Army Installations-The Army's Flagships

Article excerpt

The Army's continuing role in the global war on terrorism underscores the Chief of Staff of the Army's focus area, "Installations as our flagships." We are redefining the way we look at Army installations as they undertake a more robust role. They are tied to the fight. Installations are where soldiers train, mobilize and deploy from and where expeditionary forces are sustained as they reach back to installations for support. Underlying our support of the global war on terrorism is the Army's continuing support of its soldiers. We work to give our soldiers and their families who live on and off installations the same quality of life as the society they are pledged to defend.

We are a nation and an Army at war. As global commitments have increased, the demands placed on soldiers have also increased. The Army has not experienced a mobilization of this magnitude since World War II, and its facilities have been challenged by the pace of mobilization. To meet current challenges, the senior leadership of the Army has identified three major priorities.

The first priority is the modular reorganization of combat brigades. With modularity, the Army will enhance responsiveness to meet current and future threats and increase both joint and expeditionary capabilities. second and parallel to modularity is the internal rebalancing of the active and reserve components. This rebalancing will enhance the Army's flexibility to meet worldwide commitments. The third priority is force stabilization, which will reduce turbulence and should provide more predictable stability for soldiers and their families.

The Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management (OACSlM) is fully engaged in supporting these Army priorities. This year, modular facilities were provided to support the stand-up of the first new modularized brigade, or unit of action, at Fort Stewart, Ga., for the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized). Working with the Department of the Army Staff and Office of the secretary of Defense, OACSIM obtained Acting secretary of the Army emergency construction authority and congressional approval to fund site preparation, permanent utility infrastructure, organizational vehicle parking areas and relocatable facilities pads. Once a permanent stationing decision is made, permanent facilities will be constructed. The Department of the Army is planning the stand-up of units of action at Fort Drum, N.Y, for the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and at Fort Campbell, Ky., for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in fiscal year (FY) 2004.

During the peak periods of the mobilization effort, our installations faced challenges in billeting. A great deal of work was accomplished to ensure that soldiers were provided adequate and appropriate housing. To do this, funding was provided to fix and repair existing billeting facilities and temporary structures to increase on-post billeting capacity, and more off-post housing was leased. During Operation Iraqi Freedom-2, the first rotation of soldiers in Iraq, our biggest challenge was to provide proper housing for soldiers on medical hold. Garrison commanders and the Installation Management Agency (IMA) worked together to provide housing for these soldiers. The IMA also provided command and control for medical hold soldiers to ensure the proper environment for their medical treatmerit was provided.

The Installation Management Agency plays a vital role in supporting the soldier through execution of OACSIM plans supporting Army priorities. The IMA headquarters and regions are fully engaged to support garrison commanders, installation commanders and senior mission commanders to accomplish their missions. Serving as power projection and power support platforms, installations are key enablers in the mobilization and deployment of forces.

Several accomplishments this year provided better management of our installations. To achieve Army-wide standardization and increase efficiency, Army baseline standards (ABS) and Army installation design standards (IDSs) were approved and published. …