New Military Deputy Arrives at ECBC
CCDC Chemical Biological Center Public Affairs | October 20th, 2016
Col. Tom Saltysiak has assumed his new position as the military deputy to the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Saltysiak arrived to Edgewood in early October from deployment in Afghanistan and Kuwait.
Unpacked boxes are usually a sign that someone is settling into a new home. In this case, it’s a homecoming for the new military deputy to the director at ECBC, Col. Thomas Saltysiak. A Baltimore native, Saltysiak arrived at Edgewood on Oct. 3 from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan and Kuwait.
“We moved away from Baltimore when I was an infant,” said Saltysiak, an Army brat. “But I have a huge extended family here so we requested Maryland for my next assignment.”
Saltysiak relocated his wife, Jessamyn, and three children to Harford County in December 2015 in anticipation of his new assignment. The Saltysiaks were previously living in Alabama, where Col. Saltysiak was a product manager for Battlespace Management Integration (BMI) under the Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Project Office at Redstone Arsenal.
With empty packing boxes stacked in a corner of his office, Saltysiak spent his first week at ECBC touring facilities, sitting in on meetings and attending a meet-and-greet after the AUSA conference.
“There’s a lot to learn but I think I started off on the right foot,” he said of the AUSA conference. “I got to meet key leaders in the chem-bio community.”
During his deployment, Saltysiak served as director of the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), Forward, CENTCOM, where he supported tactical operations.
He describes his new role as “fairly different” than his previous positions. “In Kuwait and Afghanistan, I was there as a forward representative in the theater for the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Acquisitions, Logistics and Technology, who leads all technology efforts for the Army, including RDECOM and ECBC.” In looking for his next assignment, he requested a move to RDECOM, which would give him an opportunity to work on the science and technology side of acquisition.
A systems engineer, Saltysiak said he’s never worked in the chem-bio sphere before but feels his background provided transferable skills that he’s willing to share with his new colleagues. “Anyone (at ECBC) who would like to get a warfighter’s opinion on what they’re working on can call me,” Saltysiak said. “I’d love to get out of my office and spend a couple of hours with them.”
Saltysiak will report to ECBC Director Joseph Corriveau, Ph.D. He succeeds Col. Debra Daniels, who retired in August.
Prior to being a product manager, Saltysiak was as an assistant professor in the Department of Systems Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. “I’d always wanted to try teaching,” he said. “When the Army gave me an opportunity, I jumped on it.”
Saltysiak believes he can apply many aspects of his West Point experience to his work at ECBC, such as mentoring small groups that are seeking novel approaches to emerging science and engineering problems. “I learned a lot while teaching,” Saltysiak added. “I enjoyed it.”
Saltysiak attended high school and college in Georgia, where he enlisted in the National Guard as a fire support specialist in 1989 and was commissioned into the Military Intelligence Branch in 1994 upon graduating from North Georgia College with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Saltysiak has since earned a master’s degree in systems engineering, and a doctorate in systems engineering and operations research from George Mason University.
“I’m excited to be here,” Saltysiak said. “Systems engineering is a broad discipline. There are a host of ways I can apply it here.”
Saltysiak is looking forward to collaborating on systems engineering approaches such as model-based systems engineering and system architecture analysis, as well as helping the leadership with technical challenges of project management such as schedule risk simulation.