AFAP Conference discusses security, commissary issues
November 10, 2011
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- A man standing in front of the classroom's whiteboard directed a dozen delegates like a traffic cop controlling a busy intersection.
Mike Smith signaled the left side of the room to wait while a delegate on the right questioned security issues on post.
"Only one delegate at a time, please," Smith said.
Smith, one of two facilitators at U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's fiscal year 2012 Army Family Action Plan, or AFAP Conference, here, Oct. 18-20, continued to direct discussions among his Force Support and Base Operations Work Group.
In the adjoining classroom, facilitator Nicole Roames kept her 14 delegates in the Family and Community Services Work Group on track. Delegates sat in folding chairs pulled up to three foldout tables, configured in a u-shape, similar to Smith's arrangement.
Delegates, some volunteers and others selected, represented the Army family: single and married active duty Soldiers, the Army National Guard, family members, retirees and Army civilians from throughout U.S. Army-Hawaii.
Smith, who works as a diving instructor for the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Outdoor Recreation, said that he noticed more Soldier delegates this time, than during other AFAP conferences in the past.
"We usually have a higher concentration of spouses," he said. "Getting more Soldiers shows that the units are supporting the program."
The AFAP delegates are the face of USARHAW; they come from 25th Infantry Division; 8th Theater Sustainment Command; U.S. Army-Pacific; 311th Signal Command; 196th Infantry Brigade, USARPAC; 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command; Tripler Army Medical Center; 500th Military Intelligence Brigade; and other units and activities.
During the conference, delegates sorted through and prioritized local issues submitted by community members.
Past issues that have resulted in local improvements include construction of a handicap access ramp at the Schofield Barracks Post Office and establishment of a DFMWR pet kennel on Oahu.
Recommendations presented at the closing ceremony, here, Oct. 20, follow:
Issue: Security in Off-Post Privatized Housing Communities.
•Designate privatized off-post housing communities as military installations, and afford them the same level of security as on-post housing.
•Install automated security access gates with video monitoring for all privatized off-post housing communities.
•Increase roving patrols and use random access measures in the off-post housing communities.
Issue: No Coin-Operated Laundry.
•Provide an Exchange-managed, coin-operated laundry facility on Schofield Barracks or Wheeler Army Airfield.
•Supply an adequate amount of standard-sized and industrial-strength washers and dryers.
Issue: Accessibility to Family Members' Immunization Records.
•Improve the timeliness of dependents' medical information, to include immunizations, being updated/uploaded into the Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application.
•Ensure that paper records and AHLTA are updated during in-processing and out-processing.
•Enable Soldiers and spouses to view and print their minors' records for immunizations and physicals online.
Issue: Commissary on Schofield Barracks is Inadequate.
•Require the Schofield Barracks Commissary to inspect ID cards at the door and at the checkout -- to limit commissary access. Only allow one guest per military ID cardholder with Commissary privileges over the age of 18.
Lt. Gen. Francis Wiercinski, commander, USARPAC, who attended the report-out, agreed with the recommendation. USAG-HI is currently coordinating the policy change with Commissary management.
•Reduce the number of special-category personnel (non-handicapped) parking spaces and clearly mark all exits doors in the commissary.
•Expand or build a new Commissary on Schofield Barracks that can adequately serve the current/projected population.
Teen AFAP Conference
Teens representing USARHAW conducted a one-day Teen AFAP Conference, here, Oct. 15.
The teen event was a mini-version of USAG-HI's FY 2012 AFAP Conference, where 14 teens hashed out issues that affect their community.
At day's end, they selected the following issues and recommendations to formally present at the closing conference ceremony:
Issue: A Viable Teen Establishment.
•Use the Teen Board through the Teen Center to implement and create appealing, age-appropriate activities for military dependents ages 13-18.
•Extend the hours of operation on Saturday and during school breaks until 10 p.m.
•Provide a multiple-shuttle transportation system throughout each military installation to the closest teen center.
Issue: Nutrition and Equipment for Teen Center.
•Provide a healthy, yet sustainable, snack that could be prepared by the teens involved in the Cooking Club.
•Create a separate menu for middle/high school teens that is suitable for their age group.
•Authorize facilities to purchase adequate food-preparation equipment so teens can prepare their own snacks.