By Stefan AlfordMay 16, 2019
BAUMHOLDER, Germany -- There will soon be more people waiting at the post office parcel pickup and finance windows.
Fortunately, they'll be on the other side of the customer service counters and waiting to assist patrons with their postal service needs - helping to provide shorter lines and longer operating hours.
"Thanks to the great support and partnership between 16th Sustainment Brigade and USAG Rheinland-Pfalz, there will soon be better service hours at the Baumholder Post Office for parcel pickup and finance operations," said Jim Bradford, Baumholder Deputy Garrison Manager.
The 16th SB's 569th Human Resources Company will support the Baumholder Postal Service Center with a rotation of six Soldiers every five months.
"As the Baumholder Community continues to grow, the expanded postal hours provide additional customer services to our families and the local community," explained Capt. Tayra Garcia, 569th HRC Commander. "Now, customers will be able to receive packages in addition to the current limitation of items that fit in a small P.O. Box and ship packages, even on Saturdays."
The first phase of the program started April 30, and according to garrison postal superintendent Kirk Baldwin, the benefits can already be seen.
"The postal facility is processing mail quicker than ever before and with the addition of Soldier financial clerks, lines in the parcel mailing area should be greatly reduced," said Baldwin. "Of further note is that by implementing this program our post office is now receiving mail six days per week."
While providing obvious customer service benefits, the recently agreed-to Memorandum of Understanding also supports the needs of both organizations.
"This program was developed to aid both the Baumholder postal facility and the on-site military personnel," said Baldwin. "It allows mail to be processed in a more timely manner and gives our Soldiers quality postal training so that they are better prepared for mission requirements."
Garcia echoed that comment, adding "For the community, it gets increased postal services, while 569th HRC directly increases readiness by performing the Mission Essential Task of conducting postal operations. The collaboration between USAG-RP and 16SB allows postal-certified Soldiers the opportunity to refine skill sets that only a live mail room environment can produce outside of a combat deployment."
Baumholder's postal service center has already added parcel pick-up capability on Saturdays "and once the (finance) training of our new military personnel is complete, we will be adjusting our hours to provide Saturday mailing services as well," Baldwin said.
Currently the Soldiers are being trained in multiple aspects of the postal service operation, to include directory services, mail processing, physical security, finance, official mail and accountable mail.
"Our primary focus is postal finance as this will enable the aforementioned expansion of hours," said Baldwin. "Finance training requires 30 days before a clerk can be certified to handle USPS funds and transactions."
The target date for the full capability of services is June 1, with mailing and parcel pick-up to be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"We are looking forward to this broadened customer service opportunity and our continued partnership with the 16th Sustainment Brigade," added the garrison's Director of Human Resources, Mike Waschek.