SAN ANTONIO -- (Nov. 21, 2019) More than 200 Army garrison commanders and command sergeants major traveled from around the world to San Antonio Nov. 18-22 for the U.S. Army Installation Management Command Garrison Command Conference.

This annual conference is intended for the IMCOM commanding general to share his guidance and intent with the command teams, as well as share best practices across all Army garrisons in order to bring our garrisons into the 21st century.

Kicking off the conference this year was Gen. Gus Perna, commanding general, Army Materiel Command. IMCOM became a major subordinate command to AMC in March 2019.

"We're in the middle of a culture change, and it is you who is changing our culture," said Perna. "My job is to give you the tools and resources you need to complete your mission."

A part of that culture shift is enabling the readiness of our Soldiers on every single garrison. Perna said Installations are the Army's Strategic Support Area.

"The Strategic Support Area is any place a soldier lives or trains," said Perna. "And who owns that? You do. Think of how important the SSA is to our Army's future."

One key aspect of readiness installations shape, and a top quality of life initiative for the Chief of Staff of the Army, is housing.

Garrison command teams from four installations spoke to the group on a panel about best practices ranging from privatized housing, barracks management program and how to help Soldiers who live off the installations.

"We provide off-post housing services within our housing office," said Col. Jeremy Bell, Fort Campbell garrison commander. "The program is a partnership with local rental agencies where they waive the upfront fees for our Soldiers. It works well for both parties because the Soldier and family can get into housing quickly, and the community partner gets a steady stream income through allotment."

Other topics of the conference covered everything from infrastructure, sustainment, budgeting and resource management and civilian hiring actions.

"There's no better time to be a part of IMCOM," said Maj. Gen. Timothy McGuire, acting commanding general. "We need to get more efficient with our resources. I know I'm asking a lot of you garrison commanders, but at the end of the day, we have to maximize our efforts to take care of our Soldiers, their Families and our civilians."