By U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs July 8, 2011
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- “Why do fire trucks and ambulances sound their alarms in the wee hours of the morning?” and “Why isn’t there a farmer’s market on post?” were just two topics logged for discussion at the Installation Action Council, or IAC, here, June 27.
The IAC is a community forum that considers issues and concerns that broadly impact North and South Oahu military communities.
Council members " U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii directors, senior staff from garrison organizations and senior leaders from tenant commands, who all serve as subject matter experts " meet quarterly to hear issues that affect the entire U.S. Army Hawaii community of Soldiers, family members, civilians, contractors and retirees. The IAC also includes a Soldier and spouse representative from each brigade and command, and a Soldier and spouse from constituent groups such as retirees, veterans and single Soldiers.
Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, USAG-HI, and chair of the IAC, asked the council, “Are we doing the right thing? What are we missing? Is there something that you perceive as a gap?” in his opening remarks. He reminded attendees that the IAC is “a communication forum, obviously to hear your concerns and the things you determine to be an issue, but also for us to communicate.”
Mulbury explained that some things can and other things can’t be accomplished. The community needs to be informed in either case, he said.
During the third quarter of fiscal year 2011, the council heard a total of 32 community issues, 17 of which were submitted during the Army Family Action Plan Conference. Fifteen issues were resolved, or voted as “complete,” because the issue was attained or considered unattainable.
Typically, many IAC issues concern parking spaces and traffic flow, maintained by the Directorate of Public Works; military family housing, managed by Island Palm Communities; and speeding, controlled by the Directorate of Emergency Services. This quarter’s council was no different; it reviewed many new issues, too.
New issues included IPC community centers, carports, lost keys and school bus stops. The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation responded to questions about on-post home-based businesses; the Schofield Barracks Commissary answered questions about organic produce; and DES explained reasons for early morning sirens and why the Wheeler Army Airfield gate in the Wili Wili community does not remain open to improve traffic flow.
“Fire and police emergencies occur at all hours,” said Chris Graves, DES deputy director. “Any emergency response requires the use of lights and sirens when clearing intersections, regardless of the traffic flow.”
He added that DES is determining if emergency responders can use just lights, instead of sirens, during early morning hours. Also, he said, DES has been assessing the traffic flow off WAAF and believes that opening up Wili Wili Gate would require a signal light. The DES is looking at other ways to reduce the traffic flow.
Commenting upon feral pigs in the Fort Shafter area, Graves stated that DES has an aggressive animal control program. The directorate is actively working toward the removal of feral pigs, but the project is ongoing. Because the issue is not a short-term one, the council voted it remain “open-active.”
Residents can call Animal Control, (808) 655-7114 or (808) 655-4007, about any feral animal concerns.
Susan Campbell, store manager for the Schofield Barracks Commissary, said the commissary, here, receives organic produce through a sole source contract " to ensure all produce meets and is maintained according to USDA inspection standards.
“Thirty percent of the produce we receive and sell in the commissary is locally-grown produce,” Campbell said, adding that labels identify which items are locally grown. “The commissary has a list available of 864 items that are identified as organic, wild and free range. Copies of the list will be placed at the ID door for our patrons.”
Mulbury commented that patrons should take advantage of a farmer’s market in their local off-post community. Doing so, he said, is what being a good neighbor is all about.
Rounding out June’s council meeting, DPW said a contract has been awarded to install left turn signals to traffic lights at the intersections of Kolekole Avenue and Flagler and Humphreys streets in fiscal year 2012.
Many other directorates, organizations and tenant units are working behind the scenes to support the USARHAW community. As well, the Interactive Customer Evaluation, or ICE, system; community and employee town halls; the “Ask the Garrison Commander” email; and the Fort Shafter PXMarket Council Meeting are other resources available to support the community and address issues.
For more information about the IAC, or to see if your unit is represented, call (808) 655-9033 or email Roselina.Stone@us.army.mil.
The next Fort Shafter PXMarket Council Meeting is 10:15 a.m., Aug. 3, at the Hale Ikena, Fort Shafter. The meeting is open to patrons.
(Rosey Stone, USAG-HI Plans, Analysis and Integration Office, contributed to this article.)