Fort Campbell, Kentucky – Director of Installation Services Michael E. Reheuser, Office of the G-9 Deputy Chief of Staff, visited Fort Campbell Feb. 6-9 to step back and assess housing conditions, fire stations, environmental programs and municipal services.
While in office, Reheuser closely examined the facility’s housing options, water treatment plants, and restored native grasslands in Fort Campbell’s training areas.
“I’m here because of the support we’re trying to provide the facility in terms of funding, policy and direction,” he said. “You learn a lot more from talking to people than from sitting in the Pentagon, so really what I want to do [here] it’s having a dialogue.
“The people I met are dedicated professionals, both army civilians and soldiers, and the facility has a great culture,” he said. “It’s just a really integrated team in terms of what they do.”
Reheuser said he was particularly impressed with how the facility’s leaders involve their employees in decision-making processes.
“Every organization I’ve encountered seeks and values input from subordinates and employees, and I think that’s good practice,” he said. “Leadership sets the baseline goals and the direction we’re going, but every leader I’ve met encourages feedback from subordinates to better understand the problem at hand and possible solutions to the problems we face.”
One example is the Integrated Natural Resource Management Plan, or INRMP, a long-term plan developed by gathering information from organizations across the facility.
“The budget is getting tight, we know that,” said Gene Zirkle, wildlife biologist, Conservation Branch, Fort Campbell Public Works Branch. “That’s why it’s important to build our partnerships internally at Fort Campbell, because what’s good for me is good for the rest of the people. We need to pool our money, sit down and collaborate more to see where we want to go.
This collective approach was responsible for the 1,352-acre Training Area 3 Woodlands and Grasslands Restoration Project, which leveraged Base Operations Support, or BOS, and the Army Reimbursable Account, or ARA, funds to remove small trees and invasive species from the area over a two-year period. Therefore, the garrison supported the training mission while protecting species at risk.
“I think the way the environmental team approached the grassland issue was really unique,” said Reheuser, who visited the area on his tour. “This collaborative effort has resulted in great success, to bring the grasslands back and look like they were many years ago without harming the training fields. Coming to a facility and seeing funds provided by senior leaders put to good use was downright inspiring.
Fort Campbell also invested a significant amount of money in on-site housing, and Reheuser said only Fort Hood, Texas was working with more funding in this area.
The Army has approved an $87.4 million development project in 2020 to support more than 140 new homes in the upcoming community of Erevia Park, 170 major home renovations in New Hammond Heights and the demolition of 250 outdated homes in LaPointe Village, among other community improvements throughout the next five years.
Reheuser’s tour included a tour of Erevia Park’s windshield and a closer look at ongoing renovations in New Hammond Heights, where he saw both the current floor plan and a renovated prototype.
“We have 28 homes that we’ve completed to date, and we’re progressing quite well,” said Karsten Haake, Lendlease project manager for the Campbell Crossing community.
Renovations to each building are expected to take approximately six weeks, with overall completion expected in fall 2023.
“We are making very positive steps with our PMQs,” Reheuser said. “The [housing] partner here has received an influx of money that will be used to tear down old houses and build new ones, so that’s very positive. We are putting money into our barracks, but frankly we have a long way to go.
According to Reheuser, the Army has about $2 billion in unfunded barracks requirements in its fiscal year 2022 budget, and the number of shoddy barracks buildings across the company has made renovation of the barracks a top priority for the leadership.
Fort Campbell is home to several barracks that were built in the 1970s as part of the Volunteer Army, or VOLAR, project, and Reheuser walked through one of them to better understand living conditions.
“It’s an area where we really struggle in the military,” he said.
As Reheuser strives to help solve this problem in Washington, the next generation of Army civilian leaders are tackling their own problems with this year’s Fort Campbell Leadership 2.0 cohort.
LFC 2.0 is a six-week professional development course that brings together Fort Campbell Garrison employees to solve problems using Army Design Methodology, or ADM. Reheuser stopped by the Garrison Learning Center to learn more about the program and answer questions from attendees.
“I was impressed with the complexity of the effort they are undertaking,” he said. “I was impressed with the questions they asked about the military as a whole, but also how they could improve as individuals, and I was impressed that there were people from all walks of life and all jobs on the facility working together to try to improve procedures. .”
While LFC 2.0 students are tasked with solving a specific problem during their course, the ultimate goal is for them to continue to apply what they have learned in their own directions.
It’s exciting because we’re learning the ADM model in real time, said Dr. Leigh Baldwin, psychologist and clinical chief, Fort Campbell Behavioral Health, Blanchfield Army Community Hospital.
“We can take [what we learned] back to our respective environments and recreate that as ambassadors of the Army design methodology. We each have our own issues in our workspace, and we learn that so we can translate it into problem solving in each of our areas.
Reheuser expects those efforts to go well since every employee he met during his tour was passionate about their work — one of the many aspects of the facility that stood out to him, he said. -he declares.