Readiness remains the Army's number one priority, and installations serve as the foundation for readiness. The Army's assistant chief of staff for installation management (ACSIM) ensures readiness by establishing policies, synchronizing programs, and providing resources for installation infrastructure and services.
The ACSIM ensures land-holding commands, such as the Installation Management Command, the Army Materiel Command, and the Army Reserve and National Guard, have the resources needed to keep the total Army ready. The ACSIM team enables Army readiness, prepares for the future, and cares for Soldiers, civilians, and their families.
ENABLING ARMY READINESS
The ACSIM team partners with the assistant secretaries of the Army for installations, energy and environment; manpower and reserve affairs; and financial management and comptroller to improve Army readiness across 156 installations and 1,100 community-based National Guard armories and Reserve readiness centers.
These installations provide more than 13.5 million acres of land with more than 363 ranges that prepare Soldiers to deploy and conduct combat operations.
Synchronizing critical service programs is a core ACSIM mission. Last year, the ACSIM team partnered with the Army G-4 and collaborated with the Army Materiel Command, Forces Command, Training and Doctrine Command, and Installation Management Command to develop baseline standards for logistics readiness centers.
These standards set the conditions for dependable feeding operations, central issue facilities, non-tactical vehicle management, pass-back maintenance, laundry and dry-cleaning services, and ammunition storage to sustain Soldiers at home station and while deployed. Implementing baseline standards will ensure consistent resourcing of these critical logistics functions and improve Army readiness in fiscal year 2017 and beyond.
Resourcing Army infrastructure is also a fundamental element of the ACSIM mission. An annual facility investment strategy is published to establish policy for investments to sustain infrastructure, dispose of excess property, and improve the overall quality of the most critical facilities. The facility investment strategy synchronizes Armywide execution of sustainment, restoration and modernization, disposal, and military construction programs.
PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE
As it plans for the installations of the future, the ACSIM team advocates for resources to enhance mission command centers at Forces Command installations, enabling 24/7 support for forces in the field.
The ACSIM team provides master planning expertise for the Army's most critical military construction priorities, including the Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Georgia, a project that directly supports both the Training and Doctrine Command mission and the Army's dominance in the emerging domain of cyberwarfare.
Deploying rotational forces forward generates new requirements for installation services and infrastructure. Team ACSIM works with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the joint and Army staffs, and all land-holding commands to synchronize installation programs that meet combatant commander strategic objectives.
Team ACSIM programs resources for critical infrastructure and services, including housing in South Korea, ranges and pre-positioned stock sites in Germany, and training complexes in Bulgaria and Romania.
Partnerships and third-party investments help to prepare the Army for the future. Team ACSIM works with the Army secretariats to establish policies and programs that enable partnerships to modernize infrastructure and services. For capital improvements, privatization partnerships, such as the Residential Communities Initiative, Utility Privatization Program, and Privatized Army Lodging, have saved more than $20 billion.
In the energy arena, partnership efforts have attracted more than $2 billion in capital investments for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. These projects will pay for themselves and save the Army more than $200 million in utility bills.
Team ACSIM and the Army secretariats also partnered successfully to gain new authorities for sharing municipal services with host communities. Partnering with local communities improves service delivery and uses resources in the most efficient and effective manner.
SUPPORTING THE ARMY FAMILY
Team ACSIM partners with land-holding commands to deliver Soldier and family programs that enhance resiliency and increase readiness. The team develops policies to provide critical services that keep Soldiers, civilians, and their families ready.
Army installations contain more than 276,000 barracks spaces and 102,000 family housing units that provide safe, healthy, and secure living conditions for Soldiers and their families. Through Army senior leader approval, ACSIM allocates funds each year to improve and modernize barracks and family housing.
This year, ACSIM's collective efforts resulted in an adjustment of the independent duty lease program for Soldiers assigned to the Army Recruiting Command, Army Cadet Command, and the Military Entrance Processing Command. This adjustment relieves Soldiers of significant financial burdens from out-of-pocket housing costs and adopts the standard used by the Air Force and Navy.
Other services and infrastructure resourced by the ACSIM team and delivered by the land-holding commands increase individual readiness by building resiliency throughout the force. Programs provided by Child, Youth and School Services ensure Soldiers can focus on their missions while their children are supervised in safe and secure environments. Programs such as family advocacy and financial readiness teach Soldiers and families life skills to reduce stress while integrating Soldiers into the Army profession.
Team ACSIM, in partnership with the incredible men and women serving on the Army team, provides the critical infrastructure and services needed to generate combat power and keep the Army ready. Professionals from across the total force remain dedicated to and focused on their vital missions every day. Altogether, the installation management community supports 2.2 million Soldiers, civilians, and family members and keeps the total Army strong.
Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham is the assistant chief of staff for installation management. She graduated from the University of Alabama as an Army ROTC distinguished military graduate with a bachelor's degree in general business management. She holds master's degrees from Central Michigan University and the National Defense University.
Richard G. Kidd IV and Col. Andrew Liffring contributed to this article.
This article was published in the May-June 2017 issue of Army Sustainment magazine.