During a June 1 yard visit, commissioner Philip Coyle asked Nancy Peschel, manager for long range corporate planning at the shipyard, whether she felt the DOD estimate was accurate. Peschel, who was delivering a presentation to commissioners, said shipyard employees are mostly New Englanders and are unlikely to move, the commission documents state.
Coyle then asked if a survey had been conducted to learn the number of employees willing to move. Peschel said a organization-wide survey hadn't been done, but that a key unit that handles planning for work at all four public shipyards in the U.S. had surveyed its 213 civilian employees. It revealed only about six percent would be interested in relocating, the documents state.
During an interview with Foster's, union leaders at the shipyard said the number of workers who would be likely to move would be less than that figure.
Paul O'Connor, president of the Metal Trades Council, the shipyard's largest union, said past layoff records indicate less than 5 percent of Portsmouth's nearly 5,000 employees would be likely to relocate to another shipyard.
John Joyal, second vice president for the American Federation of Government Employees at the yard, agreed. He said he believed the Navy would transfer a significant portion of the yard's submarine work to less-efficient private shipyards once the 40-percent estimate fell through.
As part of its recommendation to close Portsmouth, DOD says it would intend to relocate the yard's repair work to the three remaining public shipyards in Norfolk, Va., Puget Sound, Wash., and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Norfolk would take over Portsmouth's submarine maintenance, engineering, planning and procurement responsibilities.
During the July 1 visit, Earl Donnell, of the Shipyard Superintendent's Association, told Coyl he didn't think the shipyard receive credit for being more efficient than the other yards, a point that was noted by the commissioners, according to the documents.
"Overall, the briefs and tour were well received by the commissioners," the documents state.
Border Patrol gets new face
Ceremony, new badges mark unified Homeland Security
August 12, 2005
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Amid great ceremony, U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials installed a new "watchman" for the U.S. Border Patrol and adorned agents with new badges representing a unified command.
Signifying the final step in a two-year effort to unify multiple immigration, enforcement and customs departments, the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection pinned the new badges on agents.
Robert Bonner plans to repeat the ceremony across the country and hopes to have the 11,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents adorned with new badges in the next few months.
"No other agency has a more important mission," he said. "That is symbolized in the new badges."
Whether by land, sea or air, people coming into the United States from other countries will begin to see those badges on the more than 30,000 agents and officers on patrol at the ports of entry, the deserts in between or the skies above.
Bonner said the mission of the new agency is both exciting and challenging, and he commended agents who catch "everything and everyone coming over, above or below our borders."
LeAlan Pinkerton, an assistant chief patrol agent in the Spokane sector, called the presentation of the badges historic.
Joined by officials from the FBI and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the ceremony included an honor guard, bagpipe music and the singing of the National Anthem.
Robert L. Harris, a former deputy at the U.S. Border Patrol headquarters in Washington, D.C., took the flag and the helm of the Spokane sector.
Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar noted that Harris' father, two uncles, brother and wife are agents with the department and thanked them for their support.
"Many times there has been an empty seat at the table," Aguilar said of time away from family when duty calls. "Thank you to the families."
In his new role, Harris is responsible for directing the operations of the Spokane Sector, which covers a 309-mile section of the U.S.-Canadian border from the Pacific Crest Trail in central Washington to Glacier National Park in Montana. Beyond border security, one of Harris' top priorities is to strengthen the Border Patrol's relationship with residents and law enforcement organizations in the border areas.
Harris has held a variety of positions in the Border Patrol, including deputy chief of the Border Patrol, associate chief of Border Patrol Operations, chief of intelligence operations, assistant chief, supervisory Border Patrol agent and senior patrol agent. He also is a member of the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) and has coordinated foreign and domestic enforcement operations, including service in Bolivia, Guatemala and Estonia.