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Army Recognizes Fort A.P. Hill as a Top Installation

Soldiers from the Sandston-based Detachment 2, Company G, 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment conduct hoist familiarization training Jan. 24, 2014, at Fort A.P. Hill. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)
Soldiers from the Sandston-based Detachment 2, Company G, 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment conduct hoist familiarization training Jan. 24, 2014, at Fort A.P. Hill. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Terra C. Gatti, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

The Army has recognized Fort A.P. Hill as one of its top installations for the eighth time since 2003.

Col. David Meyer, commander, will accept the Army Communities of Excellence Award next week during a ceremony at the Pentagon.

A.P. Hill has been awarded a bronze medal, behind Fort Campbell in Tennessee and and Fort Rucker in Alabama, Meyer said.

The award recognizes Army posts for how well they carry out their missions. At Fort A.P. Hill, a sprawling, 76,000-acre post that encompasses a third of Caroline County, that mission is training.

Some 58,000 people took part in a range of training at the installation last year, Meyer said. They represented all branches and components of the U.S. military, as well as federal agencies, performing exercises on a 28,000-acre live-fire range at the southern end and a maneuver area to the north. Training also takes to the sky.

A.P. Hill's 325 employees--Army civilians and contractors with the exception of two active-duty service members--accommodated the tens of thousands of visitors.

The awards program, according to an Army news release, "is based on the principle that communities support people best by combining excellent services with excellent facilities in a quality environment."

A team of five evaluators spent a week at A.P. Hill in September, said Dianne Smith, acting chief for plans, analysis and integration at the installation. That was after the post submitted a packet of information answering a series of complex questions about everything from leadership, strategy, workforce and operation-- and the results of all that.

"This is the way we run our installation," Smith said. "We constantly evaluate what we're doing and how we can improve. The competition is secondary."

But it's nice to be recognized among the 75 active-duty Army installations. Especially since it comes with a cash prize of $30,000 that will go toward the installation this year.

A.P. Hill has been recognized through the award eight times since 2003. It took gold in 2008.

"It really is a testament to the workforce--their hard work and perseverance," Meyer said of the post's workers.

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