FEBRUARY 7, 2017, GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – The garrison commander here recently unveiled his long-range plan, which will serve as a framework to improve garrison services, ensure community security and enable U.S. Army readiness.
Col. Lance Varney released the plan after he and his team of directors and staff made a 90-day assessment mindful of higher headquarters guidance, emerging policy directives, internal garrison priorities and directorate operations.
“I directed the creation of this long-range plan to improve the manner in which the garrison operates on behalf of those we serve,” said Varney. “This plan serves as the framework to accomplish the transformation needed to meet our external obligations, achieve our internal goals and ultimately achieve my ‘One Garrison, Four Communities’ concept.”
The ‘One Garrison, Four Communities’ concept refers to the four communities that make up U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria: Tower Barracks in Grafenwoehr, Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Hohenfels and Garmisch.
WHAT CHALLENGES LIE AHEAD
In 2016, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, the commanding general of Installation Management Command — the agency that oversees all U.S. Army garrisons — explained in his June 2016 Service Culture Initiative that IMCOM would need to “buy back” critical areas associated with maintaining Army readiness.
“Therefore, IMCOM can no longer provide the same level of service that our customers have come to expect,” Dahl said.
“We must prioritize and deliver the right services, where the need is the greatest, to maximize the value of every dollar we spend,” Dahl said, adding that “We are not asking you to do more with less, or even the same with less; we will do less with less so we can concentrate on the most critical services we deliver.”
What Varney and his team of directors are trying to do is provide guidance in the face of these pending resource challenges and reductions in personnel and funding. Concurrently, the USAG Bavaria community must prepare for fluctuating services and infrastructure demand as result of a continual presence of rotational forces here.
“I aim to foster an environment in which we all together – as a combined and blended workforce — do our job and contribute and serve our communities,” Varney said. “For me that is always and will always be job number one, that’s what I get paid to do.”
Also shaping the plan was a series of trends that surfaced in a recent employee command climate survey, including reductions of resources, work overload, and communication issues. Those trends among garrison employees, Varney acknowledged, lead to low morale, high levels of stress and exhaustion.
“But these trends help us to formulate a plan for 2017 to be more predictable, and figure out how we can improve –or in some cases establish – processes required to support our communities,” Varney said.
DEFINING END STATE AND CHARTING THE COURSE TO GET THERE
Varney’s ultimate goal in developing the plan is best summed up in its declared end state:
“USAG Bavaria is a valued member of the IMCOM community and demonstrates valuable support to the overall USAREUR and 7th ATC missions. Service members, Civilians, and their Families within our footprint are confident that we will consistently meet their needs and remain dedicated to serving them. Members of USAG Bavaria are proud of their role, know that they are valued, and experience a positive and rewarding working environment.”
But to get there is easier said than done. That’s why the long range plan is grounded in four core principles known as lines of effort.
Each line of effort, or LOE, recognizes and addresses long- and short-term strategic challenges; focuses on the development of operations of mission partners, stakeholders and customers; and addresses the differing needs of each of the four communities.
Practically speaking, these lines of effort – coupled with the garrison’s mission – will guide command decision-making as the garrison makes steps to “do less with less.”
LOE 1: Adaptive, Professional and Integrated Workforce: Improve Civilian Personnel performance through talent management, developmental opportunities, & recognition programs
• Decrease hire lag to 120 days
• Improve performance management strategies
• Implement a standardized awards program
• Sustain a highly trained, and versatile workforce
• Provide Service Culture Initiative training
LOE 2: Community Readiness: Adaptive programs and services that promote a confident, strong and ready Army, able to effectively navigate the challenges of military service by minimizing risks, fostering life skills, and strengthening resiliency
• Build trust and confidence through transparency
• Foster Soldier, Family and Civilian resiliency
• Enhance emergency preparedness and security
LOE 3: Sustainable Living and Training: Environment & Infrastructure: Unity of effort and operations between all four USAG Bavaria communities; systematic service delivery at all four communities. Consistent and repeatable program prioritization
• Develop a multi-year major maintenance repair and recapitalization program
• Update/validate the Army systems of record for real property
• Reduce ecological footprint – energy and water
• Maintain and improve training land sustainability
LOE 4: Transformation: Four Communities, One USAG Bavaria: Unity of effort and operations between all four USAG Bavaria communities; systematic service delivery at all four communities
• Build and systematize organizational design
• Develop and implement hub and spoke operations and service delivery concept at USAG Bavaria
• Support to Rotational Forces and European Infrastructure Consolidation
By Nathan Van Schaik & Andreas Kreuzer, USAG Bavaria