Unsurprisingly, many of the priorities of Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham, the Army’s new assistant chief of staff for installation management (ACSIM), are focused on ways to cope with severe funding constraints.
One of her priorities is carrying out the Army’s ongoing “Reduce the Footprint” initiative, an effort to cut the overall cost of maintaining infrastructure by eliminating excess facilities. The Army spends an estimated $450 million to $500 million annually maintaining underused facilities, reports the Army News Service.
“Right now we are in fiscally-constrained times. So being able to garner back dollars on reducing excess infrastructure is important,” Bingham said. “If you could imagine recouping that amount of money every year, and think about how we can invest that in the readiness of our soldiers — that’s huge.”
To mitigate funding cuts for morale, welfare and recreation programs, as well as family support programs, Bingham plans to identify efficiencies, and establish and strengthen partnerships to sustain support for personnel and their families.
“Realistically speaking, we won’t be able to do everything at the same level that we used to do it,” she acknowledged. “But I can assure you we will spare no effort to make sure that our soldiers and their families have that quality of life that they so richly deserve.”
One solution will be to pursue partnerships with military service organizations, according to the story.
“Any which way that we can partner to help retain as many of those programs we’ve had in the past, we are certainly going to do that,” Bingham said. “We’ve been doing that already. That’s not a new initiative. Partnerships occur at every level on the installation.”
For top leaders in the Army, though, the No. goal is readiness. For Bingham, who assumed the duties as the ACSIM on June 30 after serving as commanding general for the Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Life Cycle Management Command, that means ensuring installations can continue operating under any contingency, including a power outage.
“Energy security is becoming an area of increased focus,” she said. “I see it … as a form of force protection and mission assurance. So being able to secure our energy on our own posts, camps and stations and installations is critical. That’s an area we are putting a lot of emphasis on. We have to make sure those installations are able to do their mission.”