ILLESHEIM, Germany – Effective in-processing is an integral part of a smooth start at a new duty station, and Soldiers from the 603rd Aviation Support Battalion, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division on a nine-month deployment to Storck Barracks in Illesheim, Germany were recently treated to a comprehensive welcome brief by USAG Ansbach personnel.
“We provide substantial information to these rotational forces Soldiers,” said Marcell Wright, Storck Site Operations Lead. “For many of them it is their first deployment, the first time in Germany. For a number of them, it is the first time out of the United States. This may be the only time we can match up the majority of the Soldiers with the various agencies and explain the services we can offer.”
About 350 Soldiers learned from 23 garrison agencies and local support organizations what to expect during their time in the Ansbach area during the full-day briefs at Bunch Fitness Center at Storck Barracks.
During two sessions in April and May, garrison agencies told the Soldiers about the services available to them during their deployment. This included briefs from Army Community Service (ACS), Directorate of Public Works (DPW) and Directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR).
The Storck Barracks recreation center, operated by DFMWR, is a valuable resource for the deployed Soldiers and offers, among other services, Wi-Fi and CAC-enabled computers with printing capabilities, as well as a lounge area with various activities including video games, table tennis, darts, air hockey and billiards. They also show movies and have training rooms available for use by the units. The Outdoor Recreation department of DFMWR also routinely offers trips tailored to deployed Soldiers who are interested in seeing a little bit of Europe.
Karen Beatty, an education services specialist with the Army Education Center, recommended for the group to make good use of their time at Storck by encouraging educational opportunities.
“While you are here, do something for your education,” Beatty said to the Soldiers. “We can assist with Basic Skills Enhancement Program (BSEP), Army Personnel and National Testing Center tests, college classes and more.”
Beatty also added that “on-site schools keep you busy and out of trouble!”
Additionally, personnel from DPW gave some useful tips about energy conservation such as “smart boost ventilation” which means opening windows wide for a few minutes several times a day. They asked that lights are turned off and showers remain short to save electricity and water, a nod to the current energy conservation movement being undertaken by the Army in Europe. The Army Maintenance Application (commonly known as ARMA) was also explained to empower Soldiers to submit maintenance requests for garrison facilities.
Support organizations such as the American Red Cross, USO and Community Bank were also present and explained their available services.
The Military and Family Life Counselor (MFLC) for Storck Barracks was also on hand. The MFLC program supports service members, their families and survivors with confidential non-medical counseling where they are stationed. Non-medical counseling can help individuals address issues such as improving relationships at home and work, stress management, adjustment difficulties, parenting, and grief or loss.
“The welcome and the support we received from the garrison here was phenomenal,” said Lt. Col. David Jones, commander of the 603rd ASB.
The second part of the in-briefs gave attending Soldiers the opportunity to visit one of the many informational tables set up around the gym, ask questions individually to the representatives of the various agencies and gather some “goodies” in the process.
“Some of the Soldiers who are on their first deployment to Germany were excited about the information and the possibility of exploring Germany,” added Lt. Col. Jones.
The U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach military community is located in the Franconian region of Bavaria and is spread across six sites and nine kasernes dispersed around the city of Ansbach and the village of Illesheim. Today, Ansbach is home to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, the community's largest tenant unit, as well as the 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment. The garrison takes pride in its support to more than 8,000 Soldiers, civilians and family members working and living in the Ansbach area.
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