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SSC-Natick Press Release

U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Chief, Public Affairs Office
(508) 233-5340

Date: July 5, 2005
No: 05-32

Installation welcomes new garrison commander

NATICK, Mass. -- The Soldier Systems Center welcomed a new garrison commander during a change of responsibility ceremony at Hunter Auditorium June 28.

Barry Williams, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel after nearly 23 years of service, replaced John Manning, who served as acting garrison manager and is now deputy garrison manager.

"It has been a challenging and rewarding job," Manning said. "I look forward to working with you in the future as we face exciting and challenging times ahead."

Diane Devens, director of the Northeast Region of the Installation Management Agency, presented an award to Manning for his service and had high praise for his contributions.

"This is a guy who loves this installation, and it shows in everything he has done. He has very much been a stalwart" for the Installation Management Agency despite funding difficulties because of the war, Devens said.

The garrison manager at Natick supervises a team of 185 civilian employees who provide services and programs to 2,000 military, civilian and contract employees here. The garrison management team also maintains 124 buildings on 174 acres in the Town of Natick and other local communities.

Like a self-contained city, the Soldier Systems Center has facilities for administration, maintenance, storage, and research and development. Besides four housing areas, the installation has a cafeteria, barber shop, credit union, recreation center and travel office.

"Your work here is critical to the Soldiers who serve in harm's way," Devens said. "The Northeast Region is committed to support you as much as possible."

She added that Williams is well aware of the responsibilities of the position. During his career, he served in several installation management, base operations, human resources and administrative management positions both stateside and overseas.

His first assignment in federal civil service, Williams said that he missed the business of garrison management after retiring and saw the Installation Management Agency as a good opportunity to return to it.

Williams said it is nice to go into something that works well. Because of Manning's leadership, he's not entering a place that's "broke," and he said he looks forward to working with the people at Natick and facing the challenges ahead.

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This page last updated on 23 January 2004.