Security discussed at AFAP ceremony
February 22, 2011
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Increasing security within Army Hawaii's military housing communities was among the top items on wish lists presented at the closing ceremony of Fiscal Year 2011's Army Family Action Plan Conference, held at the Nehelani, here, Feb. 11.
The ceremony marked the culmination of the four-day conference that kicked-off Feb. 8.
In its 27th year, AFAP encourages community members to identify issues and offer recommendations that can improve Army life for Soldiers, family members, retirees and Army civilians.
Earlier in the week, five workgroups tackled 88 community issues ranging from survivor outreach services to community services. Workgroups then selected two or three top issues each and presented their recommendations to senior leaders and subject matter experts.
A local steering committee will track issues until they are resolved.
The Base Operations workgroup recommended that off-post military housing communities be secured as if they were on installations and to reinstate the neighborhood community watch program, in addition to the current iWATCH Program.
"Service members, their families and their possessions are vulnerable in their communities," Katie Crouch, spokesperson for the group, told the audience.
Initiatives are currently underway to combat crime, said Maj. Gen. Michael J. Terry, who serves as senior commander for U.S. Army-Hawaii and commander for 8th Theater Sustainment Command.
Responding to Terry's questions, Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, told the audience that security in housing areas, such as Aliamanu Military Reservation, is now provided by 105 of the 120 authorized Department of the Army police officers.
Terry also asked Mulbury to investigate the possibility of bringing back the neighborhood watch program.
See more AFAP conference photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usag-hi/sets/72157625939204055/.
Each of the five workgroups provided several recommendations during the Army Family Action Plan conference.
Survivor Outreach Services suggested
--That the Army retroactively present a Heirloom Chest to any surviving family whose Soldier died while on active duty between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 28, 2007.
--To give all surviving family members the option to purchase the Delta Dental Plan.
--To allow sponsored or designated opportunities for the surviving next of kin without an ID card to make purchases at post exchanges and military clothing sales stores to replace items such as ribbons and awards.
Family Services suggested
--That the Army create a child victim advocacy program. Professionals with experience and training would provide victim advocacy services for children less than 18 years of age.
--That the Hawaii Board Education website include a statement of the current policy authorizing prorated refunds for military families forced to move, due to circumstances beyond their control.
Force Support suggested
--To release a detailed leave and earnings statement at mid-month and at the end of the month for service members.
--To create federal legislation governing calculations of child support payments based on pre-determined standards and to create a standardized form to submit to state courts that would be used to calculate child support payments.
Community Services suggested
--That a multipurpose Morale, Welfare and Recreation facility similar to the Tropics Recreation Center be built on Fort Shafter for single Soldiers.
--To amend regulations to allow for one-on-one or lower ratios of adults to children in the care of children with special needs in Child, Youth and School Services, or CYSS, and to fund this care through CYSS.
--To designate funds to renovate current fitness centers to CYSS standards, mirroring other installation fitness centers that provide child care services. This recommendation includes modifying current and future design templates to allocate space designated for child care in post fitness centers and providing low-cost, hourly CYSS child care on-site for fitness center patrons.
(Editor's Note: This article is the second in a two-part series about the Army Family Action Plan Conference held at U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. Read the first article at http://www.army.mil/-news/2011/02/15/51938-afap-gives-ohana-power-to-affect-change/index.html.)