Maj. Gen. James A. Kessler, commanding general of Marine Corps Installations Commander and assistant deputy commandant of installations and logistics, toured several facilities here Nov. 7 and 8.
The purpose of Kessler’s visit was to observe the various construction projects, view their progress and discuss future renovations and developments that will eventually take place here aboard Camp Pendleton.
One building project he visited was the new Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, which has been a joint venture design-build by Clark Construction Group, LLC, and McCarthy Building Companies.
“So far, we have worked 1.5 million hours on site with zero lost-time incidents and zero dark-time incidents,” said Carlos Gonzalez, the vice president of Clark Construction Group.
The tour continued to the 33 Area Bachelor Enlisted Quarters where Monique Ramirez, the bachelor housing and
billeting director here, exhibited several rooms and surrounding amenities.
“It’s good to see that we are providing the kinds of things that interests the Marines to the extent that they are spending time in the area on their weekends,” said Kessler. “You probably can’t find a better metric that speaks to the value of what’s being provided than that.”
Another area Kessler visited was to the 43 Area Fire Station where Tom Thompson, a fire chief with the station, answered Kessler’s questions about topics like mutual aid procedures, typical reaction times to an incident, equipment acquisition and the ratio of fire prevention versus fire response.
“We spend about eight percent of our time putting out wild fires,” said Thompson.
According to Kessler, eight percent is a remarkably small number due to the fact that the majority of the time is being spent preventing the fires from happening in the first place.
Near the end of the excursion, Kessler spoke with Mike Stefenyshyn from the Base Access Control Branch at the Las Pulgas Gate where Stefenyshyn gave a brief on the new hand-held scanners that are currently being used at entry points on the base and concepts of inter-service data sharing.
It’s important to establish whether the data that is being collected with the new Rapid Gate software, used to further increase security and provide faster entry for those who require routine access to bases and installations is sharable from not only station-to-station but also service-to-service, said Kessler.
“A regional solution may not be an enterprise solution and one of the things the commandant has told me to do is get all of our installations on the same page,” said Kessler. “One of the challenges with that, which is why I’m glad I was able to come out and take a look at this, is to see if what’s working for MCI-West can be what works for everyone.”