Fort McCoy News June 14, 2013

SPOTLIGHT: 88th Regional Support Command

(Editor's note: "SPOTLIGHT" is a continuing series about tenant activities and missions at Fort McCoy.)

What is it?

The 88th Regional Support Command (RSC), headquartered at Fort McCoy, is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC).

The 88th RSC is one of four services and base operations (BASOPS) commands and covers the northwest quadrant of the country. The 88th RSC consists of 19 states from Michigan and Ohio on the east to the Pacific Coast and from Utah, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri to the Northern U.S. border. More than 55,000 Soldiers, 635 units, and 334 facilities receive support from the 88th RSC.

Photo of ECS-67
Anthony Frey (left) of Equipment Concentration Site-67 guides the
engine of an armored security vehicle as Ronald Homa of Area
Maintenance Support Activity-49 ensures the engine lowers properly
during a hands-on training course at the 88th Regional Support
Command's Center for Maintenance Excellence at Fort McCoy.

Photo by Jerry J. Westberry

A key focus is maintaining facilities and land throughout the region, providing human resource support and equipment maintenance, storage and transition sites.

The 88th RSC has mission command responsibility for six Army bands located within its area of operation and provides supporting functions for the First Army Support Command located at Rock Island, Ill.

In addition, the 88th RSC provides services for units from 40 general officer held Operational, Function, Training and Support commands dispersed throughout the 19 states. Of the 40 commands, 24 have headquarters located outside the 88th RSC area but have mission command units within the 88th RSC region.

The 88th's Directorate of Public Works (DPW) maintains 334 facilities that constitute more than 16.6 million square feet of facility space. DPW also manages 10,278 acres of property and has ownership of four cemeteries.

The 88th RSC's Directorate of Human Resources (DHR) is responsible for the personnel life cycle management functions in support of all Army Reserve commands and units within the 19-state area. It coordinates the command's morale, welfare and recreation, equal opportunity and human relations programs, develops and oversees strength management programs, coordinates activities with retention personnel, develops regional personnel annexes of contingency plans, and administers and manages the RSC's military and civilian personnel programs. DHR works closely with senior leadership and other directorates in providing oversight of work force environment and engagement.

To maintain equipment, the 88th RSC Directorate of Logistics has oversight of 40 Area Maintenance Support Activities, 23 Branch Maintenance Activities, six Equipment Concentration Sites, and two Equipment Transition Sites. These four types of organizations employ more than 1,000 civilian personnel.

Mechanisms used by the 88th RSC, how they are used, and key stakeholders/customers include a variety of means from conferences, inspections, newsletters, the Yellow Ribbon Program, Strong Bonds, briefings and many others. The mechanisms identify how stakeholders are supported and key communication means differ for the various stakeholder segments, i.e. Customer Support System and an Interactive Customer Evaluation system are key mechanisms for facility coordinators, while Yellow Ribbon events are a key mechanism for Soldiers and Families. Key support requirements are determined by input received, using the various mechanisms and listening to the voice of customers.

What have they done?

In the past year, the 88th RSC Inspector General developed an assessment tool that allows the customer to rate the level of satisfaction with the different types of support provided at facilities, such as snow removal and cleaning services.

This also allows the customer to rate the level of satisfaction with the support provided by the individual directorates within the 88th RSC and the frequency of contact with facility support staff. The data is analyzed for trends, areas for improvement are identified, and improvements are made and assessed for effectiveness.

The 88th RSC supports and strengthens key communities by identifying communities, determining capabilities, providing identified support, evaluating the effectiveness of the support, and improving support. The 88th RSC has three sets of key communities: the public at large, the cities near Fort McCoy, and the civilian elected officials (federal, state, and municipal) in each of the 19 states in which the 88th RSC is located.

The Army Reserve Ambassador (ARA) program is another important aspect of the 88th RSC.

ARAs develop awareness and advocacy with community leaders and are vitally important bridges to communities across the nation. Feedback is provided on events, and, periodically, the commanding general and deputy commanding general meet with all the ambassadors.

The 37 ambassadors support more than 400 events and community engagements each year. Community support also includes the 88th RSC working with the local food banks to collect food throughout the year, supporting an annual Christmas toy drive, and providing support to the Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, Wis.

The 88th RSC DPW completed seven construction projects in 2012, four projects in 2011 and five in 2010. These combined projects have a value of more than $255 million and stretch across its region. In 2013, seven facilities are set to open and three facilities valued at $95 million are in the design phase.

The 88th RSC Surgeon and Health Services Branch processed nearly 5,000 cases in the past year. It continues to maintain an active participation with the goal of increasing the medical readiness to 90 percent.

The 88th RSC promotes safety and encourages risk management to reduce the injury and loss of life to Soldiers and civilians. The 88th Safety & Occupational Health Office conducts about 80 safety inspections and evaluations a year. The four-person staff doing the inspections spends about 40 percent of its time traveling to facilities and conducting the required inspections.

The Safety Office also is responsible for motorcycle training and reports of occupational injuries.

What do they have planned?

The 88th RSC oversees many aspects of readiness and support for Soldiers and units and maintains that as its focus. This life cycle support provided to the key 88th RSC stakeholders, for the most part, remains consistent year-to-year.

Support is maintained on an ongoing basis — units require equipment to be repaired and facilities need maintenance.
The 88th RSC provides quality training areas to Army Reserve and Army National Guard units and other non-military organizations for training that is conveniently located and easy to use. To accomplish this, the 88th RSC requires new and innovative approaches. The answer is Local Training Areas (LTAs).

The LTAs offer training opportunities in convoy operations, wheeled and tracked vehicles, engineer equipment dig sites, and Command Post Exercise/Field Training Exercise.

The 88th RSC will continue to provide world class service via the many sections of the support command. Logistics, Information Management, Public Works, Surgeon/Health Services Branch, Human Resources and the internal supporting section's aim is to provide assistance and guidance in stakeholder and customer support.

Why are they important?

The 88th RSC organizational leadership helps ensure good performance by promoting a positive command climate and by using doctrinally-based military processes. The 88th provides services to support commanders and Soldiers, effective environmental compliance services and ready equipment.

In addition, the organization provides effective services to sustain and support personnel management in support of the USARC directives. This provides opportunities for improvement to operations while presenting a clear process for developing customer support and utilization of resources.

Customer support is of the utmost concern for the 88th RSC, which values its position as a premier supporter of servicemembers who utilize the region's facilities and the Army Reserve Soldiers who require sustainment for their careers and allows them to better focus on their military jobs.

The feedback from customers and stakeholders make it possible for the support command to complete its vision to provide world class services and base operations support for the Soldiers, Families, civilians and units in the Northwest Region of the United States.


For more information about the 88th RSC, call 608-388-0549.

   (Submitted by the 88th Regional Support Command Public Affairs Office.)