, I-87, and I-90.
more experienced workers remained,” Fletcher said. Apprentices in 1905 dealt with steel that was not much
“That cohort, who survived the reductions of the 1990s, is better than ﬂake iron ― today’s apprentices must deal with
expected to retire within the next few years.” hardened Titanium and Inconel steel that allow our cannons
Many people may think that ﬁnding an experienced to ﬁre thousands of rounds during their tube lifetime.
machinist should be an easy task given the high Finally, apprentices in 1905 dealt with competition
unemployment rate in the Capital District, but they would from manufacturers mainly in the Northeast ― today’s
be wrong for several reasons. apprentices must deal with global competition.
First, there are many various types of machinists But interestingly, some of today’s apprentices believe
and therefore, they are not as interchangeable as “plug their personal success and the long-term viability of the
and play” modules for Arsenal depends not so
your computer. The much on the future, but
Arsenal machinists are on the past.
experts on any number Tim Fontaine and
of the 200 different Brant Wert, two new
types of machines in the apprentices who began
production bays. their four-year program
Today, there are no this month, said that
manufacturing industries despite the focus on new
in the Northeast that technology in steel and
have the number of in machining, they will
machines or the degree turn more to the senior
of difﬁculty of machining Arsenal machinists for
― that ranges from forge their education and
operations to prototype training over the next few
development ― as years.
one would ﬁnd on the “We need their
Arsenal. secrets,” said Wert and
Second, the United No job is too small or unimportant to our new apprentices shown here on the echoed by Fontaine.
Photo by John B. Snyder
States has moved from Gun Protection Kit assembly line in Sept. 2009. Wert and Fontaine went
a manufacturing-based on to explain that the
economy to an economy based on information. So, there senior machinists who will retire in the next few years
are signiﬁcantly fewer certiﬁed machinists available in survived through the nine reductions-in-force for a reason.
the U.S. This is evident today when one looks at General “They were the best because they had become masters
Motors. of little tricks of the trade that aren’t in text books,” said
Heavy manufacturing giant GM was in the 1950s the Fontaine.
largest corporate employer in the world. Only Soviet Wert added, “It is those ‘secrets’ that we need to learn
government-controlled manufacturers employed more in order for us to be ready to take over when they (senior
workers, according to wikicars.org. machinists) retire.”
And in 1979, GM’s U.S. employment peaked at Wert said he believes that as long as there is combat
618,365, making it the largest private employer in the there will be a requirement for troops on the ground who
country. Today, GM employs less than 40,000 workers in will need to be armed and equipped.
the U.S., according to the Associated Press. Given the global business environment, however, there
Therefore, the future of manufacturing may lie squarely is no guarantee that arming those future troops on the
on the backs of our apprentices. ground must be an Arsenal mission.
These men and women apprentices have been the To those senior folks at the Arsenal who plan to retire
primary feeder program for the Arsenal since 1905 in in the next few years, if you truly care about the long-term
providing operators for our machines. And, for the most viability of the Arsenal, please pass your secrets to the next
part, they have been local folks who have had family generation of Arsenal workers.
members and friends precede them to the Arsenal. You have had a great opportunity to proudly support our
But that is where the similarities end. warﬁghters, the Arsenal’s newest workforce deserve such
Apprentices in 1905 dealt with chalk boards ― today’s an opportunity, too.
Page 4 Arsenal-Salvo Sept. 30, 2009
No free lunch...but a free ride?
By John B. Snyder
Although the Watervliet Arsenal
workforce may believe there is no such
thing as a free lunch, some have found that
by going “green” there is such a thing as a
No, the Arsenal workforce is not
participating in a television realty
show that would have them pimp their
rides. But what a few energy conscious
wanderers have found is that the federal
and New York state governments will pay
for their transportation to and from work.
Jan Bathurst, Information Specialist at
the Arsenal, recently heard about a little Photo by Billy Martin
known government-sponsored vanpool Listed left to right are Mike Knapp, Peter Knapp, Jan Bathurst, James Lowenthal, and Ted Pollack
program at the Army’s Picatinny Arsenal the ﬁrst Arsenal vanpool members who each on average save nearly $400 a month in transporta-
in New Jersey called, “1-800-Van- tion expenses. Funding primarily comes from the Department of the Army and from New York
Ride,” and he took the ﬁrst steps toward
establishing a vanpool at the Arsenal. “Additionally, not only do we save “As of today, there are about 30
VPSI, Inc., a company launched from money on gas each week, we also save vanpools in New York State and the
the Chrysler Corporation in the 1970s money on the maintenance and repair of Watervliet Arsenal has the only vanpool
to conserve fuel and to reduce vehicle our personal vehicles,” Knapp added. program in upstate New York,” Kafka
emissions among the workforce, is today’s Bathurst said there is also a savings in said. “So, there is a lot of potential in the
largest private provider of commuter car insurance because he is able to reduce Capital District to form a vanpool that
vanpool transportation services in the his annual mile usage on his personal car. will greatly reduce personal expenses for
world, according to its website. James Lowenthal, fellow rider who works gas, maintenance, and repair of privately-
VPSI provides the vans that support in the Arsenal’s Operations Directorate, owned vehicles.”
Picatinny Arsenal’s vanpool program, as said that he didn’t believe the news when Although the Arsenal is the ﬁrst
well as to vanpool programs at more than he ﬁrst heard about the government- vanpool in the Capital District for VPSI,
70 other military installations throughout sponsored vanpool program. “This is Kafka said this van ride program is not
the country. a great program that not only has saved limited to military organizations. “Any
According to Bathurst, VPSI provided us money, but also will greatly help the group of commuters who typically travel
him and four other Arsenal riders a new environment.” more than 15 miles each way to work may
van in late July and he started the vanpool Jesse Kafka, VPSI business executive, qualify for a vanpool managed by VPSI.”
in August. said the Arsenal vanpool receives funding Kafka said that although the vanpool
“Through Department of the Army and from the New York State Energy Research program produces signiﬁcant cost savings
New York state-sponsored programs, that and Development Authority or NYSERDA to its riders, its primary purpose was and
were designed to promote the reduction and from the Department of the Army. still is to conserve fuel and to reduce
of carbon emissions, minimize highway For example, the Army’s Mass Transit vehicle emissions.
congestion, and to reduce America’s
Beneﬁt Program kicks in about $230 a “According to 2007 ﬁgures, each
dependence on oil, we are able to ride free
month per rider. NYSERDA provides 7-passenger van saves up to $17,000 a
to work,” Bathurst said.
another $500 a month, which currently year in fuel costs and 58 tons of CO2
Although being “green” in their
picks up the remaining cost of the Arsenal emissions,” said Kafka. “A 15-passenger
everyday lives is important to each
vanpool rider, saving money doesn’t hurt, vanpool program. van reduces CO2 emissions by more than
Bathurst added. “With this funding and the current cost 136 tons annually, which is the equivalent
Fellow rider Peter Knapp, with the of gas, the Arsenal vanpool riders are able to planting 6.2 acres of pine trees.”
Army’s Benét Laboratories at the Arsenal, to ride free,” Kafka said. Although reducing the carbon footprint
said that each one of the pool riders would Kafka added that at the Picatinny and saving money are noble goals for the
have more than a 100-mile drive each day Arsenal, more than 200 workers now program, for anyone who has visited or
getting to and from work. “For each of us, participate in the vanpool program with worked on the Arsenal knows that parking
the vanpool saves about $400 a month in VPSI, but there is untapped potential in is also a premium. So this is the gift that
gas expenses.” upstate New York. keeps giving.
Page 5 Arsenal-Salvo Sept. 30, 2009
“I’ll Match It”
By John B. Snyder
During a recent visit to the Arsenal Post
Exchange, Leon Williams led me on a journey
that felt like an hour-long game show. For those
of you who don’t know Leon he has been the
manager at our PX for about three years.
During my tenure in the Army, I have had
the opportunity to frequent various Army and
Air Force Exchange Service Post Exchanges or
AAFES PXs. From the very large PXs such as
Photos by John B. Snyder
the one at Fort Lewis, to mid-size at Fort Sill, to In top photo, customers keep PX staff, Dave Carmel, Leon
even a ﬁeld operation in Baghdad, if there was Williams, and Carolyn Sullivan busy. To the right, custom-
a Pop Tart to be had, I found it. ers may purchase gift cards to local restaurants at the PX.
Maybe it is the size of our PX that had not Tiring of this game, Leon threw
excited me to become a regular patron. But after a year here, I in the kicker ― “I’ll not only match
decided it was time for me to learn about Leon’s operation. it but you won’t pay any sales tax.”
Tucked away in building 40-4, is our small PX that Leon said Although the “I’ll Match It”
is technically classiﬁed as a “Troop Store.” Leon believes that game was fun to play, Leon told me
someday we will move up to the big time and will have what is about other great deals available at
commonly known as a “Shoppette.” the PX.
Leon led me along the aisles that had such items as canned Leon has set up an online
tuna and personal razors to a place where I had never visited ordering center in the store. If there is a product that you would
before, the alcohol aisle. That is my story and I’m sticking to it, like to buy, such as a TV, but Leon doesn’t carry it, he can order
regardless of what Leon tells you. it from either another PX or from the AAFES Catalogue. If
Now, I didn’t pause at the alcohol aisle to promote it, but I ordered from another PX, you won’t pay for shipping. Again,
mention it because roughly 80 percent of Leon’s sales come from there is no sales tax on any items purchased.
alcohol and from the sale of cigarettes. Sales of these items are Additionally, AAFES has a new program called, “Click
only available to active, Guard, Reserve, and retired military to Brick.” According to the AAFES website, Click to Brick
members. offers free shipping of select Exchange Online Store orders to
Although those sales have been great for the Arsenal, this is participating exchanges in the continental United States. More
not the area that Leon wishes to grow. than 115 items are currently part of the “Click to Brick” program,
“More than half of the PX space is dedicated to non-alcohol with that number expected to approach 500 by year end.
products such as food and snack items, as well as for personal Despite its small size, the Arsenal PX has a powerful effect on
hygiene products,” Leon said. the Arsenal.
This is when Leon welcomed me to his game show ― “I’ll Leon and his staff of two, Dave Carmel and Carolyn Sullivan,
Match It.” have built up the annual sales by more than 30 percent in the last
Leon said that although he prices his products in line with three years.
local Rite Aid and Stewart shops, he will match any local store So what one may ask.
price, to include sale prices. And, he will match any price within Leon said that 40 percent of the PX’s proﬁts are returned
$10 without a sales ad. Leon said he trusts his customers and if to the Arsenal for our Morale, Welfare, and Recreation fund or
they tell him the price is cheaper elsewhere he takes their word MWR.
for it. Wow, what a novel idea. According to Dave Madsen, Non-Appropriated Fund Program
I asked Leon if I tell him that I can buy his brand of potato Coordinator, that translated to $15,285 for ﬁscal year 2008 and
chips for a dollar less than what he has listed on the bag, he said, Leon is well ahead of that ﬁgure in this ﬁscal year having already
“I’ll match it.” kicked back to the Arsenal $19,454, with one month to go.
I then went to the soda aisle and asked Leon if I tell him that This money is used to supplement such MWR activities as our
I can buy that case of soda for less than he has it listed, he said, Body Forge ﬁtness center, swimming pool, playground area, and
“I’ll match it.” our Cannon Club, Dave said.
Pausing at the alcohol aisle ― it is a small PX and I was So, the next time you have an urge to shop, you may want to
bound to wander down that aisle again ― I asked Leon if I tell challenge Leon to a game of “I’ll Match It.” Not only will he
him that I can get a case of beer for $3 cheaper from a local store, give you a great price, but also part of the proﬁts will remain at
he said, “I’ll match it.” the Arsenal.
Page 6 Arsenal-Salvo Sept. 30, 2009
“Strength also comes from perseverance.”
Roxanne “Rocky” Mesick is tative (Harry Prutsman) to ﬁnd
one of just a few women in the her an opportunity where she
history of the Arsenal to have could use her skills as a mechan-
graduated from the Arsenal ic, a trade she learned while in
Apprentice Program. As chal- the Air Force.
lenging as this program has been The VA representative told
for men to graduate from ― a her about an Arsenal Appren-
program that requires more than tice Program that was about to
8,000 hours of hands-on expe- start a new class. It would be
rience and four years of night demanding but would yield an
school ― think for a moment Associate’s Degree in Manufac-
how difﬁcult the program might turing Technology, as well as
be for a woman to compete in. Machinist Certiﬁcation from the
After all, being a machinist Department. of Labor.
has been a male-dominated job She said she wasn’t intimi-
ﬁeld at the Arsenal for nearly dated when she came to the Ar-
200 years. senal for an interview. The fact
But the distinction of being a that she was a woman didn’t
woman machinist is not one that cross her mind.
Rocky wants to promote or even The bottom line is that Rocky
likes to talk about. So, what is it was hungry for the job and it
about Rocky that she should be showed because she was hired.
considered a Face of Strength? At the interview she was
Rocky represents a new breed reminded that if selected she
Photo by John B. Snyder
of Arsenal machinists who have a would have a seven-year pay-
sense of “hunger” or what the military calls perseverance. back, to which Rocky replied, “Can you make it 30
This is not the Arsenal of the 1940s, when nearly years?”
10,000 folks worked here. At just over 600 workers According to the Director of Operations, John Hock-
today, the Arsenal can afford to be very selective on who enbury, Rocky’s perseverance and personal success in the
they hire. And selective it is when it comes to hiring new Apprentice program, while being a single parent, is truly
machinists. commendable. “Not only did she do great as an appren-
Before Rocky joined the Arsenal, she had served our tice, but there isn’t a machine that she can’t run today,”
country in the U.S. Air Force for six years. Upon her Hockenbury said.
return from overseas, she came back to the local area to Rocky is this month’s Face of Strength because she rep-
be near family and landed a job at Albany International resents today’s Arsenal machinists who persevere every
Airport as a Line Service Technician. day through tough personal challenges, and at no time do
After eight years at a level of pay of just over the they sacriﬁce their sense of duty to the Arsenal mission.
minimum wage, she was laid off in 2003. Rocky was at a Rocky is currently an Industrial Management Spe-
difﬁcult crossroad. cialist with the Programs & Financial Control Working
Hoping to provide a better life for her and her son, Group, and her son is an honor student entering his junior
Rocky challenged a local Veterans’ employment represen- year at Shenendehowa High School.
Page 7 Arsenal-Salvo Sept. 30, 2009
Note: At the present time, the Arsenal Health Clinic does
not anticipate receiving vaccines for the H1N1 virus!
H1N1 INFLUENZA (FLU) INFORMATION
H1N1 is a respiratory disease. Prepare for flu outbreaks as you would for all hazards:
Get a Kit
� Get an emergency supply kit for your family,
to last a minimum of two weeks.
Make a Plan
� Make a family emergency plan, including
provision to care for extended family, and
include a communication plan to keep in
� Plan alternative transportation routes to
school and work, and consider whether it is
possible to work from home.
� Include key information from your local
emergency plans including warning signals,
evacuation routes, shelter locations, and
points of distribution.
� Learn about the hazard. Following this page is information on the current H1N1 virus from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
� Learn and practice prevention techniques, including good hygiene and social distancing:
� Wash your hands.
� Limit direct contact by not shaking hands. Do not share objects with someone who is sick
(utensils, remote controls, pens, etc.).
� Disinfect frequently touched surfaces including door knobs, light switches and toilet handles.
� Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
� Teach your children flu prevention hygiene.
� If someone in your house is sick you should also stay at home until they no longer feel sick.
� In general, get vaccinated to boost immunity to flu viruses.
In an Emergency Response
� Be calm—stay informed and follow emergency plans.
� Practice infection control:
� Continue to wash your hands and limit direct contact.
� Telecommute or hold telephone or video conferences.
� Maintain personal space of at least three feet.
� Limit exposure to sick people.
� Quarantine and isolation measures may be used to limit the movement of people who may have
been exposed to the disease and separate those infected with the disease.
� If directed, report to your command using the Army Disaster Personnel Accountability and
Assessment System (ADPAAS).
Visit www.ready.army.mil for resources to help you prepare, including information about
emergency kits and how to make a family plan.
Page 8 Arsenal-Salvo Sept. 30, 2009
Sgt. 1st Class Jared C. Monti: Medal of Honor
Photo credit Elizabeth Collins
Outgoing Army Secretary Pete Geren presents Paul and Janet Monti on Sept. 18, 2009, with
a plaque honoring their son Sgt. 1st Class Jared Monti, during Monti’s induction into the
Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for sacriﬁcing
his life for another Soldier in Afghanistan. From left: Deputy Secretary of Defense William
Lynn III, Geren, Paul Monti, Janet Monti, Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli and
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston.
2009 Capital Region Veteran’s Stand-Down Day
When: Saturday, Oct. 3, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Colonie BPO Elks #2192, 11 Elks Lane, Latham
Why: This will be a great event to help out the region’s
homeless Veterans. If you would like to support, please
contact Charlie Hannan in the NFFE 2109 Union Ofﬁce at
Photo by John B. Snyder
Page 9 Arsenal-Salvo Sept. 30, 2009
Albany County’s Veterans’ Day Parade
If you missed your opportunity to support our nation’s Veterans and the
Arsenal during last Memorial Day, you will have another chance to join us this
November. As you read this, the Arsenal parade committee is working hard to
prepare the Arsenal for the Albany County’s Veterans’ Day Parade down Cen-
tral Avenue. In addition to two Arsenal ﬂoats, we hope to have continued sup-
port from the Hudson-Mohawk Vintage Vehicle Association.
We need folks to help us build the ﬂoats on 6 November and then march with
us on Veterans’ Day, 11 November. What a great way to pay proper recogni-
tion to our Veterans’ as well as to showcase the Arsenal to the community.
Contact Mike Bush at 266-5616
John Snyder at 266-5055
Photos by John B. Snyder
Page 10 Arsenal-Salvo Sept. 30, 2009
Arsenal’s Photos By Kyle Buono
Arsenal History Trivia
In the Sept. 1963 issue of The Salvo, Arsenal
Commander Col. Keith T. O’Keefe had a frontpage
column in which he said:
“Competition is good − but cooperation is not only
better − it’s essential!
Like an individual, no unit or organization can op-
erate effectively if it acts exclusively on its own. We
depend on others, and they depend on us.
The attitudes of ‘you design it and we’ll make it to
the drawing’ have no place at the Watervliet Arsenal.
We are a team − and, like any team, the concerns of
one are the concerns of all.
From initial concept to ﬁnal use acceptance each
weapon designed and developed by Watervliet for the
Army combat team must be produced with all Arsenal
elements cooperating 100%.”
Hmm...something to think about 46 years later.