FORT LEE, Va. (Oct. 25, 2012) -- Of the 16 issues and recommendations submitted for the installation’s Army Family Action Plan Conference a few weeks ago, five became priority matters that were presented to Gen. Larry D. Wyche, the CASCOM and Fort Lee commanding general.
The details of those top issues – which included special parking for expectant mothers and fixing the inconveniences of the TRICARE referral process – were detailed in an Oct. 11 Fort Lee Traveller article.
What happened to the other 11 issues, and why were they not prioritized?
Those questions can be answered with an explanation of how the AFAP process works … volunteer conference delegates from the community discuss every issue submitted in great detail and decide which ones can reasonably be resolved if forwarded to installation or higher-level leaders. The following is their assessment of the issues that were not discussed at the Oct. 4 out-brief.
No. 1413 Barking dogs: The group chose not to prioritize this issue after speaking to subject matter experts. The Villages’ (Pinnacle Housing) lease already covers this situation. The installation noise ordinance also establishes quiet hours between 10 p.m. - 8 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight - 8 a.m. Friday and Saturday. All complaints should go through the resident relations specialist. After hours, residents should call the military police desk, (804) 734-7400, so a complaint can be documented and put on the blotter. The next day, the resident should follow up with the resident relation specialist. The policy also states there is a 21-day policy to fix the problem and, after that, the Family will need to get rid of the dog or vacate on-post housing.
No. 0813 On-site childcare at Kenner Army Health Clinic for parents who have appointments: During discussions with a subject matter expert, the working group learned that this matter has been explored and the Fort Lee Child Development Center cannot set up a room for that specific purpose. The CDC requires a guaranteed minimum number of children every day. Also, due to Kenner regulations, the room would have to be sterile, meaning no toys, etc. There are 10 slots available at CDC for patients with children; however, there is an hourly charge.
No. 0513 Not enough automatic external defibrillators on the installation: The group chose not to prioritize this issue because there is already a plan of action concerning AEDs. Fort Lee Assistant Fire Chief Brian Harness said the department is purchasing AED equipment with end-of-year funds. The goal is one unit per floor and one per 300 feet in administrative buildings on post. Currently, 218 units are in service and another 105 have been purchased at a cost of $1,500 each. Obtaining the additional 196 units needed is a priority for the Directorate of Emergency Services. Since AEDs have never been used on Fort Lee, Harness said increased awareness and training is also a priority.
No. 0113 Dog Park: A plan of action is also in place for this issue, according to Antony Nelson from FMWR. The identified obstacles include funding and finding an appropriate location. Maintenance would not be an issue, Nelson said, as long as owners take responsibility for cleaning up pet waste.
No. 1113 No turn arrow at A Avenue and 34th Street traffic light: According to John Royster from the Directorate of Public Works, the traffic signal was installed when Jessep Street, was closed for construction of Army Logistics University facilities. It allowed vehicles from ALU to enter and exit the area more efficiently. Jessup Street has since opened and a new lodging facility is under construction nearby. DPW said a study will be conducted after the lodging facility opens (projected for January 2013) to determine what impact it will have on traffic patterns. This study would determine if left turn arrows are warranted per the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. DPW will obtain a cost estimate for the study and request the funds from garrison.
No. 1013 Protecting and identifying special needs Family members: The group decided not to prioritize this issue because a Prince George County Sheriff’s Department program already exists and includes Fort Lee. There is no charge for this service.
No. 0613 Gym hours on training holidays: According to Kyle Nelson from FMWR, Clark Gym will now be open on training holidays from 4:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.
No. 0313 Army Community Service Employment Lab computers need upgrading: ACS is already working with its information technology support team to make more employment websites accessible in the employment lab.
No. 1513 Soldier Support Center services provided to trainees upon arrival: The submitted issue was not specific enough to merit much discussion. Many of the situations identified were inherited by Fort Lee and are already being resolved. Subject matter expert Robert Reese said the SSC is working on an issue of miscommunication of responsibility between the S-1 office and the support center.
No. 0913 Privacy fences in housing: Noting that the suggestion had already been considered, DPW subject matter expert Albert Williams said it would be too costly to fence in all of the houses on Fort Lee. In addition, it adds maintenance responsibilities to renters not desiring a fence.
No. 0713 Spouses should be encouraged to in-process with their Soldier sponsors: Robert Reese from the Human Resources Department said spouses cannot be tasked to attend briefings. Furthermore, in-processing mostly involves Soldier-related paperwork that would be of no interest to the spouse. There are briefings that are more relevant to Families that spouses are already encouraged to attend. This information is included in the packets given to Soldiers and published in the post newspaper and on the Internet. The recommendation to send a letter with basic post information and a welcome to post directly to the incoming spouse will be pursued. The submission also suggested a spouse orientation to post similar to the newcomer’s brief that is conducted every Monday at 2 p.m. in the Soldier Support Center, Room 125.
For additional information about the Fort Lee AFAP Program, visit www.leemwr.com and click on the Army Community Service link in the menu on the left side of the page.