By Tom SaundersJanuary 30, 2009
HEIDELBERG, Germany - Installation Management Command-Europe Command Sgt. Maj. Tracey Anbiya continued her "newcomer" tour of European garrisons with a recent stop in Kaiserslautern, Germany, saying her visits to the garrisons to discuss the Army's Year of the Noncommissioned Officer initiative and other Soldier issues will be one of the her most important travel events this year.
"It's extremely important that Soldiers, Civilians, and Family members understand they do vitally important work. So one of my goals is to say thanks for the hard work," she said. "Other goals I have are to support the Army's initiative marking 2009 as 'Year of the NCO' by making people aware of that effort, as well as to provide some top-level guidance for Soldiers to participate in programs such as BOSS (Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers)."
The 24-year Army veteran, who previously served as the installation command sergeant major at Fort Belvoir, Va., took over duties as the IMCOM-Europe command sergeant major during an assumption of responsibility ceremony Nov. 13. She explained that her series of U.S. Army Garrison visits started with visits to USAG Heidelberg in December and USAG Mannheim early in January.
She visited Kaiserslautern Jan. 27-28, and will continue with stops at USAG Vicenza, Italy, in late February, USAG Benelux, Belgium, March 16-20, and USAG Grafenwoehr, Germany, March 23-27. Anbiya had already visited USAG Heidelberg and USAG Mannheim.
During her visit to Kaiserslautern, Anbiya toured various work areas and greeted Soldiers and employees, and hung a poster of Year of the NCO at the Kleber Kaserne main gate alongside a host of NCOs and officers. She also participated in a Command Sergeants Major Conference, discussing key issues with other Europe-based command senior enlisted personnel.
"I was impressed with the spirit and dedication of the Soldiers and people I talked to in K-town," she said. "It was great to have the opportunity to let people know that we are also committed to supporting them by representing their concerns and issues at our levels." Having previously served in Heidelberg, Anbiya said she "fully understands the importance of providing our people quality and quality facilities ... and with the 'home away from home' they deserve."
She explained that her tour schedule will eventually include all USAGs in Europe, Italy and the Benelux. "My intent is to visit all our garrisons, however, my visits will have to be done in series of road trips," she said, citing op tempo.
"I think people in this theater understand our op tempo. People here have a proven record of meeting a demanding op tempo as we continue to support Soldiers and Families while our country wages a fight against terror."
In her position, Anbiya advises Diane Devens, director of IMCOM-Europe, about the safety, health and morale issues affecting the command's workforce which provides support to Europe's Soldiers, Families and Civilians.
Devens, who also worked with Anbiya at Fort Belvoir, Va., said during the ceremony, "She is as proficient in the garrison business as any command sergeant major we have in the Army. I also know her to be a strong supporter of mission commanders and an advocate for Soldiers and Families."