Funding enables wave of facilities maintenance, repair projects across Army garrisons in Europe
June 19, 2009
HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Improved barracks, libraries, street lights and roads are just part of how Installation Management Command-Europe officials are applying the significant sum of Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization funds flowing to Europe this year.
According to IMCOM-Europe officials, this is the first year that Europe garrisons have ever received 100 percent of their authorized SRM funding. The fiscal year 2009 funding enables the reduction of outstanding work and service orders, more thorough execution of routine preventive maintenance, the initiation of a number of unit-move transformation projects and initiation of projects that improve barracks and repair facilities of deployed Soldiers, along with enhancing energy efficiency, the transportation infrastructure and community facilities.
This year's funding, coupled with favorable fiscal year '08 funding, has the cumulative impact of producing lasting improvements in facilities that up until now have historically suffered from funding challenges.
The dizzying list of projects aside, what this really means to Soldiers and families is that they will have more reason than ever to call their Europe garrison not only their home, but also their hometown.
"In Soldier terms this means that we in the installation management business will be eliminating some of the backlog of nagging maintenance deficiencies in our barracks and around our communities while simultaneously making some wise capital investments to our infrastructure thus improving sustainability and quality of life," said Diane Devens, director of IMCOM-Europe. "Our ability to execute about 300 more projects than originally anticipated at the beginning of the year is simply great news for the soldiers and families stationed in Europe."
Funding strategy and project priority development was a collaborative effort between garrisons and senior mission commanders. While not all requirements could be addressed, the collaborative approach best ensured that the most pressing maintenance needs were appropriately addressed.
Gary Berkner, chief of business operations and integration for IMCOM-Europe Public Works Division, said the funding level this year is particularly welcome.
"Because we also received specially-appropriated funds in 2008," Berkner said, "these last two years have been very good for our garrisons, probably the best ever for facilities maintenance and repair work, and that's a tremendous success story for Europe."
Indeed, every military community stands to gain in receiving the bulk of their priority SRM project funding. Examples of where the money is being spent:
* Transportation infrastructure: $4.6 million;
* Barracks improvement: $10.3 million;
* Energy projects: $13.9 million;
* Transformation programs: $38 million;
* Community facilities upgrades: $9.3 million;
* General installation improvements: $108.2 million
"FY08 and FY09 SRM funding has been significantly above historical norms" noted Al Rasper, chief of IMCOM-Europe Public Works Division. "Over the next year to year-and-a-half we will see a number of improvements at garrisons that will enhance the quality of life for our people, increase mission capability, deliver cost savings and provide energy improvements."