WIESBADEN, DE -- During the Commander’s Installation Integration Sync Feb. 16, U.S. Army Wiesbaden Commander Garrison Col. David Mayfield awarded nine military spouses with appreciation certificates for their participation in the Garrison’s Strategic Planning Working Group this past January.
The military spouses were invited to participate in the January working group to provide their unique perspectives to Garrison staff.
“Garrison services touch every member of the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden community,” said Col. David Mayfield. “It was important for me to invite spouses to participate in our strategic planning because I wanted to ensure we heard their voices and learned about their experiences with the Garrison. The Garrison has already been able to make positive changes on our installation as a direct result of their questions and input.”
EVALUATING STRATEGIC INITIATIVES
After taking command of the Garrison last summer, Mayfield directed Garrison leaders to review the Garrison strategic plan and determine what improvements could be made across the installation.
The working group identified four Lines of Effort that the Garrison adopted:
LOE 1: People, Workforce, Stakeholder Engagement
LOE 2: Infrastructure
LOE 3: Protection
LOE 4: Services, In and Out Processing, and Housing
Nine spouses participated in the January Garrison Strategic Planning Working Group.
Military spouse Kristal LaFrance, who has been a member of the Wiesbaden community since 2020, was part of the In-Processing and Out-Processing Improvement LOE 4 group.
One goal her group discussed was increasing spouse and spouse sponsorship involvement with the In and Out- Processing program.
The group discussed ideas to accomplish this, such as rescheduling in-processing and out-processing classes to better match spouse availability, paying for sponsor daycare, and coordinating classes with the shuttle bus schedule.
LaFrance said that participating in the event made her feel closer to the community. In addition to being appreciative of the invite to participate in the meeting, LaFrance also enjoyed that the Garrison offered to pay childcare for the participating spouses.
“The biggest thing for me was not only were we invited for it, (the Garrison) also paid for childcare all three days,” she said. “That to me is an even bigger sign from the garrison (saying) that ‘we not only want you here, but we really value you to have your full-self and presence here.’”
While childcare can often be a challenge for all military families, LaFrance said it’s especially difficult while stationed overseas.
“If we don’t have a spot at the CDC (Child Development Center), or we can’t afford to pay for eight hours of childcare for three days, then a lot of spouses wouldn’t attempt to volunteer at these events,” she explained.
While some initiatives resulting from the planning meetings are still being reviewed for feasibility or staffing, some quick improvements have already been emplaced, such as an improved car donation program that includes towing if necessary.
The Garrison has introduced a more streamlined process where individuals can work with the Wiesbaden Auto Skills Center to donate their car to the facility and have it towed for a nominal fee. If the car is located on the Wiesbaden installation, the car will be towed for a $30 donation fee. If the car is located off the installation, the towing will be a little higher due to administrative fees but can still be towed for a $10 donation fee in addition to $95 towing fee plus $1 per kilometer.
Other improvements being worked across the Garrison include creating an Army Combat Fitness Test location, filming a suite of in-processing videos to ensure smoother transition into the community, and relocating the ID Card/DEERS office to Hainerberg to reduce travel requirements for incoming personnel and family members locate at the Army Lodge.