On “Star Trek,” a groundbreaking
television series in the 1960s, humans and aliens served together
on the Starship Enterprise. A sequel, “Star Trek: The
Next Generation,” was even more visionary, making the
Enterprise home to both the crew and their families. While
the crew deployed on missions, family members enjoyed the amenities
on the Enterprise. Today’s Army installations are moving
toward the environment portrayed in “Star Trek: The Next
The traditional image of the young, unattached GI is a thing of the past. The
typical American soldier today has a high school diploma and may be college educated.
Over half of the members of our military forces are married. Many have children
attending Department of Defense Dependents Schools.
Unfortunately, because their infrastructures have not kept pace with the changes
in Army demographics, many military installations continue to be much like Camp
Swampy, the post portrayed in the “Beetle Bailey” comic strip. In
these places, existing facilities are inadequate for today’s soldiers.
Housing suitable for a single soldier is unacceptable for a service member with
a family. Recreational facilities and activities that once were appropriate for
the unaccompanied draftee are unappealing to professional soldiers and their
families. The Army can no longer consider only the soldier; it now must address
the broader concerns of the soldier and his family. When a soldier has to serve
in a dependent-restricted area, he must be confident that his family is well
cared for back home.
Professional installation management personnel—military and civilian alike—play
a pivotal role in meeting soldier needs. Installation management personnel must
provide enough funding for Army facilities to accomplish missions during both
peacetime and mobilization. They also must recruit and retain people with the
skills necessary to make Army installations viable power-projection “flagships” —installations
capable of sustaining and supporting forces anywhere in the world at any time.
Installations as Flagships
In 2003, Army Chief of Staff General Peter J. Schoomaker designated “Installations
as Flagships” as one of the Army’s 16 focus areas. Installation management
personnel at Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA); Headquarters, Installation
Management Agency (IMA); the seven IMA regional offices; and individual Army
garrisons are key to realizing the Chief of Staff’s vision and making installations
more efficient and effective.
Providing resources for realistic standard levels of services at each Army installation
ensures that support and services are equitable and consistent. Realizing economies
at the facility level gives leaders flexibility to resource key initiatives that
will make installations both excellent communities and power-projection flagships.
Flagships are places where military personnel live, work, and train and from
which they deploy and are supported during contingency operations. A flagship
installation needs a standard installation infrastructure that is aligned to
the needs of the professional soldier and his family. For example, Quonset huts
and gang latrines are no longer acceptable. Recreational activities should be
more family oriented. Training ranges should be modernized to support interservice,
simultaneous collective training. Professional warriors should have the electronic
capabilities needed to reach back to the home station for support when they are
deployed. Essentially, the Army is striving for excellent communities that provide
quality-driven installation support within the framework of essential common
levels of services.
Visionary leaders at HQDA, IMA, the IMA regions, and the individual installations
are creating a corporate culture that is receptive to emerging, challenging roles
and responsibilities. Although the flagships are Army installations, the key
stakeholders at the installations could very well be from other services. Installation
management personnel therefore should think “purple,” or “joint.”
With the Department of Defense’s increasing promotion of joint expeditionary
forces, other military services share the Army’s flagships and could deploy
from an Army installation. Consequently, they are key stakeholders in the operations
at that installation. Installation management personnel should become better
acquainted with joint doctrine because, as flagships, Army installations need
to focus on joint expeditionary forces.
Installation management personnel can cultivate
an environment that is receptive to joint operations by pursuing
initiatives that benefit the different service components.
Installation management professionals could promote “jointness” through
initiatives that maximize savings for all of the services supported
by the Army installation. For example, one way to foster a
joint atmosphere is to allow the other services on an installation
to share in the accrued savings or cost avoidances of an activity-based
cost management project that crosses service lines.
Having a vision and fostering the right state of mind at the installation are
only part of the challenge. Flagship personnel must be ethical and competent
to achieve the IMA vision.
expectancy of the Korean War-era Quonset hut was
20 years. Although they do not meet the Army’s
minimum standards of acceptability for dwellings,
many are still used in Korea to house soldiers.
A disparity exists in the quality of facilities and ser-vices
available at Army installations. Some installations (the “haves”)
provide adequate support for soldiers and their families
and civilian employees. “Have” installations
provide decent housing; office space; dining, recreational, and athletic facilities;
and training ranges. At the other end of the spectrum are the “have not” installations,
which are unable to provide the needed level of support services. Quonset hut
buildings and gang latrines are often still found at these installations.
“Have” and “have not” installations need to be replaced
by excellent communities that provide equitable support and services. Training
ranges, deployment facilities, equipment, and state-of-the-art technologies should
be readily adaptable for use by members of other service components. Providing
common levels of support is a way to reduce, if not eliminate, the gap between “have” and “have
not” installations. Under the common levels of support concept, installations
are being funded to provide equitable services throughout the Army. With this
funding, an installation in Korea will be able to provide the same level of support
services as an installation in Texas. Housing and office space deficiencies also
are being addressed. For example, Quonset huts are being replaced with modern
buildings in Korea. Essentially, the Army’s goal is to provide equal services
at all installations. In the next stage of this reform effort, IMA will focus
on applying the Army Performance Improvement Criteria to installations to make
them “communities of excellence.”
view of a Quonset hut shows what each of the three
soldiers who share this domicile gets for his $614
a month basic allowance for quarters.
To restructure successfully the way the Army conducts its installation support
mission, it must train personnel to meet future challenges. Managers play
a crucial role in ensuring that soldiers and civilian employees are ready
on the flagship. Forward-thinking managers at HQDA, the IMA regions, and
the individual installations should concentrate on funding required training
equip personnel with the skills they need to support the flagship during
peacetime and contingency operations.
For example, the traditional roles of installation comptrollers are expanding
rapidly. Historically, installations were staffed to execute a budget given
to them by a major command. However, under the flagship concept of installation
management, resources flow directly from the IMA to the installations without
passing through a major command. Installations now have to plan and program
their resources to accomplish an evolving base-operations mission—one
that supports excellent communities designed to standards, realistic training,
capabilities, and power reception and projection.
Modularity ties in nicely with the flagship concept. Military and civilian
personnel will be required to perform diverse duties and responsibilities.
New skills will
have to be learned and rehearsed during training exercises. The flagship
will need installation personnel who are familiar with operations during
Hence, positions at the IMA regions and the installations may be staffed
with emergency-essential civilians and contractors with wartime provisions
contracts. Civilian personnel may be required to train on common battlefield
skills and tasks to support the installation’s wartime mission. Emergency-essential
civilian personnel and contractors will expedite a seamless transition from
a peacetime or armistice environment to a wartime posture, thereby facilitating
deployment and supporting the expeditionary force without interruption or
delays. [Emergency-essential civilians are Department of Defense civilian
employees who perform specific battle tasks during mobilization.]
Trained personnel work to execute the IMA leadership’s plans for the
future. However, nothing derails future plans better than archaic processes
that add no value to installation management and support services. To avoid
this problem, action officers at HQDA, the IMA regions, and the installations
are reviewing processes and improving methods to ensure efficiencies and
All installation management action officers should be the standard bearers for
creative ideas that conserve public resources, eliminate redundant operations
and processes, reengineer staffing and positions to make administrative procedures
less bureaucratic, and promote an expeditious transition to a wartime posture.
Flagships should enhance the Army’s capability to transition rapidly
from peace to war. Redundant procedures could hinder this transition and increase
the likelihood of the loss of lives and assets. Therefore, costly, outmoded,
labor-intensive processes should be streamlined to help ensure mission success
and realize efficiencies.
Taking advantage of regional contracts is an effective way to generate efficiencies.
For example, installation management personnel within the IMA Korea Region
Office noticed that the region was spending too much for utilities. To improve
the Korea Region Office is creating region-wide contracts to provide utilities
and construction materials at the enduring installations on the peninsula.
[As part of the Land Partnership Program and Future of the Alliance Talks,
States will be returning installations to the Korean Government. Enduring installations
are the facilities that the United States will continue to use.] Another excess
cost is caused by warehouse managers at the installations’ Directorates
of Public Works using an outdated pencil-and-paper method of accounting for
stocks in the warehouses, which results in higher ordering and storage costs.
Region has contractors developing integrated processes that will address warehousing,
logistics, and an in- and out-processing system.
Another cost-saving effort from the Korea Region Office is the use of the traditional
Korean real estate “key-money,” or “chunsae,” system
to obtain housing for civilians and military personnel living off post. With
the key-money system, the renter gives the landlord a percentage of the value
of the property up front. This lowers the amount that must be paid monthly.
Currently in Seoul, the cost of off-post housing is astronomical. A typical
apartment in a high rise can cost the U.S. Government $35,000 to $40,000 per
year. The Government pays between $90 million and $100 million a year to house
personnel off post in Seoul. The chunsae initiative potentially could save
$25 million a year that could be redirected to finance higher priority requirements.
The Korea Region Office participates in major exercises to rehearse its critical
role in supporting warfighters during a contingency. The Korea Region Office
receives personnel and materiel at the installations and pushes them forward
to sustain mobilization efforts. The warfighters are the “tooth.” IMA
regions, like the Korea Region Office, that have a wartime mission represent
the logistics tail that sustains operations.
such as the newly constructed Burke Towers in Yongsan,
is replacing antiquated housing throughout Korea.
Installation management personnel play a crucial role in transforming Army garrisons
into viable flagships where military personnel live and train and from which
they deploy to protect U.S. interests. Installation management personnel must
find creative ways to support initiatives that provide quality services to military
members and their families. This includes providing deployed service members
with reach-back capabilities.
Installation management personnel must eliminate wasteful practices and reallocate
installation assets to resource standard levels of services equitably. They must
be familiar with modularity in order to provide support and services to deployed
personnel and their families. Installation management personnel must provide
training that prepares military and civilian employees to meet the challenges
of operating a flagship within a joint environment. Essentially, dedicated installation
management personnel make the difference between Camp Swampy and the Starship
John Di Genio is a management analyst with the Installation Management
Agency Korea Region Office. He is a graduate of the Army Management Staff College
and the Army Logistics Management College’s Operations Research/Systems