WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii - Most days of the year, the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii (USAG-HI) leadership spends its time ensuring that quality services are provided to Soldiers and families.

Last week, however, the leadership team took a two-and-a-half day pause to spend time planning for the future of the garrison and talking about where and how improvements can be made in service delivery.

"Strategic planning is about determining where an organization is going over the next several years and how it is going to get there," said Eileen Godinez, chief, Plans, Analysis and Integration Office (PAIO). "It is about developing a vision of what the organization should be, mapping out the steps and allocating the resources needed to arrive at that vision."

Additionally, strategic planning at the garrison uses the concept of "sustainability" as a guiding principle in the planning process, Godinez said.

Secretary of the Army Pete Geren stated that "sustainability is a national security imperative in a world of decreasing natural resources and increasing demand.

The Army is building green, buying green and going green in order to ensure that Soldiers have the resources to accomplish their mission in the United States and globally," Geren explained.

Strategic planning from a "sustainable lens" ensures the garrison is considering the impacts on mission, community, environment and the economy when planning for the future, Godinez added. The Army refers to this thinking, she explained, as the "Triple Bottom Line Plus."

During the PAIO conference, garrison leadership focused on four lines of effort in the planning process: security, readiness, quality of life and optimization of resources.

Teams developed strategic goals in each of the four areas and began formulating objectives that will support the achievement of the goals.

Security. The security team addressed the need to create a safe and secure environment.

Readiness. The readiness group focused on the garrison's ability to support the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) cycle, ensuring that the garrison is prepared to sustain a predictable posture to effectively train and deploy Soldiers.

Quality of Life. This team discussed both the infrastructure and services that affect the morale and welfare of Soldiers and families.

Optimization of Resources. This team identified the need to ensure our financial, human and natural resources are considered in our decision-making process.

In this time of continuous deployments, the garrison has a responsibility to support the equipping, manning and training of Soldiers and units, said Godinez, and to ensure families are provided the resources and care they need during long separations.

Lt. Gen. Robert Wilson, commander, Installation Management Command, stated, "Garrisons are the Army's home, and, as such, they provide the source of balance that ensures an environment in which Soldiers and families can thrive, a structure that supports unit readiness in an era of persistent conflict, and a foundation that supports Army transformation."

Planning for the needs of our Army today and into the future is critical for ensuring the garrison is postured to provide a "home" that best meets the needs of the brave men and women who serve our nation, Godinez added.

Given the scope of USAG-HI's operations and the critical requirements needed to fully support Soldiers and families, the garrison leadership team will continue to develop a strategic plan that postures the organization to remain relevant, flexible and ready to meet the needs of our Army into the future.

Godinez said the work done during the past few days is just the beginning of an ongoing effort to integrate the great work being done across the garrison into a strategic plan that will ensure the Army's home in Hawaii remains a place Soldiers and families are indeed proud to call home.