Armywide program returns basic barracks management to NCOs

| March 22, 2013 | 0 Comments
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Under the new FSBP 2020 program, NCOs will run the daily operations of barracks Armywide, such as these enlisted barracks, here. (File photo)

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Under the new FSBP 2020 program, NCOs will run the daily operations of barracks Armywide, such as these enlisted barracks, here. (File photo)

Luke Elliott
U.S. Army Installation Management Command

Since the summer of 2012, personnel from Army installations around the world have worked to change the way barracks are managed across the Army.

The First Sergeants Barracks Program (FSBP) 2020 puts the responsibility of providing barracks management and ensuring good order and discipline back into the hands of Army units.

“The core principles of FSBP 2020 are to support the mission, take care of Soldiers and use resources wisely,” said Connie Glenn, chief, Housing Division, Headquarters, U.S. Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM). “We realigned the roles of the garrison and mission units as a means to standardize barracks management worldwide and reduce costs.”

FSBP 2020 is a program implemented by the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management (OACSIM) and IMCOM. Its goal is to see that barracks are managed through the military units and noncommissioned officer channels, with ongoing support from IMCOM garrison personnel.

“By the end of 2012, units moved to the forefront as the face of barracks management when they assumed an increased responsibility for the day-to-day management of barracks operations,” said Glenn. “Garrison staffs fell back to a more supportive oversight role, providing units with expertise in property management, training, mentoring and to serve as the liaison between the units and the garrison.”

To develop the plan, IMCOM activated an FSBP 2020 task force comprised of experts from IMCOM Headquarters, OACSIM and 12 installations from around the world.

Each garrison also created an internal team to provide support and technical advice as the plan to transfer barracks management responsibilities back to the units was being developed.

Officials say the plan is a major shift in the barracks management paradigm and was a lot to accomplish under a short deadline.

“Getting unit-level military leadership back in the barracks is a good thing,” said Mark Hjuler, acting chief, Unaccompanied Personnel Housing Branch, Housing Division, Headquarters, IMCOM. “Noncommissioned officers need to be in the barracks checking on the living conditions and morale and welfare of their Soldiers.”

Historically, it was commonplace for NCOs and individual units to manage the barracks where their Soldiers lived. But it became apparent in 2007 that conditions in some of the Army’s barracks had deteriorated to an unacceptable level.

In addition, the Army was also in the process of investing billions of dollars in barracks improvements and construction, which led to reassigning responsibility of barracks management functions to the garrison staff.

According to Glenn, by 2012, the growth in the costs to the Army made garrison management of the barracks no longer sustainable.

“Garrisons across the installation management community have done a fine job managing these barracks while living up to our commitment to ensure Soldiers have high-quality living quarters,” said Hjuler. “Now, it is time to put the NCOs back in charge where they belong.”

Despite handing the management of the barracks back to the military units, garrisons across the Army community still have a large role to play, to include providing oversight of accompanied housing, managing other installation facilities, and providing resources, support and training for the units that are assuming barracks management.

“NCO leadership, with IMCOM guidance, is critically important to the program’s success,” said Glenn. “We have to ensure standards and barracks’ quality so that the garrison housing divisions continue to serve as the primary source of on-the-job training, oversight, quality assurance and mentorship to the military units.”

To help in this training effort, OACSIM and IMCOM released a document in January called the “First Sergeants Barracks Program 2020 Handbook,” which outlines the program and serves as a guide to managing and operating an Army barracks building. The document explains roles and responsibilities, quarters’ eligibility, key management and control, facility maintenance, furnishing management, property loss and damages, inspections and many other topics.

“This is a great document,” said Hjuler. “When I was a first sergeant, I didn’t have a document like this.”

While the program is working through some kinks, a huge part of the process of transitioning these responsibilities back to units and NCOs has been completed.

Since last summer, 52 of the 74 IMCOM installations have migrated basic barracks management responsibilities to military units.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *