The Warrior Next Door

As commander of the 3,200-square-mile White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico— the Defense Department’s largest installation—Army Brig. Gen. John Ferrari has two simple watchwords that help guide him: collaboration and cooperation. 

The range is larger than Delaware and sprawls across five New Mexico counties, which means Ferrari has to work at being a good neighbor. That can be a challenge when the mission includes testing systems that churn up dust, make loud noises and require roadblocks. 

White Sands needs the cooperation of its neighbors—including ranchers and mayors in the nearby cities of Alamogordo, Las Cruces and Socorro—to accomplish its missions, Ferrari says, adding that he has to keep them informed. 

“We need to be transparent. They need to know what we are doing and when we are going to do it,” he says. Ferrari personally hosts tours for these VIPs during major events, such as the Army Network Integration Evaluation exercise this spring, which required frequent road closures to accommodate troop maneuvers.

White Sands hosts a number of Army, Navy, Air Force, NASA and National Reconnaissance Office units, and Ferrari’s job is to ensure they have the supplies they need. The range operates on a reimbursable basis, so satisfied tenants are critical to boosting business and the bottom line, he says.

The 1,093 military personnel, 2,459 federal civilian employees and 4,058 contractors who work at White Sands are key to its operations, Ferrari says. His job, he adds, is “to unleash their creativity . . . and come up with collaborative solutions.”

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.