By Spc. Nathan Thome (4th ID)March 15, 2013
The Army Community Service AFAP provided facilitators to assist delegates, volunteers from the Fort Carson community, with finding solutions to issues brought up by fellow warriors and Family members.
The AFAP conference included volunteers from every facet of the Fort Carson community, including Soldiers of a variety of ranks, both single and married, Family members, Department of the Army civilians and retirees.
"All of the issues during this conference have come from the community, from someone on post that has seen something they wanted changed," said Nate Nugin, Family Enrichment Program manager, ACS. "Issues were submitted through Interactive Customer Evaluation, the AFAP Facebook page, and other means, to allow working groups to come up with viable solutions to work out with the garrison sergeant major."
During the first two days of their conference, the delegates worked on recommendations to resolve issues. Issues were then put to a vote on the third day, to determine which issues would be sent to the AFAP conference at the Forces Command level.
Volunteers divided into working groups and took an in-depth look at policies and regulations associated with community issues. After evaluating the issues and doing research, they developed recommendations and workable solutions.
"We try to work every issue at the installation level, but the ones that are bigger than the installation, need to go to the next level," said Nugin. "Some issues not only effect Fort Carson, but could potentially have an effect on the entire Army."
The working groups made up a cross-section of the community in order to get multiple points-of-view on each issue.
"We had a good dynamic working group; a good makeup of ranks and civilian counterparts," said 1st Sgt. Chanda Gaines, senior enlisted leader, Company C, 204th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
It was easy to get others' perspectives on issues, and see what they were passionate about.
When the time had come to present their issues and recommendations, each group received a chance to vote on the issues they believed should be sent to the next U.S. Army Forces Command AFAP conference.
It was an interesting experience to work and develop solutions to the different problems people submitted, said Gaines. Groups reviewed issues and came up with solutions to fix problems here, so they wouldn't be sent to the next conference.
Delegates made recommendations for dozens of issues brought up throughout 2012, and voted on 12 issues to be addressed to the FORSCOM AFAP. Group leaders gave a presentation to Fort Carson leaders and Secretary of the Army John McHugh, whom sat in on the conference to listen to the issues and concerns from the post community.