This year, resolutions extend to much more than Col. Russell Burton’s personal life. As the commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station New River, he has more to consider.
"The station’s focus will remain on supporting the tenant unit requirements in enabling their ability to generate combat power," said Burton. "Anything and everything we do will be in support of that goal."
Burton’s key points to his plan are to provide the facilities, the quality of life and operations in support of the tenant unit’s mission.
"I think one of the big things you’ll see in 2017 is the Marine Corps’ infrastructure reset campaign. It’s going to be significant here on New River," said Burton. "There are four different lines of effort associated with that campaign. The one that is the most visible to most Marines is the demolition."
The Marine Corps is aiming to use all excess capacity in its facilities by bringing in sections from other buildings and reducing the amount of extra space. The extra space uses valuable resources that could be used elsewhere.
"On New River we have about 30 projects this year that are scheduled for demolition," said Burton. "Based on the fact we’re already four months into the fiscal year, you look at eight months remaining in the fiscal year, we’re probably doing four projects a month or one a week from now until the end of the fiscal year."
With all the demolition and the barracks filling up, how will personnel fit? Part of the infrastructure reset is to build new facilities.
"We’re looking at building a new barracks building to replace the two barracks that have been condemned for the structural issues. In ’17 what you’ll see in respect to that is (us) going forward with the project to get the new barracks funded and built," said Burton. "The other piece is you’ll likely see buildings AS4020 and AS4025 come down this year."
Resources are the biggest concern for this year until any new budgets are signed. With the new presidential leadership, anything can change making it hard to count on resources that may not be there.
"It’s challenging to plan when there’s this much uncertainty in the resources. Whether a budget is going to get signed or not… that drives a lot of what we do because you can’t start new projects without a budget," said Burton.
The final focus is to get back to the aspects of being an expeditionary Marine and conducting the training to be a better expeditionary force Burton says.
"We’re getting back to doing what it is that Marines do and that is being expeditionary and really focusing in on those core elements of what we do," said Burton. "From a station perspective, the resourcing challenges force us to be brilliant in the basics. That’s good because it forces us to weed out some of the ancillary things we’ve taken on and gets us back into our core mission, enabling these tenant commands to fly and train."