<p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px;"><font color="#000000" face="Calibri" size="3">PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Hispanic Heritage Month was celebrated and recognized duringan Oct. 3 event featuring a panel discussion and Latin dance demonstrations inthe Lindner Conference Center. Picatinny employees were able to listen andlearn from their peers about the heritage month’s theme, “Shaping the BrightFuture of America.”</font>

<p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px;"><font color="#000000" face="Calibri" size="3">Brig. Gen. Alfred F. Abramson III, Senior Commander,Picatinny Arsenal, and David Castellano, Acting Director, U.S. Army ArmamentResearch, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), hosted the event organizedby the Hispanic Heritage Month committee.</font>

<p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px;"><font color="#000000" face="Calibri" size="3">Col. Hector Gonzalez kicked off the discussion panel, whichwas moderated by Cynthia Perazzo, Chief Strategic Technology Investment Office,and a member of the committee. Gonzales is Project Manager for ManeuverAmmunition Systems, Direct Fire, Program Executive Office for Ammunition,</font>

<p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px;"><font color="#000000" face="Calibri" size="3">Gonzalez’ military counterpart on the panel was Capt.Fernando Echavarria-Hidalgo, Military Personnel Exchange Program Officer forthe government of Canada. Echavarria-Hidalgo is currently assigned to ARDEC.</font>

<p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px;"><font color="#000000" face="Calibri" size="3">Louisa Melendez, a contracting officer with Army ContractingCommand -- New Jersey, and Mireille Pincay-Rodrigues, Project Officer withProject Management Close Combat Systems, were also panel members.</font>

<p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px;"><font color="#000000" face="Calibri" size="3">The panel answered questions about enriching the culture ofPicatinny, ensuring success of the country’s growing female population, andeducational encouragement for today’s Hispanic and Latino youth.</font>

<p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px;"><font color="#000000" face="Calibri" size="3">Catherine Vargas, with the MDN Latin Dance Studio inBelleville, provided renditions of two Mambo style dances. </font>

<p style="margin: 0px 0px 11px;"><font color="#000000" face="Calibri" size="3">A Hispanic Heritage Month luncheon will be held Oct. 11 atNoches de Colombia in Randolph.</font>