COL James Drago

This is my last USAG Benelux commander's column. My wife, Laure, and I are PCSing to the United States, where I will continue to serve the U.S. Army as an Inspector General for the state of Washington. Fortunately, due to a lot of hard work by many people, I feel that the strategic, long-term path that this organization is on will ensure that we excel at taking care of the U.S. service members assigned to NATO in the Benelux footprint for years to come.

In March, I participated in a conference with Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, commanding general for Installation Management Command (IMCOM). He briefed a new campaign plan to more than 160 garrison leaders and their staffs. It is a plan that will unite IMCOM installations on a new level in both mission and performance. It's a plan that will guide us as leaders as we strive to ready and support our Soldiers, families and civilians.

Our next step is to operationalize the plan and its metrics to meet our strategic goals. As you can imagine, a garrison in Belgium is different from a garrison in Texas or a garrison in Korea. Ms. Diane Devens, the IMCOM-Europe director, held a garrison commanders' working group in April, and we came up with and agreed upon a way forward for a regional solution. We're briefing that plan to Lt. Gen. Lynch in May, and by September, our plan will be fully tactical.

As you flip through the pages of this issue of the Spring 2010 Benelux Edge, you'll see how USAG Brussels, USAG Schinnen and ChiAfA..vres Garrison are leaning forward and already accomplishing impressive feats in regards to Well Being, Readiness, Workforce Development, Energy Efficiency and Safety. We will continue that drive on these lines of effort and will always ask ourselves: Are we doing the right things' Are we doing things right' What are we missing'

By answering those questions and by measuring the performance of our efforts, the transition between garrison commanders will be smooth. I'll use this campaign plan to sit down and show my replacement where I think we are and what's important at our level and above.

In the Army, we don't say goodbye. We simply say until the next post. I hope our paths cross in the future. The people I've met and worked with, the mission that we were focused on and the experiences Laure and I have gained are things that have made three years just a tremendous experience, and we'll never forget it. We're very proud to have served here, and we'll always remember it fondly. Thanks to all of you for all you do. Sharpen the sword!


Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16