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October 18, 2012

Got to love that small-town feel

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Ken Drylie
Public Affairs Office NTC and Fort Irwin

Devin Willis, 13, student at Fort Irwin Middle School, receives a handshake from Fort Irwin United States Army Garrison Commander, Col. Kurt Pinkerton, after the signing of the Anti-Bullying Proclamation. The signing took place during the Town Hall meeting at Sandy Basin Community Center, Oct. 10.

The leadership of the National Training Center and Fort Irwin conducted the quarterly Town Hall Meeting at Sandy Basin Community Center, Oct. 10.

Fort Irwin United States Army Garrison Commander, Col. Kurt Pinkerton, addressed issues of concern to the community before taking questions from the audience.

Among the topics discussed:
Fort Irwin Anti Bulling Campaign and Domestic Violence Prevention

The purpose of the Anti-Bulling and Domestic Violence Prevention campaigns are to create an environment of positive living, Pinkerton said.

As part of the program to reduce bullying, Garrison has created an organization, led by the middle school and older children, to come up with ideas on how to educate the public about bullying. The group plans to put on plays, dances and interactive activities to demonstrate the key values required to reduce bullying.

Pinkerton and officials from Silver Valley School signed a proclamation declaring October as anti-bullying month.
Along with bullying, domestic violence is an issue at Fort Irwin.

“Since I’ve been here it has been one of our biggest issues on the installation,” said Pinkerton. “The question is: How do we reground ourselves in the (Army) values that we represent?”

Pinkerton stressed that changing these behaviors is not just about a month of awareness; it’s about discussing, engaging and improving. He pointed out that while actions taken at Fort Irwin can’t solve the overall Army problem, the Fort Irwin community should be able to improve and solve the problems on the installation.

“Were going to work together and we are going to solve this problem,” said Pinkerton.

These problems can only solved through dialog, he added.

Unexploded Ordinance (UXO)

About a month ago, three grenade simulation devises were found over the course of several days at Fort Irwin Middle School. Pinkerton stated that the situation has been resolved. The conditional expulsion of the three children involved has been upheld by the school board. There have been administrative actions taken against some individuals and units are taking additional actions as required.

The greatest hazard from the incident was to the children themselves, said Pinkerton. They were completely unaware and uninformed on what the simulators do, how they work, and what to do with them. In an attempt to educate the public about UXO’s, a UXO awareness page has been added to the Fort Irwin web site. The information is directed at all age groups. A UXO awareness brief has been incorporated into Newcomers Orientation Welcome (N.O.W.) and emergency response procedures have been updated.

Wild Burros
After several years of drought conditions, wildlife is wandering onto the garrison in search of water. The latest desert creatures to stray onto post are wild burros. The burros are a protected species and their population is monitored by the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM captures burros when necessary and puts them up for public adoption. Currently the number of animals waiting adoption has all available BLM facilities full.

Pinkerton stated that personnel should stay away from all wild animals as they can be aggressive.

Town Hall meetings are held once every quarter. Questions can also be directed to the Garrison commander on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/National-Training-CenterFort-Irwin. Questions posted are addressed on his Facebook Round Up show on KNTC 88.FM, Wednesdays at 2:30 p.m.




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