By Nathan Van Schaik and Camelia Streff, USAG Bavaria Public Affairs
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The deputy to the garrison commander here recently asked all garrison employees at an all-hands assembly for ways to scale back on inefficiencies and improve services.
U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria’s Annette Evans solicited employee feedback just as the garrison makes moves to implement a long range plan.
One of the core principles embedded in the long range plan — known as a line of effort — is to unify effort and operations between all four USAG Bavaria communities, which include Tower Barracks in Grafenwoehr, Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Hohenfels and Garmisch.
To the community member that means that all USAG Bavaria Soldiers, civilians, and their families receive the same level of service across the USAG Bavaria footprint.
Garrison directors undertook an analysis of each directorate, cross-referenced the authorized positions with functions, and aligned authorizations with mission requirements.
“The next step of the process is to make sure we are performing our core functions and matching them with the staff that we have on board,” Evans said.
Additionally, Evans explained that employees will be asked to do “less with less.”
In 2016, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, the commanding general of Installation Management Command — the agency that oversees all U.S. Army garrisons — explained in his June 2016 Service Culture Initiative that IMCOM would need to “buy back” critical areas associated with maintaining Army readiness.
“Therefore, IMCOM can no longer provide the same level of service that our customers have come to expect,” Dahl said.
“We must prioritize and deliver the right services, where the need is the greatest, to maximize the value of every dollar we spend,” Dahl said, adding that “We are not asking you to do more with less, or even the same with less; we will do less with less so we can concentrate on the most critical services we deliver.”
So how will the garrison do “less with less?”
“It means that “[Garrison Commander Col. Lance Varney] has the authority … to stop or decrease some of the unnecessary tasks we are doing, so that we can focus on our customers,” Evans said.
In doing so we will improve infrastructure and services that directly contribute to our Soldiers and families, said Evans.
Evans asked employees to list things they can stop or decrease.
“There may be things that each of us are doing that are based on ‘how we have always done this’ or based on some history. It is time to review everything that we do and ensure that we truly need to be doing it,” Evans said.
“For example, do we need 10 signatures on a form? Do we have the right operating hours if we have no customers at certain days/times? Do we have a better way to conduct a task that could be expedited with technology? Are we doing some tasks that exceed our core funding? You are perhaps performing them and all of the other things you do with less personnel than you had on your team 10 years ago,” Evans said.
Evans said that no services would be cut that compromise the life, health and safety of the community, adding that no laws would be broken or corners cut.
“In other words, we are looking to reduce tasks that ‘take away’ time and energy from these very vital functions.”
Employees submitted hand-written feedback and are encouraged to continue to provide ideas to their leadership.
“We are absolutely interested in improving our core missions with our workforce on hand, and shedding things which continue to cause us stress, extra work hours, and those which cause us to lose focus on our mission,” Evans said.