Ask the Garrison Commander: Mulbury addresses housing, AAFES facilities and safety

| September 22, 2011 | 0 Comments

Col. Douglas Mulbury
Commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

Mulbury

Mulbury

The “Ask the Garrison Commander” program allows Soldiers, civilians and family members to present concerns and recommend outcomes.

U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii directorates and support staff research queries and provide responses to me, which are monitored by a customer management team.

A sampling of these questions that have community-wide impact are published in the Hawaii Army Weekly.

Submit questions via the Ask the Garrison Commander email address and through the USAG-HI web link at www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/comments/contactgc.aspx. Time-sensitive concerns should be directed to the Interactive Customer Evaluation system at ice.disa.mil.

Q: My husband is a sergeant with six years of service, and we have one daughter. We’ve never lived on post because the housing we qualify for is awful compared to what we’re able to rent off post. I would like to know why the military continues to use the rank/dependent system to determine the quality of housing Soldiers and families qualify for; it’s dated and creates a class system that does nothing to promote morale. 

A: Homes are designated for officers, senior enlisted and junior enlisted in accordance with Army guidelines and the home assignment process, as set forth by the Army, and is based on rank, the number of command-sponsored dependents and availability.

The quality of on-post housing has improved dramatically in recent years, particularly here in Hawaii, following privatization. Since privatization, in excess of 3,200 homes have been constructed and more than 1,000 have been renovated. Within the next six years, we expect to have all remaining homes rebuilt or renovated, and all two-bedroom units completely eliminated from our inventory and replaced with more spacious three-, four- and five-bedroom homes. We have already completed more than 60 percent of this work, with priority going to junior noncommissioned officer and NCO homes.

We are well on our way to being able to provide modern and quality-built homes, comparable to or better than those found in the surrounding civilian community, for anyone who desires to reside on post.

Q: The main Army and Air Force Exchange Service gas station at Schofield Barracks is in a poor state of repair. It is rare when all of the gas pumps and air dispensers work. The credit card readers are often broken, the paper towel dispensers are broken or empty, and the washer fluid containers are not filled. Also, if the gas pumps had longer hoses, they would be able to accommodate all cars and trucks, regardless of which side the filler cap is located.

A: The Exchange is in the process of upgrading its gas dispensers. The manager of the Schofield Car Care Center apologizes for the mechanical condition of the gas dispensers and assures me the staff is monitoring them on an hourly basis, to ensure the pumps remain in proper working condition. Also, they are closely watching the washer fluid containers to ensure they are kept full and clean. The air pumps were recently replaced, and they will be checked on a regular basis to ensure they remain operational.

Q: What can be done to prevent people from climbing the fence and coming on to the installation, particularly at night? I recently had some things stolen from my home, and others in my neighborhood have seen strangers climbing the fences surrounding their houses and coming into their yards. 

A: With an installation as large and as spread out as ours, it is impossible for our limited number of Military Police and other security personnel to prevent trespassing and the other types of criminal activity.

That’s why it is incumbent upon all Soldiers, families and civilians to work with our MPs to help make USAG-HI safe and secure. The safety of our installation and our housing communities is a responsibility that must be shared by community members and the police.

Our law enforcement program relies on each of us to assist the police by serving as their eyes and ears. We all have a responsibility for being alert to strangers in our neighborhoods, taking note of unusual activity and reporting suspicious behavior to the proper authorities.

To submit an “Ask the Commander” question, send an email to AskTheCommander.usaghi@us.army.mil. For more information, call Rosie Stone (655-9033) at USAG-HI’s Customer Relations Team, or call Aiko Brum (656-3155) at USAG-HI Public Affairs Office.

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