Departing Letterkenny Commander gets Salute from Senator Toomey

By ROXANN MILLER roxann.miller@herald-mail.com

6:56 p.m. EDT, August 8, 2012

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. —

With Col. Cheri A. Provancha’s days as commander of Letterkenny Army Depot drawing to a close, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey stopped by the Chambersburg base on Wednesday to formally recognize the commander.

“I feel strongly about the work that you’ve done here, and I know the people of Pennsylvania are very grateful for your leadership here,” said Toomey, R-Pa.

Toomey presented a citation to Provancha on Wednesday since he will not be able to attend the official change of command ceremony on Friday at 10 a.m., when Provancha relinquishes the title of base commander to Col. Victor S. Hagan.

State Sen. Richard Alloway and state Rep. Rob Kauffman were present for the citation presentation held in the depot’s Headquarters Building No. 10.

Under Provancha’s leadership, Toomey said the depot’s list of accomplishments has been outstanding.

He said the depot has hosted three Letterkenny Business Opportunity Showcases, received the Secretary of the Army Environmental Award for Sustainability, received the Patriot Bronze Shingo Award and opened the new reserve center. The depot continues to be competitive among army depots, and has integrated well with the business community.

“This is an extraordinary level of performance, and it’s something that Letterkenny should be proud of, Pennsylvania should be proud of and we’re all proud of,” Toomey said. “The bottom line is you’ve done an outstanding job that is widely recognized.”

As he handed the certificate of recognition to Provancha, the depot employees assembled for the ceremony erupted in resounding applause.

Provancha thanked the senator for his kind words, but said the credit for the depot’s performance is a team effort.

“One person does not make that happen. This cast of folks you see do all the heavy lifting behind the scenes … they go and make the miracles happen,” she said.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Diane Brunner, who works for the director of information management at Letterkenny, gave Provancha a hug.

“I’m going to miss her. She was a great lady to work for,” Brunner said. “I was very proud to see her take command, and I’m very sorry to see her go. She did wonderful things for us.”

Allen Harp, office assistant at Letterkenny, was one of many employees who lined up to give Provancha a hug.

“I’m sad to see her go,” Harp said. “She brought a certain esprit de corps. She had a way of bringing the people together at a time when they had to work as one unit.”

Under Provancha’s command, Harp said she was focused on the people and the mission.

“She didn’t have room in her life for politics. It was just about the mission, and we all support the mission, which in our case is the war fighter,” he said.

When command of Letterkenny Army Depot officially transfers from Provancha to Hagan on Friday, Toomey said the transition will be seamless.

When Toomey was asked about the depot possibly losing jobs due to the defense bill recently passed by the house, he said the government is taking a “tail wags the dog” approach to putting together a defense budget.

“We’re saying let’s spend all the government money on all kinds of programs, and then whatever is left over will be our defense budget. That’s exactly backwards,” Toomey said.

“The way we ought to approach this is, ‘What do we need to fully fund the security of the United States?’ and then fund that as efficiently and as sensibly as possible, and then you go on to the other government programs. We’re doing this backwards.”

Copyright © 2012, Herald Mail

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