PHOENIX — Army leaders joined community and business leaders from across the nation to discuss ways to refine and promote community partnerships with military installations, in a forum held Oct. 31-Nov. 1.
Lt. Gen. Kevin Vereen, the Army's deputy chief of staff, G-9 (Installations), joined the Hon. Rachel Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment) and Lt. Gen. Omar Jones, commander of U.S. Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM), in addressing the Army Installation Leadership Town Hall, at the Installation Innovation Forum.
Vereen encouraged community leaders to get to know their Army installation leaders and have regular conversations. Army installations are frequently seeking partners to provide needed services, he noted.
“We’re always looking for more opportunities, Vereen said. “This allows the Army to be the best we can be.”
The annual Association of Defense Communities event brings leaders from city, state, county/parish and regional governments, as well as representatives from industry and nonprofits. They discuss new ways their partnerships can provide needed services to installations while saving taxpayer costs and boosting local economies.
“I’m excited about what we, the G-9, do for the Army,” Vereen told the audience. “We have to make sure we’re collaborating and have open lines of communication to be the best Army in the world.”
A key way they do so is through intergovernmental service agreements (IGSAs) with city, county and state governments, and even with public universities. The past couple of years have seen IGSAs for utility services, animal rescue, road maintenance, road construction and repairs, environmental restoration and compliance, and even training for wildland firefighters.
Through IGSAs, the Army saves taxpayer dollars (about $35 million annually) while ensuring needed services are provided by an organization with expertise and experience filling that need. In exchange, partner institutions grow their mission while find new ways to support their community and the nation.
Championing IGSAs is just one way G-9 supports installation readiness in support of total Army readiness.
As chair of the Quality of Life Task Force, G-9 leads the implementation of four lines of effort (LOEs) to promote quality of life on Army installations, while Installation Management Command (IMCOM, under the aegis of Army Materiel Command [AMC]), leads and manages their execution. The G-9 team continually seeks partnerships and innovations that support quality of life for Soldiers and Army Families.
Housing is the first Quality of Life LOE — one in which Vereen noted he has a personal stake. “I’m living in it myself, as I’m in the process of finalizing my PCS move to the Pentagon,” he said.
G-9 is implementing Army investments of $1.5 billion in Army-owned family housing (through fiscal 2027) $3.1 billion in privatized housing through fiscal 2026, and over $10 in barracks for repair, restoration, or replacement.
Likewise, spouse employment (another Quality of Life LOE) is a top priority for G-9 — and for Vereen and his wife, who has a full-time career. “Army spouses have careers and professions, so we need to make sure we continue to provide opportunities for our spouses,” Vereen said.
A key way G-9 will continue to facilitate spouse employment is by finding ways for spouses to work remotely. “We have many talented spouses in the federal service, so there are many opportunities for us to look into remote work when Army Families PCS,” he said.
The ability of a spouse to gain or maintain employment often depends on the availability of child care — another task force line of effort in the G-9 lane.
Vereen noted that G-9 is working to allow more spouses to provide child care in their homes. “This is a win-win that provides spousal employment and provides childcare for our soldiers — especially for those Soldiers working odd hours or at night,” he explained.
The event also included meetings with Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army (CASA). Vereen joined in discussions with this group of leaders from the business and nonprofit sectors.
“Collaborating with enterprise and corporate America to bring great ideas into the Army,” he said. “It ensures that our Army stays the best Army in the world.”