Delegates discuss issues during Army Family Action Plan conference

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Photo by Jamel Edmund, FMWR

During two days of dialogue, Fort Irwin Soldiers, military family members and community members discussed several issues of concern and decided on three for further review.

The talks took place during the 2015 Fort Irwin Army Family Action Plan conference, Nov. 3-4, spearheaded by the AFAP department under Family and Morale, Welfare, Recreation here.

The annual conference held at garrisons Army-wide provides opportunities to discuss concerns pertaining to quality of life, programs, infrastructure, and other topics.

At the session here, three working groups discussed matters that included water fountain maintenance, speed limit signs on Fort Irwin Road, operation hours for various facilities, parking lots re-striping, family swim time, and lack of advanced placement courses at Silver Valley High School.

Recommendations to improve the concerns were made by the groups and briefed to Col. Matthew Moore, chief of staff of the National Training Center.

Recommendations to improve the concerns were made by the groups and briefed to Col. Matthew Moore, chief of staff of the National Training Center.

The top three concerns with recommendations that local commands, and even higher, could further evaluate were: 1) Incentivizing Fort Irwin as a station of choice. 2) The lack of lighting at playgrounds and parks on post. 3) The 2009 Military Spouse Residency Relief Act.

A recommendation for issue 1 was to implement an incentive program for Soldiers that allows them to select their next duty assignment or get 30 days of uncharged leave while here. Another recommendation was to expand the promotion profile and create promotion incentives or opportunities for Soldiers assigned.

Ben Burnette, social services representative with Army Community Services, praised the delegates and facilitators for their participation, diligence and realistic approach to the problems. 

“These three groups – they explained their issues, they researched and got the subject matter expert’s opinion, which was the scope, then they developed recommendations that are doable,” Burnette said. “They made recommendations knowing we’re at budget constraints, knowing that we’re remote, but still offering great alternatives to the issues.”