Future assured through support partnerships
January 30, 2012
SCHINNEN, Netherlands -- Leaders representing military and civilian service and family members assigned across northern Germany, northern Belgium and the Netherlands gathered here Jan. 25 to ensure base operations services (BOS) are resourced under valid Inter-service Support Agreements -- or "ISAs".
ISAs are a big deal. They ensure postal services are available to service and families members. They enable personnel assigned overseas to obtain drivers licenses, register vehicles, and enable access to tax free fuel. Whether moving in or out, ISSA's allow privately owned goods to be picked-up, delivered and provide furniture and appliances during an overseas tour.
Military installations worldwide offer a whole range of base operation services and to most service and family members the work behind each ISA is rarely seen. With personnel rotations expected this summer and some organizations face reorganization or strength reductions, the Jan. 25 meeting is timed right to plan for the future.
ISSA requirements to be identified within 30-days
"To our primary customers, the services they receive are transparent to them. Our objective today is to codify our requirements, identify efficiencies and talk with the leaders gathered here about how our requirements will be met in the future," Lt. Col. Chad R. Arcand, USAG Schinnen Garrison Commander said.
As manning and funding levels are reduced, leaders throughout the Department of Defense are taking a hard look at what's required versus what's nice to have. Today's meeting was as much about planning as it was about sustaining a network of experts to ensure the delivery of services remain uninterrupted and transparent.
USAG Schinnen, one of the smallest garrisons in Europe, ironically has the largest area of responsibility to military and civilian service members and their families from Kalkar and Geilenkirchen, Germany; to Kleine Brogel, Belgium; and throughout the Netherlands.
The Jan. 25 ISSA meeting included leaders and staff from U.S. Air Forces Europe, Installation Management Command Europe, Army Material Command, 470th Air Base Squadron, JFC Brunssum, Spangdahlem, Kalkar, Kleine Brogel, Vokel, USAG Benelux as well as USAG Schinnen's public works and legal experts.
Participants reviewed detailed spreadsheets and identified service providers and vowed to resolve issues in 30 days before draft ISSAs are forwarded for staffing, review and approval.
"Much of how we conduct day-to-day business in this region is 'joint'. Partnerships among the many military services and organizations here has truly paid off. We understand "joint" here in our tri-border military community and our customers reap the rewards," said Jan Maessen, USAG Schinnen's Resource Management Office Chief.
"Besides drafting our ISSA agreements, meeting here today allows us to talk to the experts who will get these agreements right -- from the start. The devil and the details are sorted out here and now," Maessen said.
Summer 2012 brings leadership, personnel changes
The summer of 2012 will see some changes throughout USAG Schinnen's area of responsibility as personnel and leadership positions rotate and units reorganize. USAG Schinnen will become a satellite site in July as the garrison commander and command sergeant major positions are abolished and replaced with one Department of the Army civilian. Four more military positions will be abolished along with 23 other Department of the Army and 14 Host Nation positions.
Customers can count on base operations services to be open and available on USAG Schinnen. Beginning July 2012, some functional roles behind the scenes will be assumed by USAG Benelux, located in Chievres, Belgium.
"We're open for business on USAG Schinnen," said Arcand.