U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii leaders make progress on several AFAP issues

| May 28, 2010 | 0 Comments

Bill Mossman
News Editor

In part three of a four-part series, work groups update actions on transportation, AAFES movies and AHFH leasing options

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Transportation concerns raised at the recent 2010 Army Family Action Plan Conference have not escaped the attention of U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii leadership, who plan on instituting a bus shuttle service this summer in order for Army residents to move with greater ease between posts.

The shuttle service (see Issue No. 9 below) kicks off June 7 — the same day when subject matter experts, or SMEs, and conference delegates are expected to convene, here, for the Garrison Commander’s AFAP Steering Committee Meeting.

Inside the main Post Conference Room, SMEs and delegates will meet with USAG-HI senior leaders to discuss quality of life issues for Soldiers and their family members, including the aforementioned shuttle service.

“The shuttle issue is important because it will allow safe passage for our garrison youth between installations during the summer months,” said Tracey Clark, Army Community Service volunteer corps coordinator. “It has an added value, in that if the youth can safely get to different installations and attend approved activities, then they stay out of trouble as well. 

“You can’t beat that combination,” Clark said.

This week, in the third of a four-part series, the Hawaii Army Weekly looks at four issues previously discussed at this year’s AFAP, and the action plan the garrison is currently pursuing to deal with each issue.

Issue No. 9: Transportation between Helemano Military Reservation, Wheeler Army Airfield and Schofield Barracks.

SME Agency: Directorate of Logistics.

Scope: No public transportation is between HMR, Wheeler and Schofield, which is a safety issue because teens who want to travel between posts to attend activities have to walk or ride a bike.  

Highways must be crossed to get to Schofield to Wheeler, or vice versa, which affects all Soldiers, spouses and family members who live on these posts. The lack of transportation limits the number of activities teens may attend.

Issue 9 Conference Recommendations: Recommend a military-contracted bus that travels between the three posts. Conduct a survey with family members to determine times for the bus, and schedule the bus to run for certain activities, such as community and teen center events. 

Recommend a minimal bus fare to be charged to help pay for the buses.

Current Action Plan: In order to provide increased access to our facilities for youth and Soldiers who may not have transportation from outlying communities or within the installations, the garrison is initiating a Summer Bus Shuttle Service in Oahu North. 

Starting June 7, the shuttle will run daily, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., between HMR, Mendonca Park, Schofield Barracks, Wheeler and Camp Stover. 

The bus will make stops at most major recreation areas, including the skateboard park, Soldier Support Center, teen center, Richardson Pool, paintball park, post exchange, Burger King, and the bowling alley. 

While the initiative will provide greater opportunities for youth, leaders should emphasize to Soldiers/families that this service is a privilege. Proper behavior and supervision is required. No child younger than 12 may ride the bus unaccompanied by an adult (defined as over 18 years of age). 

Issue No. 10: Military bus system.

SME Agency: DOL.

Scope: Currently, many Soldiers and their family members feel isolated, less involved and stranded because of the absence of transportation. 

Those who reside off Schofield, and who do not own a vehicle, have limited access to programs and facilities. As a result, they are forced to pay out-of-pocket expenses to rent a vehicle for transportation if they want access to programs and facilities, thus causing undue financial hardship.

Issue 10 Conference Recommendations: Reinstate the previous inter-post shuttle to provide access to facilities for Soldiers and their family members. 

Provide more times and routes for the off-post military bus service to alleviate traffic and rising gas prices.

Current Action Plan: See Issue No. 9 for current action plan.

Issue No. 11: Sgt. Smith Theater movie titles and showtimes.    

SME Agency: Army and Air Force Exchange Service.

Scope: Movie theaters show outdated movies on few days and limited times. The current selections are already being sold in stores. New releases are only available at off-post locations, which makes it inconvenient for people who do not drive and have to ride the city bus. 

Improving movie selections would increase safety and convenience for all military and family members.

AFAP Conference Recommendations: Offer new releases. Increase showtimes/days to include furlough Fridays. Offer midnight premiers.

Current Action Plan: This issue will be discussed and an action plan developed at the June 7 Garrison Commander’s AFAP Steering Committee meeting.

Issue No. 12: Army Hawaii Family Housing lease options.

SME Agency: Army Hawaii Family Housing. 

Scope: Currently, residents who accept a lease through AHFH cannot be placed back on the waiting list for alternate housing when their lease expires.

Circumstances often change for service members and their family members, such as job location, school location, health issues, commute time, or desire for different amenities. 

AFAP Conference Recommendations: Change the current policy to allow residents the option of being placed on a wait list once the original lease has expired. 

Current Action Plan: This issue will be discussed and an action plan developed at the June 7 Garrison Commander’s AFAP Steering Committee meeting.


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