At the invitation of the Defense Department leadership, AFGE local presidents and several members of the executive boards of the AFGE depots as well as DEFCON Chair Don Hale attended the 2014 DOD Maintenance Symposium in Birmingham, AL, last week.
The symposium, attended primarily by uniformed military, senior civilians and industry, focused on the future of the DOD maintenance industrial base. AFGE used the opportunity to meet with the senior officials and general officers from the Army, Air Force and the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as DoD and senior participants from the House and Senate to highlight the importance of the organic depots – the depots that are government-owned, government-operated.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Maintenance Policy John Johns hosted the conference and also hosted AFGE at a working lunch to discuss strengthening organic depots and improving dialogue between DoD leadership and AFGE. Sheila McCready represented AFGE on one of the major panels during the symposium.
This was a great honor for AFGE as the only union on any panel or in attendance. She pointed out the damage to the civilian workforce and military readiness caused by the personnel caps and furloughs. She also defended several statutes including a long-standing depot law that ensures military readiness and national security through government-owned, government operated depots.
AFGE bargaining unit members were honored when The F-22 Raptor Depot Maintenance Team at Hill AFB’s Ogden Air Logistics Complex won the Secretary of Defense’s Robert T. Mason Award. Monty Lewis helped accept the award at the awards banquet. The symposium ended on a high note with a tour of Anniston Army Depot where industry and government decision makers saw AFGE depot employees at work providing a superior service to our nation.