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'Reset' Aims to Standardize Redeployment Services

American Forces Press Service

SCHWEINFURT, Germany, May 22, 2008 – Army officials in Europe are working to develop a standard model to ensure all redeploying soldiers and their families receive the same programs and services regardless of their location.

Planning for this summer's redeployment of 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team from Afghanistan, representatives from Installation Management Command Europe and U.S. Army garrisons Vicenza, Italy; and Schweinfurt and Bamberg, Germany, met early this month.

"In addition to fixing and replacing and upgrading our equipment and training for future missions, we also have to revitalize our soldiers and families by providing them the time and opportunity to recover from the cumulative effects of sustained operations," Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. said when he announced the four Army imperatives in October.

Reset, one of the imperatives and the basis for the pilot program, which Installation Management Command and garrison officials hope will be adopted Armywide, will establish a balanced process that systematically restores deployed units to a level of personnel and equipment readiness, which will permit the resumption of training for future missions.

"Today's Army family is dramatically affected by operational tempo, and we're excited that the lessons of this pilot ensure the needs and concerns of all audiences impacted by the 15-month redeployment cycle are foundational planning factors in the reset process," said JoAnn Chambers, IMCom-Europe chief of staff. "Through this groundbreaking work, we're able to assure the redeploying unit that IMCOM-Europe and garrison-support structures are fully cocked and ready to deliver a consistent level of excellence of support regardless of where a unit is in the reset process."

Under the reset initiative, IMCom's goal is to ensure that both soldier and family programs, as well as installation facilities and ranges, support the implementation of Army Force Generation. AFG is the structured progression of increased unit readiness over time, resulting in recurring periods of availability of trained, ready and cohesive units.

At the meeting, garrison and IMCom Europe representatives from a diverse group of specialties, including public works and morale, welfare and recreation, as well as representatives from the 173rd Airborne BCT's rear detachment and European Regional Medical Center, brainstormed key tasks and developed integrated approaches that will be captured in a model that participants hope will be a benchmark for reset operations involving any unit and any garrison.

The reset pilot focuses on the unit, accelerating the reconstitution of the force, increasing unit readiness, and improving preparation for deployment for subsequent deploying units. Participants discussed issues ranging from creature comforts such as bagged lunches for soldiers disembarking from flights out of the combat theater and synchronizing the implementation of the seven-day soldier-reintegration program to a unit's particular needs. They also discussed consolidated marketing efforts to educate affected audiences, including host-nation communities, of the Army's priorities during the reset process.

Officials said participants laid the groundwork for a plan that eventually will nest within the Army's reset model, provide additional accountability through the development of standardized guidance and resources for garrisons to accomplish reintegration tasks, and clearly articulate standards to ensure the same quality level of service at all garrisons.

(From a U.S. Army Installation Management Command Europe news release.)

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