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  April 22, 2011


Commander’s Update Forum reviews AFAP issues

The Army Family Action Plan (AFAP) provides the Total Army Family (Active, Guard, and Reserve Soldiers; retirees, Family members, Department of the Army (DA) civilians and surviving spouses) a way to let leadership know what is working, what isn’t, and what needs improvement when it comes to their quality of life or standard of living.

Everyone has a voice in the AFAP process and the chance to identify concerns, suggest improvements to services, programs, and quality-of-life issues, and be part of a possible solution to issues or find out how or where their issues already are being addressed.

On March 30, the Army Community Service (ACS) Center was the site of the annual Fort McCoy fiscal year (FY) 11 AFAP Commander’s Update Forum. The top six issues from the FY 2011 Fort McCoy AFAP Conference, along with the three remaining active issues from prior conferences, were reviewed. The commander was briefed by the subject-matter experts as to the status and progress of the issues based on the AFAP Committee’s suggestions.

The commander closed-out five issues; four issues remain active.

Issues addressed at the update forum were:

Fort McCoy Severe Weather Warning System (No. 2006-16): The external mass-notification warning system is up and running. The internal base system is in place but there are still items that need to be addressed with the Network Enterprise Center (NEC). The Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security is the lead on this issue to be completed in FY12. The issue remains active.

Access to Fort McCoy’s Dining Facilities (2010-02): Fort McCoy is not in an isolated area that has no other dining options. Authorizing additional categories of personnel to eat in the dining facilities could impact negatively those on a strict training schedule, increase installation costs for the food-service contract, and reduce revenue to other installation food-service facilities. The issue was deemed complete.

Glucagon Injection for Diabetic Youth in Child, Youth, and School (CYS) Services Care (2010-04): This issue was sent to U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC) level for the June 2010 AFAP Conference. The issue was not prioritized as a top issue to move forward to Department of the Army and was returned to Fort McCoy. Medical Command now has recommended that glucagon be permissible to administer in CYS Services, providing that the appropriate training is completed and documented. The issue was deemed complete.

Entertainment Options at Fort McCoy (2011-01): This issue had requested shuttling Soldiers to local theaters, expanding advertising of Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR) entertainment options, and the formation of a committee to work on DFMWR entertainment options. Currently, movies are offered at the Community Activity Center Friday and Saturday evenings, eliminating the need to bus to local communities. Entertainment opportunities through DFMWR are marketed through at least five different venues. A DFMWR Customer Advisory Board meets quarterly and assesses customer satisfaction, seeks customer input to improve quality of services, and identifies market opportunities. The issue was deemed complete.

South Post Housing Issues (2011-05/06/11): A service order priority listing was provided to all South Post Housing residents regarding upkeep of common areas. Housing staff and Directorate of Public Works quality assurance will monitor for compliance with contract specifications. Improvements were noted after 2010 discrepancy reports were filed and inspections were increased. Housing staff will provide input to future contract specifications affecting housing. The issue was deemed complete.

Fort McCoy Public Website (2011-08): The Public Affairs Office is working with the NEC to redesign the Fort McCoy public website. There are several sites associated with Fort McCoy each with specific requirements; a new design for the public site is being researched within the current NEC software and Installation Management Command standard design templates. It will remain a work in progress with updates provided on a regular basis. PAO will take the lead on this issue. The issue remains active.

Impact of Deployment on school-aged children (2011-09): The Fort McCoy School Liaison Officer met with the area school districts to suggest adding a place on school registration forms to identify military Families. Information was provided on resources and events to both schools and Families. Fort McCoy has no legal authority to disseminate child information to the schools. Making schools aware of a deployment in the Family is a parental responsibility. The issue was deemed complete.

Eligibility for Reserve/Guard Members for CYS Services (2011-12/13): This issue has been forwarded to USARC for the mid-level AFAP Conference. It was discussed there would not be enough funds to cover all National Guard and Reserve members wanting to take advantage of CYS Services, and the logistics would be quite complicated. The issue remains active.

Traffic Safety at 10th and J and 11th and J Streets (2011-14): Records indicate there has been one accident per year since 2008 at these intersections. Daily east/west traffic averages more than 750 vehicles at 10th and J Streets and more than 900 vehicles at 11th and J Streets. North/south traffic flow is around 1,000 vehicles per day. Some of the possibilities suggested for improving the intersections were to paint stop bars with lane indicators, increase the stop sign size to 48x48 inches, change the current lights to make them more visible, tear up the asphalt on 10th and J Streets just north of parking lot 16b and look at installing curb and gutter. It was decided that there would be no additional signage or barriers placed at either intersection. The issue remains active.

Full descriptions of the FY 11 and past AFAP issues with conference recommendations can be viewed in the ACS section on the Fort McCoy MWR website at www.mccoymwr.com.

Local AFAP results that have benefited Fort McCoy in past years are:
• A dangerous intersection near Family Housing was made safer.
• A second health benefits adviser was added.
• Installation directional signs were updated.
• Fort McCoy weather-warning systems continually are being improved.
• The quality of the drinking water is presented to all training units so they know that it is safe.
• The cell phone policy has been posted on visitor passes.
• Fishing maps now are easier to read.
• A crosswalk between the Exchange and McCoy’s was moved to increase pedestrian safety.

The next AFAP Commander’s Update Forum is Sept 7. The remaining four active issues will be reviewed. The AFAP program is accepting issues along with volunteers for the FY12 conference to be held Oct 19-20. Forms can be found at www.mccoymwr.com or by calling AFAP Program Manager Kevin Herman at ACS, 608-388-3540/3505.

(Submitted by Army Community Service.)

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