Baumholder's future: 'greener,' more user-friendly environment
August 29, 2008
BAUMHOLDER, Germany - When discussing the look of U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder 25 years down the road, community members picture the installation as a modern, self-sufficient community designed with functionality in mind - a legacy of the current U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder.
With that mindset, garrison and community partners - German and American - have started mapping out initial plans and improvements in workforce sustainment, community partnerships, energy generation and sustainability, and facilities and infrastructure for the next three to 25 years. That was the vision developed during an Integrated Strategic Sustainability Planning Conference here Aug. 4-8.
Although the ISSP Conference focused primarily on long-range projects, team members also reviewed "quick win" factors for their respective goals and objectives. Quick win solutions are tangible changes or actions that can be implemented within a few months, weeks - or even days, said Sean Lambur, chief of Plans, Analysis and Integration Office.
In the conceptual community of tomorrow, single Soldiers will live next to work sites, housing areas remain consolidated, shopping takes on a stateside mall atmosphere, and recreational facilities are fully renovated or newly constructed from the ground up.
Imagine going to the Post Exchange and, as your hybrid electric vehicle silently slips into a parking spot, you see facilities such as the commissary, theater, food court, library and bowling center all co-located and within walking distance. Nearby is the community service zone packed with facilities for youths, families and child care. Adjacent is the sports and recreation area.
ISSP was on the books for USAG Baumholder well before the installation was recently selected as an enduring community. Being marked as enduring only strengthened the winds of change for Baumholder, placing it on a faster, clearer track for the future.
Part of the four-day conference included a trip to a heat and electrical production plant in NeubrAfA1/4cke by members of the Zero Footprint Baumholder team, which came away with thoughts on how to convert Baumholder's current gas-burning plant to a wood-and-bio-fuel-burning plant.
The Zero Footprint team's charter is to increase Baumholder's eco-friendly and energy self-sufficient footprint.
Throughout the conference, team members received assistance from Army Environmental Command facilitators and subject matter experts as they worked and developed action plans for each objective.
"We never gave up about Baumholder being enduring, so we combined long-range planning ... with sustainability. (Accordingly), we were able to look way out into the future," said Fred Wegley, USAG Baumholder deputy commander.
The result keeps the garrison planning system on one track as opposed to two separate tracks, as both are actually intermeshed.
During the ISSP Conference, facility and infrastructure topics were addressed, along with program improvement and how the garrison conducts business.
When it comes to infrastructure, the garrison is also assessing wireless Internet and Baumholder Information Channel proposals, which will be incorporated into infrastructure planning.
Overall, the ISSP Conference focused on the garrison's infrastructure master plan and installation design guide.