WASHINGTON — Modernization and improvements to Army installations are the focus of the Army Installation Strategy — and of an event at the 2021 Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Expo in Washington, D.C., Oct. 11-13.
Army installations are transforming. They not only support our Soldiers, Families and civilians, they are also essential readiness enablers for Army operations. Installations are the Army’s initial maneuver platforms for force projection and sustainment across the nation and the world. This year’s AUSA annual meeting will feature a Warriors Corner highlighting the Army Installations Strategy (AIS), presented by a multi-echelon panel of leaders, who focused on operationalizing and transforming installations in support of the modernized Army.
In reviewing the Army Installations Strategy, GEN McConville, Chief of Staff of the Army, stated, “It’s all about taking care of People. Installations must be in a position to allow the Army to do its job. As we transform the Army, we have to transform installations along with it.”
The Army Installations Strategy identifies the need for modernized, resilient and sustainable installations. It supports The Army Strategy, the Army People Strategy, and the Army Modernization Strategy, ensuring installations are focused on critical capabilities to meet Army and National needs. Installations provide the foundation for strategic readiness — they project power, and protect and care for Soldiers, Families and Civilians. Mr. Jack Surash, Acting Principal Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army will address the changing operational environment that drove the need for the Army Installations Strategy and a change in the way we think about installations.
Every mission starts, ends, and is sustained from an installation. The AIS encourages a new cultural norm that includes thinking about installations as critical warfighting enablers. It provides an azimuth for how Army installations will adapt existing infrastructure, systems and services to protect installations from adversarial attacks as well as mitigate threats from the natural environment characterized by the effects of climate change and environmental degradation.
“This is all about doing what’s right for the Army! Installations enable Army operations — to do this, they must be protected, modern, resilient and sustainable,” stated Mr. Paul Farnan, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment).
The strategy nests with the priorities of the Secretary of the Army. The Headquarters, Department of the Army, deputy chief of staff, G9 (Installations), Lt. Gen. Jason Evans, will discuss development of the AIS implementation plan, and critical first efforts to operationalize installations and focus on Army senior leader priorities. The AIS first line of effort, “Take Care of People,” is a senior leader priority and focus area within the G9. “All these efforts combine to serve people,” notes Lt. Gen Evans. “People are the number-one priority. It's an all-volunteer force, so it's important that we have a quality of life that attracts People—quality soldiers we can recruit and that we can retain. … It's really the People that make the Army do what it does.”
Lt. Gen. Douglas Gabram, Commanding General, Installation Management Command (IMCOM), will speak about how garrisons support Army readiness and Senior Commander missions every day. He stated, “Garrison commanders are IMCOM’s center of gravity. They and their teams of professionals are on point for the Army today, integrating diverse units and capabilities in ways nested with the Army Installations Strategy four lines of effort.”
We can’t have a modern Army without modern installations. The Army must innovate installation systems and processes, just as it innovates and modernizes Army weapon systems, to remain relevant in today’s strategic operating environment. Dr. David W. Pittman, Director, Engineer Research and Development Center, is at the forefront of innovation and testing technologies to modernize installations. He states, “ERDC continues to lead the development of technologies that ensure rapid installation modernization, including Virtual Testbed for Installation Mission Effectiveness (VTIME) and Installations of the Future (IotF), as well as to provide safe, secure facilities for our Soldiers, their Families, and the Civilian workforce.”
According to these leaders, the Army is at a pivotal point in its history: one that sees the battlefield move from beyond our borders to within the walls of our installations, in a domain that is multifaceted and often invisible. With the Army Installations Strategy, we have a roadmap for building installations that are modern, resilient, and sustainable, designed to help protect and defend the nation for years to come.