USAG Stuttgart Comunity Town Hall Recap

By Holly DeCarlo-White
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Commander Col. Neal Corson led his second Community Town Hall session, May 16 on Robinson Barracks. At the conclusion of the meeting, RB Commissary management were awarded with a Certificate of Achievement following a nomination submitted by community members including those of the PTSA, and RB Zentrum. The commissary was recognized for their partnerships with the school and other community initiatives throughout the year.

The following is a recap of information provided during the event. Questions were submitted in advance or asked during the town hall event. The next Town Hall is scheduled May 23 on Panzer Kaserne and May 31 on Patch Barracks. Community members can submit questions in advance to the Public Affairs Office

RECAP: Robinson Barracks Community Town Hall May 16, 2018

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Duty Bus

The Duty bus is leaving more than 5 minutes before schedule, or just not arriving at all. There is only one bus per hour Patch to RB. The rush hour buses should definitely not be leaving before the posted time. How can community members be alerted if there is an issue like a bus breakdown or that buses are running late?

There are many reasons for bus delays. The office is currently short on operators, Buses are stretched thin with only one driver available per route, and one delay in traffic can hold them up. The Installation Transportation Officer is working to ensure buses don’t leave earlier than posted times.  The drivers have mandatory breaks, but they often can’t take them for hours due to having to keep such tight schedules. The garrison currently does not have a tracking mechanism to determine where buses are when they go between installations.  The garrison is looking at putting radios in the buses to communicate with the bus drivers while they are on route. Community members also must to keep in mind that Duty/Shuttle buses are for Active Duty members. Everyone else riding is based on space available. Community members have had positive response when calling the TMP phone number listed on the bus schedule for status updates, available in the USAG Stuttgart mobile app, or posted at each bus stop. Community members are also urged to ICE comment or send a photo of the plate or a driver that may not be following on or off-post procedures, schedules or policies

For TMP information visit the 405th AFSB LRC Stuttgart Transportation Motorpool (TMP) website: http://www.afsbeurope.army.mil/Stuttgart/TMP.htm

There is a speeding issue at the corner of building 158 with buses and vehicles.

The Directorate of Emergency Services will look into this corner to evaluate speed control options.

MAIL

What is the update on buildings on RB that are still not receiving German mail? Buildings discussed are in the 300’s over the Zuffenhausen line.

The Directorate of Human Resources is tracking that there has been a problem with the German Post Office not delivering mail across all of RB. Unfortunately, there is no short cut to get base access. DHR has a German speaker in the office who is going to coordinate appointments and work with the Directorate of Emergency Services regarding obtaining base access for German Postal employees. There are currently two German employees who have “long term” base access.  A third was just approved.

As for the Deutsche Post badges from the DES perspective, Host Nation employees go through the same badging/access procedure as any others wanting to work on base (Ponds Guards, Centerra Employees, etc.).  Each individual’s history involved is different (and not necessarily something that will be broadcast to the public).

Does mail delivery include DHL?

Currently, no. DHR will reach out to DHL for the appropriate contacts and coordination if possible. FedEx does have base access.

Emergency Response

There is a paper/sign that says “your sprinkler systems aren’t working” – Is this accurate and when will it be fixed? Community members noted Building 158, (and other buildings) and also provided the posted sign taken from their own building.

The fire alarms and sprinkler systems all function. The fire alarms are not connected to automatically call or alert the fire department. Installation Management Command Europe is aware and working on funding this issue. In the event of a fire or emergency, someone must call 112, or the MP Desk at DSN: 431-3102/civ. 07031-15-3102 for response. This information is provided in the Housing Handbook and also during in processing briefings. Learn more about emergency response times on base here. The advantage at RB is that there are multiple Fire Departments in the area with less than15-minute response times – that is the standard in Europe.

MP’s do not patrol, and they are found sleeping in their vehicles on occasion.

Download the mobile app which has a direct link to ICE, and the contact to dial out to the MP Desk to report it immediately. Send a photo or the license plate number so DES can address it with leadership. Why ICE?  ICE tracks an issue and gets looked at by everyone. ICE takes a while, so if you call the MPs, it will be more immediate.

Is there a blotter report that can be shared?

Sending the blotter out is not going to happen because of privacy issues.

Is there anything we can do as residents to help bridge the gap?  So it’s not us/them, but we can work together?

There are a couple initiatives the garrison commander has asked of DES to get the MPs more involved.  (1) Having the MPs get out of their cars and walk and go talk to people, especially as the weather gets nicer. (2) Make sure the patrols understand the layout of the schools.  The first time the MP walks in there, shouldn’t be during an emergency.  They should know what it looks like, be involved in lock down drills. Be more present (maybe not patrolling schools during school hours). Due to rotation, exercises in Europe and training, the MP’s will be on 12 hour shifts through the summer.

Community members remind MP’s that all are welcome to come in for a coffee while on or off duty to the RB Zentrum when it’s open.

Housing Repairs

 Why does an inspector need to see “proof” before fixing items called in for service orders?

When a service order is called in, it needs to be determined if it is fair wear and tear, or damage. Based on when the person arrived, the priority of the repair needs to be determined as well, for example, if someone is leaving and it can be addressed after they leave, the repair may wait.  If it is a window that is broken, the inspector will ask if you’ve addressed it with the MPs to validate it.

Why is this visit unannounced? 

When service personnel come out to do repairs/inspection, it will be communicated via telephone or email.  The only time it will be unannounced is when those two methods of communication have failed.

 Are service personnel allowed to go in a home without you there?

Absolutely not, unless you give them prior approval or in the event of an emergency.

Housing is charging tenants for normal wear and tear when items break on a regular basis. Is this justifiable?

 If the occupant-caused damage, you will be charged.  But keep in mind it is depreciated so you will be charged based on the value of the item at that time – the depreciated value. The Directorate of Public Works does track the frequency to establish trends and make adjustments across the installations.

 How does the moving in/out date impact whether something is repaired?

If a repair is not a life-threating safety issue, the repair may wait until your DEROS. A screen door repair, for example, does not qualify. The priority of the repair needs to be determined, for example, if someone is leaving and it can be addressed after they leave, the repair may wait. There are certain repairs people want that could cause significant disruption. Example: If it is a leak and we have to replace the whole bathroom, and you are leaving in two months, the garrison might wait to schedule the repair as the work will cause more of a disruption to the resident’s family life than the issue itself.

 Regarding determining if it is tenant damage. Do you let the tenant know right away or is it just billed at the end?

Typically, the inspector will let you know that you may have to pay for something. Per community feedback, the garrison will work with Housing to improve the communication between the tenant and the inspector at the time of the inspection, if cost is anticipated.

Contractors use the wrong materials in some buildings causing items to break, example, hinges on balcony doors.

Every building gets renovated at different times.  Mike Cordova (overall Installation coordinator present during the meeting) will come out and determine if there is a systemic issue.

 Why do you have a contract that allows such a long time to fix items?

The contract allows 60 days. Typically, unless it is a life, health, or safety issue, which they have two days to repair, the time allowance for repairs is 60 days.

There were 18,000 repairs for the entire garrison last year, 46% of those repairs were for housing,” said Robert Massey, chief of the USAG Stuttgart Housing Division.

Is there a lifecycle on appliances to be replaces?

Yes, however, it is not automatically replaced. If it is not working properly, call the Service Order Desk operated by Centerra, 0711-729-6200 to have a technician look at it. If it is past its lifecycle, instead of repairs, the item will be replaced.

What is the update with Legionnaire’s testing?

Testing started May 14 on Panzer. Each installation will follow. Read the announcement. It is not a requirement to test for it in the U.S. They started testing based on a German requirement on post in Rhineland-Pfalz.  It is something you drink in water every day. The problem is when it becomes airborne (in a shower) and it manifests like pneumonia. It manifests in hot water heaters/boilers.  It is fairly easy to get rid of by raising the temperature to 60 degrees Celsius.  Earlier this year, DPW checked to make sure water heaters were running correctly. DPW is testing the boilers and showers at random. Residents will be notified as testing continues.

 What is the status of the Solar Panel Installation and parking consumed by contractors?

The installation will last three months and spaces will be relieved as buildings are completed.

How do I report a contractor parking in my designated space instead of their own?

Contact the Installation Coordinator who is based on RB, and/or the MP Desk DSN: 431-3102/civ. 07031-15-3102 immediately. It is helpful to provide the license plate number of the vehicle or take an image as well.

Is it true that the duplexes down the hill have toxic gases?

The area is a former dumping ground for construction materials during World War II. A man did pass away while working underground, the cause of death was not released by the Germans to the garrison. After testing, there were elevated levels of gases found. The Health inspector did testing and gave the OK for living quarters, pending the installation of testing/safety monitoring systems. The U.S. is trying to request funding from Germany in order to occupy them. They’re six years old and have never been lived in. If the garrison can’t get the funding for the monitoring equipment, they will be torn down.

To contact the Installation Coordinators, call:

Patch Barracks: DSN: 430-5450/0711-680-5450

Kelley Barracks & SAAF: DSN: 421-6280/0711-680-6280 and DSN: 430-5450/0711-680-5450

Panzer Kaserne: DSN: 431-2806/7031-15-2806

Robinson Barracks: DSN: 420-6033/civ. 0711-819-6033

Housing Office: DSN: 431-2346/civ. 7031-15-2346

DPW Environmental contacts: DSN 421-6131 and DSN 421-6135.

 Fitness Center

When is Wi-Fi coming to RB?

Stuttgart Family & MWR are working diligently to get Wi-Fi in all facilities. This initiative, called the Centralized Enterprise Network (CEN) is also supported by their Headquarters in San Antonio. A team has surveyed all MWR buildings in Stuttgart and they are working with 52nd Signal to determine which facilities need to have additional fiber lines connected to the buildings. Once this is done, the project will go to contracting and start installation. Wi-Fi at all of the other three gyms is in place.

When is 24/7 access coming to RB?

24/7 is also something that is a goal of MWR and the garrison commander. There is an investment that goes with that – cameras, control doors, key pads.  RB is next pending funding.

Why can’t the gym open on Sunday?

Stuttgart Family & MWR is aware of the need to expand days and hours for the RB Fitness Center due to the need of the community. We have been developing

Recreation Center & DODEA

Can the rental fee for the community room be changed (currently $25)?

The current state of the facility is not up to a standard at this time. Until facility and service improvements are made, this fee will be waived starting now. There are plans being developed to renovate the facility to make it more hospitable for hosting events, classes and functions for the RB community.

Can trash cans be added?

Yes, trash cans will be added.

Can the basketball court be used for activities in the evening?

As a DODEA facility, it is up to them whether it is used or not. People can put in the proper request so it goes through approvals with the school to use the gym (court space).

Is there asbestos at the school?

The roof at the gym had asbestos which was found at the time the roof collapsed. It was in the tiles and beam insulation but has been completely removed and redone. Right now, there is no asbestos in the school. If there was, it would be shut down immediately.

Childcare

Explain Babysitting vs. illegal childcare.

This might be something to address one-on-one. Contact Parent Central Services. Babysitting can’t become childcare and provide 8+ hour/day of service. Charging and advertising is a problem as it then becomes a home-based business. If you are just swapping hours it is ok.  If you’re not advertising, it is ok.  If you are watching someone’s child two hours every week so they can go do something specific, that’s childcare.  It comes down to intent. Intermittent is ok.

What is CYS doing to address hourly care?  I call hourly every day and get turned down every day.

CYS is actively recruiting with the next job fair scheduled in June. Admin staff, cooks, etc. are needed in addition to childcare program assistants. There are more than 40 positions available.

I am unable to get childcare for both children even if spots are available due to their different ages – why? 

When you have different ages, there are different requirements for age ratios to childcare providers. Right now the garrison is running day care facilities at about 50% of manning.  There physically is space, but not the needed manning. Unfortunately for this community, there is a lot of senior population (not junior) that don’t want to do this work.  It is a struggle to recruit people. To aid in the search, the garrison recently opened up 10 staff slots for local national employees where three have applied so far. Stuttgart Family & MWR has also maxed out the pay scale to recruit new personnel to better compete with AAFES and other on-post agencies. If community members have a passion and want to work with kids, CYS will provide the training during an 18 month program.  Entry: $12.50 an hour.  Skilled: $14.00/hour. Degree in related field: $15.50.

 How long from when someone applies to when they start work?

Three months to start work, then the background check is another 3+ months.

If you have children at home and you want to get a job, do you have child care?

The priority increases for staff though duel service member and working families remain priority.

 Commissary & AAFES

Can the Commissary be opened earlier at least one day per week? Preferably Saturday.

It is possible to adjust the hours, just not extend the hours due to manning needs. The garrison will work with DeCA to adjust and meet the needs of the community. A survey will be sent to the community to follow.

What is the update of the RB Commissary closing and Furniture Warehouse?

The DOD decision to consolidate the commissaries to one location on Panzer Kaserne has been made. Right now, the new commissary is on a November 2021 opening target. AAFES is looking into what services they will be able to provide in place of the commissary on base. The AAFES business model is if the business doesn’t make money, they have to close it. Along with the closure of the commissaries, the 85,000 square foot off-post furniture/appliance warehouse will also close and likely require both the commissary and existing furniture store to accommodate it.  The garrison is working with AAFES to accommodate this.

The recent food truck was a success on RB, will food truck services continue?

Yes, AAFES/The Exchange are committed to providing services on RB and other installation as the demand continues to prove successful.

How do I get notified on garrison information (i.e. this town hall)?

The USAG Stuttgart mobile app, AFN Stuttgart radio and the Stuttgartcitizen.com daily email subscription are the best ways to get information in one place and stay informed. The garrison will work with DPW to improve communication to building coordinators.

RECAP: Kelley Barracks Community Town Hall April 19, 2018

U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Commander Col. Neal Corson led his first Community Town Hall session, April 19 on Kelley Barracks. The following is a recap of information provided during the event, as well as responses to community member submitted questions answered by the corresponding directorate. The next town hall is on Robinson Barracks, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the chapel.

PCS Season is upon us!

Each spring, in and out processing personnel actions spike creating great demands on garrison services.

“People have already started out processing. We are about to see a spike with in processing,” Corson said.

The goal of garrison leadership is to alleviate some of the stress on services by anticipating friction in historical areas that might be exacerbated this year.

The facility for in and out processing is not designed for the volume of personnel it receives. The location and space available for briefings to accommodate the numbers of personnel coming and going becomes an issue.

Improved In Processing Schedule

Changes are being made to streamline in processing, grouping briefings and shortening the schedule. Those changes are expected to be implemented soon. Under the new format, a fast track option will be available for those who desire it. The new schedule will identify briefings certain personnel may opt out of if it is not a fit for their situation, for example, a single/unaccompanied service member may opt out of the childcare briefing. By grouping like classes and also specifying those that are intended for families, civilian or active duty personnel. By grouping classes, it creates a more efficient and effective way for community members to get the information they need and be a little less overwhelmed by allowing time to sort out personal matters that come with moving overseas such as getting a cell phone, or searching for a place to live since more than 78 percent of community members assigned to Stuttgart live off-post.

Remove CAC Enabled Appointments

A solution to make appointments available without a CAC via an off-the-shelf service is confirmed. Implementation is expected by summer for offices to include Vehicle Registration, Inspection, and Housing. The benefit is that dependents can access every garrison service from their home or mobile phones to create appointments. The new appointment system also has the ability to add non-garrison agencies as well, to make appointments possible for them using this service. Updates on new appointment links will be posted on the garrison website and USAG Stuttgart mobile app.

Construction, Long Term Projects

Vehicle Registration: The office is under construction, past the scheduled date of completion. Although it is not optimal, the plan is to move the registration office to a temporary location in the same building, allowing the construction contract to stay on track.

Sewer System: The Directorate of Public Works contractors have been digging the roads up and putting in a new sewer system on Kelley Barracks to ensure the garrison is compliant with host nation sewer system requirements.  Expected completion: October 2019.

Kelley Pedestrian Gate Upgrades: AFRICOM is financing two pedestrian gate booths at the front and back of Kelley Barracks. Hopefully these upgrades will mean the system is down less.

Fire Alarm System Upgrades: Work is underway now through July at the Kelley Fitness Center. The Patch Fitness Center will follow.

Heating Lines: The project will impact Patch Commissary shoppers and Patch housing areas.  Montanastrasse will experience roadwork soon in order to install a more efficient heating system.

New Patch Elementary School on Patch Barracks: Demolition is in progress. Expected completion: 2021.

New Childcare Facilities: The Patch Community Club will be converted into a Child Development Center, replacing the current facility. The former religious education building is also under renovation to become a space for School Age Services on Patch Barracks.

Meeting Spaces: When the community club closes on Patch Barracks, MWR is looking to renovate the Swabian Special Events Center and the Kelley Club for meetings and events.

Panzer Main Gate: The new gate is opened. Through July, work will take place to install permanent overhangs, replacing the temporary canopies.

New Auto Skills Center: Funding is approved for a $10 million project to demo and renovate a larger space to include a new automated car wash on Panzer Kaserne. Anticipated start: 2020.

Commissary Consolidation: The new commissary on Panzer Kaserne is scheduled to be completed November 2021. Construction is expected to begin in August. The City of Böblingen is reviewing the traffic impact on Panzerstrasse. A complaint has been filed with the German government.  The garrison is working with the city and county to alleviate concerns. The city and county has requested the German Federal Government pay for an expansion of the road.

New Robinson Barracks Elementary School: Anticipated start: 2020

New Patch Middle School: USAG Stuttgart is working with DODEA to determine where to rebuild or replace the middle school. Anticipated start: 2026.

Improved Connection: The installation as a whole is going through internet modernization. Updates are in place to update old wiring to VOIP phone systems. There may be a period when there will be phone issues. Service and emergency phone numbers are scheduled to remain the same. Updated information will be communicated as necessary.

Former Robinson Barracks Hotel Renovation: MWR is working to establish the best location to increase the number of hotel rooms for USAG Stuttgart. The old Hilltop Hotel on RB is a prime candidate for renovation to accommodate rotation forces and Reservists who come into the community for tours of one year or less.  The project is being prepared for submission for funds in 2020.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Security, Facilities and Infrastructure

Improve responsiveness to building coordinators: Lack of response to questions, issues and communication updates/status of maintenance from DPW to Building/Housing area coordinators.

Each installation has an identified an area coordinator’s direct who is the point person for DPW for all concerns. Mike Cordova is responsible for overseeing the Installation Coordinators. Dag Kregenow is responsible for Kelley Barracks/SAAF (DSN: 421-6280/0711-680-6280 and DSN: 430-5450/0711-680-5450). The Housing Office is also a source to resolve issues that may arise at DSN: 431-2346/civ. 7031-15-2346.

DPW Environmental contacts: DSN 421-6131 and DSN 421-6135. Proper and timely communication between the contractor, to DPW systems and Service Order Desk (0711-729-6200), and to the customer is an issue the garrison is aware of. If a service order is under 3,000 euros in repair, it is typically completed quickly. However, if the work order is estimated at more than 3,000 euros, the timeline increases to a 90-180 day process at a minimum, and can only progress if funding is available.

The fire alarm system in our building fails, no response or follow up from the building coordinator on the status.

Fire alarms are tested regularly. The garrison is working to update the fire alarm systems. Every housing unit in Army Family Housing does not tie directly to the fire department. In the event of an emergency, immediately contact 112 or the MP Desk at DSN: 431-3102/civ. 07031-15-3102.

Due to current roadwork on Kelley, large trucks, duty buses, etc. detour through housing and do not follow roadway/speed regulations. There is a lack of Military Police enforcement.

The Director of Emergency Services and Chief of Police met with the concerned citizen after the town hall meeting and walked the ground that was discussed in the issue.  Some of the traffic issues are a direct result of the sewer construction project and will be addressed as such. The suggested alternate traffic route for buses is now implemented and the Police Chief will implement increased targeted enforcement in this area. The MP’s have jurisdiction over all traffic on-post including Duty Buses and contractors. Community members are encouraged to immediately report violations of parking and driving regulations on-post to the MP Desk at DSN: 431-3102/civ. 07031-15-3102 with as much information as possible about the driver, vehicle and license plate number. DES reports issues back to LRC so the drivers can be counseled and disciplined as needed.

Dangerous cross-walks and intersections: Where are you supposed to stop, there are multiple lines?  Are there plans to reconfigure [the intersections]?

The rule is that wherever the stop sign is, there is supposed to be a white line. Stop at the first line, if there is another line, you don’t have to stop. The Safety Office and DPW are working on what the right thing to do is at stops and intersections as construction progresses on Kelley.

A four way stop is not German law or IAW overseas post regulations, however, these type of intersections exist on Patch and Kelley. This can cause some confusion with delivery vehicles and local national drivers. The Safety Office looked at the intersections on Kelley Barracks and recommended that the road be changed to a priority road. The changes will be implemented as construction and roadwork is completed.

How do I get information about updates on construction etc.?

The USAG Stuttgart mobile app is also a one-stop resource for services and information. Additionally, community members can direct message the garrison Facebook page with questions. Subscribe to stuttgartcitizen.com to get email updates of news and information.

The garrison website (www.stuttgart.army.mil) often times is incorrect or outdated. This is frustrating.

This is an issue the garrison will work to resolve. In December, the web administrator lost the capability to update the website due to a software issue. This is now corrected. Community members and personnel can submit inaccuracies to the Public Affairs Office via email at: usarmy.stuttgart.id-europe.mbx.usag-stuttgart-media@mail.mil. Additionally, use the feedback button on the USAG Stuttgart mobile app to submit any questions or issues.

How do you get Service or Work Order Status?  

Call the Service Order Desk operated by Centerra, 0711-729-6200, with the service order number. Desk staff will contact the contractor for an updated status. Customers must have an order number to obtain status. Additionally, customers can email their work order number to DPW to request an update within one business day: usarmy.stuttgart.imcom-europe.mbx.dpw@mail.mil. A new base maintenance contract will start new in June and is expected to be more extensive than the previous service contract.

Appliance repairs and replacement take months and command involvement to correct.

A central contractor maintains all appliances. Appliances are limited, over the past winter Stuttgart had a shortage of washers and dryers. It can be challenging to receive status updates from the contractor. Contact the Housing Office to report issues with contract repairs for appliances.

Building and Family Housing Water Issues

 Heat and water issues should be reported immediately to the Service Order Desk at 0711-729-6200 or after hours at 0711-7228-6115. Once a service order is obtained, if the issue is not Email to request an update within one business day: usarmy.stuttgart.imcom-europe.mbx.dpw@mail.mil.

Can the Kelley Club be used to host community bunko nights, coffee meets, and Christmas parties?

Clubs and special event centers on-post are operated and maintained by Family and MWR and are available at a cost. Clubs on-post are business-based and must make a profit to remain open. By regulation, they are not authorized to have food or drink brought in from the outside. The Panzer (Fire House) Community Club can be reserved at no cost, and the Robinson Barracks Zentrum (RBZ) is also available to be reserved by organizations for events and group meetings that are open to the community.

What about making the Kelley Club a club again?

MWR is working with AFRICOM on a lunch program concept.

What are the implications of people bringing trash on-post to dump?

Garrison Policy Letter 59, the housing handbook and on and off post recycling guides are clear on proper actions for waste/trash removal and recycling. Failure to comply with the provisions of the policy could result in adverse administrative or punitive action, including punishment under the UCMJ for service members. Enforcement is a challenge. Community members are strongly encouraged to report prohibited disposal of trash and waste immediately. Capture the license number and contact the MP Desk at DSN: 431-3102/civ. 07031-15-3102 and the Installation Coordinator. The majority, 78%, of the community lives off post. German local rules are strict where recycling and trash are concerned. The on-post maintenance system is not designed to handle that much refuge. DES also reminds leadership of reporting and on-the-spot correction actions they can take to lessen issues on-post.

Can more trash receptacles and recycling containers be requested behind each building, and at each bus stop, bike stand, AAFES, food courts so persons are more inclined to throw out their waste? 

Building Coordinators can request additional receptacles (typically takes approx. 60-90 days to order and install) if approved. The location of trash receptacles is intended to economically manage refuse while not detracting from the installation appearance. Adjustments are made periodically to receptacle location and frequency of pickup. DPW Environmental will analyze where improvements could be made and develop a communication plan to better facilitate the recycling process on all installations.

Lack of enforcement during spring/fall cleanup. 

Spring and fall clean-up is tasked out as a unit responsibility and is supported by the Installation Coordinators and the Roads and Ground Maintenance contract

Residents take over communal rooms as personal storage space.

In barracks, this should be addressed through the Platoon or First Sergeant. In Army Family Housing this should be addressed through the Building Coordinator for correction.

Thefts/Vandalism issues in housing areas. 

Suspected theft and vandalism should immediately be reported to the MP Desk at DSN: 431-3102/civ. 07031-15-3102 for investigation. The Military Police do not routinely patrol basements in housing, however, they are committed to investigating and preventing crimes in the military community. Timely reports with any and all details regarding the description and/or identity of possible offenders will aid in investigating these crimes and other suspicious activity in housing areas.

Can the back gate on Kelley be opened permanently?

The back gate of Kelley, just like other alternate gates across Stuttgart, is not an access control point, rather it is a gate for emergencies. The two separate problems preventing permanent opening are: The inability to man additional gates with current manpower (Pond Guards and MPs), and the cost associated with constructing an additional access control point. Therefore, there is no plan to open the Kelley back gate permanently.

Why are there constant pedestrian gate breakdowns?

Throughout the European theater there are many issues with the walk-in enhances security pedestrian gates (ESPG). The issues involve the equipment, software and the connectivity. The ESPGs are maintained by an Enterprise level control managed by USAREUR. AFRICOM recently purchased a new gate for Kelley Barracks that should improve reliability.

 Lack of services/limited hours for Kelley Residents (chapel, food, etc.)  

Kelley Barracks is part of the USAG Stuttgart community, there is no requirement for specialized services for each installation. The Army supports a community hub concept where services are based on a centralized location that can sustain that type of service. As 78% of the supported population lives off post, people must travel for sports, youth centers and services needed. Outside of Kelley barracks, the SI Suites is in walking distance with six restaurant options.

If a group of community members is interested in Bible study, or specific religious services, contact the Chaplains to let them know. Contacts are listed at: http://www.stuttgart.army.mil/services-rso.html.

Can a library book return box be installed on Kelley/Panzer?

Yes. Family and MWR will provide library drop boxes at each hotel. Purchase is executed this month and boxes will be installed once the boxes are received. Updates will be communicated through the garrison and MWR Facebook pages, and on stuttgartcitizen.com

Can the Duty Bus schedule be extended in frequency (every 30 min vs every hour) on Kelley?

 he shuttle bus service is operated by the Stuttgart Logistics Readiness Center, 405th Army Field Support Brigade-Europe and Africa and is funded to provide transportation between communities for service members and civilian professionals who work on the five geographically separate installations in the Stuttgart military community. Shuttle bus operation is one of the most robust operations after the one that services the military in Washington D.C. There is no plan to expand the shuttle operation due current funding restraints.

Parking

Lack of parking space, illegal parking and tickets are problems.

There is not enough parking here based on the size of the workforce here. The garrison is working to find new parking places, and eliminate spaces that may currently cause blind spots. The plan is to shrink the DPW yard to increase parking in the large parking lot.

Guidance to DES to increase ticketing in time limited parking spaces was due to several complaints from community member not being able to access on-post services. The MPs are enforcing ticketing of vehicles failing to display the blue placards where marked. This has been successful at Patch Barracks. If there is a parking spot that is not necessarily designated, DES has been instructed not to ticket unless there is a zigzag line indicating no parking.

Is an overflow parking lot [off base] a possibility?

The garrison is looking into this suggestion, and has not previously researched this option. One of the advantages that Kelley has is close access to public transportation.

Are visitor spots in housing solely for residents?

Spots designated for housing are reserved for housing. DES will increase enforcement during morning commute hours. Housing residents are also encouraged to report violations to the MP Desk at DSN: 431-3102/civ. 07031-15-3102. Communication will also be distributed through command leadership that housing visitor spots are not for employees. The garrison is looking at options to expand parking and public transit options to alleviate parking issues.

How we can facilitate parking enforcement as personnel/leadership on Kelley? Is there a specific number to call (to report violations if seen on-post)? Are responses monitored? How can personnel follow up to ensure that illegally parked cars are ticketed? Can the garrison plan for daily drives through the Kelley campus for parking enforcement?

 Multiple MP patrols are present on each installation daily and will investigate parking concerns but need identifying information to take the appropriate action. Suspected illegal parking and other violations should be reported to the MP Desk at DSN: 431-3102/civ. 07031-15-3102 and should include the make, model, color, and especially license plate number to enable the Military Police to investigate and address the concern. Parking complaints and subsequent MP investigations are logged in a daily Military Police Journal with issued citations recorded in our daily Military Police Blotter. Parking complainants are welcome to observe reported vehicles to see if a citation was issued but DES will not release the results of a criminal investigation (including parking complaints) to the general public.

Nothing precludes unit leadership from exercising their general military authority by directly addressing observed misconduct (including parking infractions) with service members.  Observed parking complaints for individuals outside of the unit leadership’s general military authority (Civilians, Family Members, etc.) should be reported to the Military Police. DES is working to develop a pilot program to register and train volunteers to be a part of a community parking patrol team. Once the SOPs are completed, volunteers will be equipped with a digital camera and a one page form to document observed parking violations. This documentation and digital pictures will be used by the Traffic section to research the violators, investigate the observed infractions, and address the violations.  With this strategy, DES strives to empower the community to police itself and add extra eyes and ears to assist with Military Police in identifying and deterring crime in the community.

Pets

Issues with pets on-post: animal feces, lack of receptacles, cleanup enforcement, aggressive pets and children violating the age restriction on walking animals.

Pet waste is the owner’s responsibility. Pet bites (to humans or other animals) should be immediately reported to the MP Desk at DSN: 431-3102/civ. 07031-15-3102. Unruly or overly noisy animals can also be reported to for immediate intervention and to document the event, however reoccurring animal noise complaints should also be addressed to the Housing Office.

Excerpt from AE Suppl 1 to AR 420-1 ● 20 Nov 08, p 79-80

  1. Sponsor and their spouses will ensure that pets are controlled so they do not become a public nuisance or menace. Animals that habitually bite, scratch, attack, or otherwise threaten people without provocation are a community health menace and will not be allowed in Government-controlled housing or facilities. A severe incident (for example, an animal attacking an individual) is cause for removal of the offending animal, regardless of the absence of prior incidents.
  2. When outside the owner’s quarters, animals must be kept on a leash and accompanied by an individual capable of controlling the pet. Children under the age of 12 without adult supervision are considered incapable of controlling pets.
  3. Dogs and cats must not be allowed to relieve themselves on balconies, playgrounds, or within 50 feet of Family housing buildings. Pet owners will clean up excrement from their pets. Building coordinators may designate pet-walk areas that building residents who are pet owners will be responsible for maintaining.
  4. Complaints of improper control of pets must be reported to the military police (MP). MP officials will investigate complaints and, when appropriate, send an MP report to the garrison commander for action.

Youth & Family Topics

Childcare is unavailable and lacking on all installations.

There are currently 40 childcare worker positions available on-post. CYS hosts recruitment fairs often to expedite hiring. Interested community members can apply on USAJOBS, but should also contact Parent Central Services to expedite the application process. Ten Local National announcements have also recently been published to garner off-post interest.

Care is prioritized by dual military, single military, then dual working (military and civilian). In the summer months, parents can check-in daily to see if space is available. Space is often available on Kelley Barracks for hourly care. Patch and Panzer typically have a waiting list.

Will the new Patch CDC being built increase the number of kids that can come in?

Yes, the facility will increase the capacity, however, additional childcare personnel are still needed.

Lack of bike helmet enforcement on-post in the housing area.

Nothing precludes unit leadership from exercising their general military authority by directly addressing observed misconduct with service members. Observed complaints for individuals outside of the unit leadership’s general military authority (Civilians, Family Members, etc.) should be reported to the Military Police at DSN: 431-3102/civ. 07031-15-3102. DES strives to empower the community to police itself and assist Military Police in identifying and deterring crime in the community.

Lack of activities and cultural integration for elementary aged children on-post. What’s available for elementary school (middle age school and high school kids have a program)?

The School Age Center (SAC) offers a 10-week summer camp where parents can sign up children on a week-by-week basis as needed. Visit NCC.com to register to be placed on the wait list.

The garrison is reviewing the suggestion to implement cultural integration programs available for elementary aged children. In the summer, SKIES German enrichment program is available for youth to register. Visit the Stuttgart Family & MWR website for information or contact Parent Central Services.

Job opportunities for teenagers: They are not old enough to fill full time childcare positions. Is there a way to incorporate them?

The Workforce Preparation Program is available for students ages 16 and up to apply. An info session was held at the high school April 23, and interviews conducted April 26 to place youth with sports camps, administrative work, etc. Additionally, through May 3, ages 14 and up can apply to the Summer Hire Program positions on USAJOBS to work in other administrative and labor roles.

Background checks are required in order to work with children on-post. This process is lengthy, and until a new hire is cleared, they are only able to work when another approved employee is present. Minors (under 18) unfortunately do not meet the age requirement.

Is the [hiring] process streamlined for open childcare positions?

Yes. A person can be brought on within 3-4 months as the background check is completed to begin training in the job. The garrison communicated available positions in childcare monthly in various outlets. The MWR has also increased the pay scale to encourage new applicants, competing with DeCA and AAFES.

How do I get information about all of these opportunities?

The USAG Stuttgart mobile app is also a one-stop resource for services and information. Additionally, community members can direct message the garrison Facebook page with questions. Subscribe to stuttgartcitizen.com to get email updates of news and information. The garrison in Stuttgart services all branches of service, civilian and contractors. Army Community Service (ACS) is an additional resource who can provide information on all of the services, located in Bldg. 2915, Panzer Kaserne.

Can the Kelley Club be used to host community bunko nights, coffee meets, and Christmas parties?

Clubs and special event centers on-post are operated and maintained by Family and MWR and are available at a cost. Clubs on-post are business-based and must make a profit to remain open. By regulation, they are not authorized to have food or drink brought in from the outside. The Panzer (Fire House) Community Club can be reserved at no cost, and the Robinson Barracks Zentrum (RBZ) is also available to be reserved by organizations for events and group meetings that are open to the community.

There is a large community of teenagers that don’t have anywhere to go on Kelley. Can a club be opened to have some place for our children to go where parents don’t have to drive them?

Creating a club in the existing facility requires funding for repairs that the garrison does not have. Also every inch of useable office space on Kelley Barracks is needed for military administrative and office space. The garrison is working with AFRICOM to identify opportunities to increase office space overcrowding is an issue on all installations. Based on feedback, Family and MWR is looking at other options for children’s activities on Kelley Barracks and exploring more options for youth sports. Current Kelley Teen CYS SKIES programs include: Kung Fu: Wednesday from 1700-1815, Ninja gymnastics for 7-14 yrs. old: Thurs from 10-1100 for our homeschool community, Piano lessons: waitlist currently exists.

Is there a compromise so young teens can use the gym without supervision?

Unfortunately, 16 years of age is the threshold within regulation. Parent supervision and line of sight is required for ages 15 and younger for security reasons. The garrison will look into requesting funding and options for playground systems for teens and to improve an outdoor basketball court.

The outdoor facilities (basketball court, baseball diamond and track) are small or are too far from housing. The sand pit provides no benefit to residents and is not age appropriate.

The garrison will look into options to remove the sandpit. Kelley Barracks does not have space to add additional outdoor facilities, finding the space to add parking for workforce is the priority.

Can CYS allow youth sports registration for kids up through 18 vs. 16? The High School has begun to limit school team participation.

Exception to policy requests are available on a case-by-case basis, however, the garrison will look into this overall. The garrison will also look into starting an intermural co-ed sports team for youth in this age range to gauge registration levels and viability.

Webtrac (the CYS online registration and payment system) is down frequently.

Family and MWR is aware of the problems caused by updates to network and security settings on the government server. In the event the site is down, customers can go to any CYS facility on any installation to make payments, or call Parent Central Services to enroll youth or make payments over the phone.

Commissary (DeCA) & Exchange (AAFES)

How do I request an item or brand to be stocked?

To stock an item in the commissary, DeCA management advises that there must be a demand Europe-wide. Community members can place requests through store management, or online on the commissary website. A comment form is also linked on the USAG Stuttgart mobile app. Not every item in the European Area commissary assortment can be carried in every store due to the size of the facility. If there is an item at the Patch Commissary which is not available at the other locations, customers can request that item be added to their assortment or place a special order with store management. The customer would need to provide the UPC (Universal Product Code) for the item with their request.

If customers cannot find what they are looking for at the Exchange, go to shopmyexchange.com. Kaiserslautern (KMC) is now a shipping point for shopmyexchange.com items. This makes the delivery time approx. 4-5 days for an item(s), In addition if a customer did not pay with a Military Star card and were charged for shipping, if the item ships from KMC, an Exchange gift card is sent to reimburse shipping costs.

There are inconsistencies in product availability across the installations.

The DeCA assortment is determined at headquarters, located in Ft. Lee, Virginia. Based upon that assortment, European Area category managers determine the assortment locally. Unfortunately, the commissary cannot carry everything that is listed (there are thousands of items). They try and carry all of the top sellers in each category and any items which are unique or one of a kind. The current assortment consists of approx. 8,500 dry items and 1,500 perishable items which are shipped from the United States.  Also, approx. 1,000 locally procured items such as milk, cheese, yogurts, packaged lunch meat, fresh poultry, etc. are carried at Stuttgart commissaries to supplement assortment due to constraints with shelf-life of those type items. Items are continually evaluated for performance and if an item doesn’t have enough demand, it will be removed from the assortment and replaced with another item. DeCA procures cigarettes or tobacco items from AAFES and AAFES determines the assortment.

The Exchange continually reviews stock assortments to identify merchandise that sells well.  Items that aren’t selling are deleted and new items are tested in that space, or a current selection is increased. Computer software allows AAFES to analyze the performance of each item in a store’s stock assortment to ensure limited shelf space is used in a way that maximizes customer service. Assortments are determined based on the size of the facility. Each Express within the Stuttgart footprint is unique in size and physical layout. Food Courts have different concepts to allow customers to experience a variety of options. The Exchange tries to anticipate the demand for merchandise and order quantities accordingly. Unfortunately, there are occasions when demand is misjudged for a particular item or there is a manufacturer shipping problem and the item(s) do run out. In addition manufactures often discontinue items and our buyers have to find new items to replace.

Spoiled milk and expired items are an issue. Quality control needs improvement across the installations.

DeCA is working on this issue and also connected with Public Health to address it and look at the contracts.

Expiring items are put on sale by the various suppliers as long as they will support the reduction of the price.  This normally occurs on a case-by-case basis. Customers should contact commissary staff to identify items expiring/ed as soon as they notice the item on the shelf. Refunds/exchanges are also given if spoiled items are returned to the store with receipt.

 The Exchange has a process in place to manage expiring products. Depending on the item(s), AAFES headquarters will place the item(s) on sale, price cut or clearance. Food items often require a Vet/Public Health approval to sell beyond their expiration date. The Exchange has procedures, process, standards and policies that guide our businesses. For example, food service teams go through ServSafe courses, food managers attend franchise training, Public Health/Vet inspect facilities on a routine basis, the concepts are inspected by the brand owners regularly, etc. The Name Brand Fast Food (NBFF) facilities are required to meet all franchise standards.

Why are prices and promotions different on each installation commissary or shoppette? Example, an item can cost 30 cent difference on Panzer vs. Patch vs. Kelley OR go on sale on the shelf at one location and not another.

All commissaries comply with the promotional program regulated by DeCA headquarters. All stores should have the same sale price on an item if it is on promotion through the DeCA plan. There are times when an item may be in long supply at the in-country distribution centers and the vendor representing those items may offer a lower price to a select number of stores in order to move the product.

he Exchange makes every effort to ensure worldwide pricing parity. Prices on products sold in Exchange retail stores around the world are established centrally by the buyers. Uniform prices apply worldwide for the same product from the same source. Price differences can occur with items purchased locally overseas. The Exchange does not increase the prices on products sold at overseas sites or remote tactical field exchanges to cover the higher costs of operations at these locations. Other price variances between locations in CONUS as well as overseas may occur with such categories as gasoline, alcohol and tobacco, which are established based on Department of Energy or local surveys in accordance with DoD directives (gas prices will be the same within the country).  Additionally, prices for some convenience and frequently purchased items may be lowered at different locations based on price surveys of the local competition. Overseas prices are set at the average surveyed price in CONUS.  If customers experience a price difference for the “exact” same item, please alert and manager or supervisor so that the situation can be corrected.

How is the garrison and DeCA addressing transportation etc. once the commissaries are consolidated to Panzer Kaserne?

Right now, the plan is to close and consolidate in 2021. The garrison and mission partner leaders are working on possible solutions to meet community member needs. Information will be communicated as the project is underway.

Other Topics

The Priority Placement Program doesn’t include re-location, though it is mandatory to accept a position. It is a large expense for the individual.

 Civilian personnel change of duty station rules/regulations are very different from military. A civilian that applies for a position must read the job announcement to see if PCS costs are provided.  This is something a job candidate may be able to negotiate with the hiring official.  It is not an entitlement.  If someone is on PPP and gets picked up as part of that program then PCS relocation costs are funded.

Contact the USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs office via email at: usarmy.stuttgart.imcom-europe.mbx.usag-stuttgart-media@mail.mil