New Barracks Complex
The New Barracks Complex on Schofield Barracks (File photo)

SAN ANTONIO -- Changes are coming to the way barracks are run at installations.

Mission units now handle the daily operation of the quarters where their Soldiers reside, thanks to a joint effort of the U.S. Army Installation Management Command and the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management.

The First Sergeants Barracks Program 2020 is designed to give units resources, training and responsibility while ensuring the quality of life standards established by IMCOM are met.

Previously, garrisons directly controlled the barracks and were responsible for the room assignments and maintenance of the facilities. Under FSBP 2020, mission units provide room assignments and Soldiers identify issues and inefficiencies in a more direct manner to their leadership, while ensuring consistency across the Army.

FSBP 2020 builds upon three core principles: Supporting the mission, taking care of Soldiers, and using resources wisely, said Suzanne Harrison, Acting Chief of the OACSIM Army Housing Division.

"It also allows us to fulfill our commitment to the Army Family Covenant, [the Army's formal commitment to Soldiers and their Families] by taking care of Soldiers," Harrison said. "It gives us the structure to do that and the commitment across the Army -- and not just an installation function -- so FSBP 2020 is a total Army effort."

The program was developed, with the endorsement of the Chief of Staff of the Army, to clarify roles and responsibilities at the garrisons and by the mission units, according to Harrison.

Through FSBP 2020, mission units will be the face of operations for their barracks.

"[The program is] creating this partnership between the military unit, the housing professionals and the directorate of public works staff," said Harrison.

NCO leadership is particularly important to the program's success. The management of an average brigade-size barracks will require five mission unit Soldiers and one Army civilian, according to estimates. Housing staff at the garrison will provide on-the-job training and mentorship to those new to managing barracks.

"The Installation Management Command is committed to making sure that they provide the needed program oversight and training that goes along with executing the program for the military unit," said Harrison.

Organizers hope this transition will strengthen the military culture in the barracks by having NCOs involved in daily operations.

According to Shenise Foster, OACSIM liaison for the Army Housing Division, local housing offices can help first sergeants with any questions about FSBP 2020.

Although there will be a change in responsibility, organizers say, the Army's commitment to providing a quality unaccompanied housing program to Soldiers around the world will remain intact.

Page last updated Wed September 19th, 2012 at 13:03