GARMISCH, Germany - The newly assembled U.S. Army Garrison Garmisch Army Community Service team held a "soft" opening Oct. 1 in the garrison headquarters building to showcase the many new programs and offerings now available.

The special opening gave the USAG Garmisch community a sneak peek off what's to come. Community members from Artillery and Sheridan Kasernes met the team for an overview of what ACS can do to help.

"The staff is excited by prospect of becoming a fully accredited program and offering the USAG Garmisch community the full array of ACS services on site," said Shelly Stokes, mobilization and deployment specialist."

Indeed, ACS is a something new to the garrison, said Steve Gauthier, director of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

"A fully operational ACS program has never been available to the residents of USAG Garmisch before now," said Gauthier. "The range of services they are now able to provide is substantial and helps us meet the Army's promise to support Soldiers, civilians and family members no matter where they may be stationed around the world."

An Army Emergency Relief office has been added, providing Soldiers, retirees, and family members with emergency financial assistance.

"In the short time ACS began operations in USAG Garmisch they have already been called upon to meet the needs of several Soldiers and their families facing crisis situations," said Gauthier.

"We are in the process of initiating our new Rock-n-Rollick Playgroup," said Stokes, "(which) will serve children aged newborn to 5 years of age (accompanied by) a parent. Rock-n-Rollick will have structured activities that will allow parents the time and opportunity to share and learn appropriate play techniques in a fun environment."
Even before the ACS center officially opened, the team took part in the garrison's annual force protection exercise Sept. 5 by standing up an Emergency Family Assistance Center, the first EFAC in USAG Garmisch history, said Doris Tyler, ACS division chief.

Tyler brings18 years of experience working in the family support arena, having served Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine families worldwide. Her last assignment before landing in USAG Garmisch was as the ACS division chief at Fort George Meade, Md.

"Our mission is providing support services to our USAG Garmisch customers as they live, learn and enjoy their leisure," said Tyler.

The ACS offices are located in the formal dental clinic, a move that is part of USAG Garmisch Manager Karin. H. Santos' plan for consolidating different customer services provided by garrison into one building. Other important services, such as the ID card office, vehicle registration, housing and transportation already operate in the building.

"ACS has a positive impact upon the community that will grow rapidly," said Gauthier.