Call to Order and Roll Call
The5th meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection was held on Thursday, October 11, 2012, at 1:30 PM, in Richmond, Kentucky at the Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD). Representative Tanya Pullin, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Jack Westwood, Co-Chair; Representative Tanya Pullin, Co-Chair; Senators Dennis Parrett, and Kathy W. Stein; Representatives Royce W. Adams, Regina Petrey Bunch, Tom Burch, Dwight D. Butler, Leslie Combs, Tim Couch, Ron Crimm, Bill Farmer, Terry Mills, Tim Moore, Tom Riner, and Rita Smart.
Guests: Col. Brian Rogers, Commanding Officer, Samuel Hudson, Public Affairs Officer, Thomas Turning, Operations Officer, Keith Goetz, and Gary Mullins, BGAD; Bobby Smalley, BGAD Union; and Pat Hoskins, Madison County Transportation Cabinet.
LRC Staff: Erica Warren, Kristopher Shera, and Rhonda Schierer.
Chair Pullin read a resolution in memory and honor of Bryant Stiles. Representative Burch moved to adopt the resolution. Representative Farmer seconded the motion, and the motion was adopted. Chair Pullin read a resolution in memory and honor of Mia Kylee Simmerman. Representative Combs moved to adopt the resolution. Senator Parrett seconded the motion, and the motion was adopted.
Blue Grass Army Depot Briefing
Samuel Hudson testified about the Blue Grass Army Depot (BGAD) and gave a PowerPoint presentation, which is part of the official record in the Legislative Research Commission Library. He stated that the Joint Munitions Command's (JMC) mission is to provide America’s Joint Forces with ready, reliable, and lethal munitions at the right place and time, in a cost effective manner, to enable successful military operations. The JMC mission is ten percent contingency operations and 90 percent training. BGAD is part of the JMC mission. Mr. Hudson outlined the BGAD chain of command and the BGAD–JMC Ammunition Management. BGAD consists of 14,594 acres, 22 square miles, 1,228 structures, 902 Igloos (Ammo Bunkers), 174 miles of road, 41 miles of railroad track, and close proximity to 1-64/1-75. Thomas Turning, BGAD Operations Officer, said BGAD has 848 employees and the Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot-Plant has 760, and there are 316 tenants/contractors for a total of 1,924 employees on base. The economic impact that BGAD provides to Kentucky is around $169.8 million.
BGAD’s core competencies are to receive, store, maintain, issue and demilitarize conventional munitions. Mr. Hudson discussed the industrial capabilities of the BGAD to include: metal cutting, bending, press brake forming, imaging, welding, painting, machining, milling, and fabrication. He discussed the Chemical Defense Equipment (CDE) Program, and said BGAD is the Army’s sole source provider of CDE and has worldwide support to store, inspect, test, and ship all CDE to Operation New Dawn.
Mr. Hudson stated that BGAD provides land for training by active duty and Reserve components of the Army, Marine Corps, and Navy, as well as the National Guard, ROTC, and the JROTC. In FY 10, 4,500 personnel trained. In FY 11, more than 5,000 personnel trained at BGAD, which is more than 60 units. In FY 12, the Depot began formalization of mobilized ordnance specific training. BGAD has partnerships with the U.S. Army, Blue Grass Unite, Lean Six Sigma, University of Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky National Guard, Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers International Union, Armament Research Development & Engineering Center, U.S. Army Tank Automotive, Research, Development and Engineering Center, Rock Island Arsenal, and Voluntary Protection Programs.
In response to a question from Representative Moore, Mr. Turning stated that the BGAD has 850 employees who are not military. In response to a question from Representative Riner, Mr. Hudson stated that civilians can have chemical protective suits for protection from a possible chemical attack by Iran. Individuals should contact the manufacturing company because BGAD does not buy chemical protective suits for re-sale to the public.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.
The committee was invited to take a bus tour of the BGAD. Col. Brian Rogers guided the tour and answered questions.