MG Allan Pepin, Commanding General, Military District of Washington / Commander, Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region, right, confers with Fort Belvoir Garrison directorates about the priorities in the coming year.
Army commanders determine Installation Priorities for 2023
Fort Belvoir Garrison directors met with Army leadership and installation partners for the annual Installation Priorities Board (IPB), July 22, at the Fort Belvoir Community Center to synchronize decision-making and promote stewardship of Garrison resources.
The board was chaired by Fort Belvoir Senior Commander, Maj. Gen. Allan Pepin, and co-chaired by Mr. Tindoll Davis Jr, director, Installation Directorate-Sustainment, and Dr. John Moeller, deputy to the garrison commander. The dialogue provided an opportunity for senior leaders and partners to engage in a productive dialogue about the garrison’s major projects and emerging requirements.
This was the first in-person IPB in two years, and more than 95 senior leaders and installation partner organizations offered critical insight to their organizational requirements and missions. With that input on the table, collaboration began to synchronize the future focus of Fort Belvoir.
Pepin urged new stakeholders to recognize where they fit and the role their unit plays in future planning.
“If this is your first IPB, don’t leave here without understanding how you fit in the plan. It is critically important for us to align resources and requirements as an installation,” said Pepin.
The discussion was facilitated by Moeller and Andrea White, director of Fort Belvoir’s Plans, Analysis and Integration Office, leading off with the progress that had been accomplished under past IPBs, such as the stewardship of facilities, infrastructure and services.
“Completion of action plans associated with the Integrated Priorities List is a measure of garrison success”, White said. “The board is a forum for identifying, assessing, and providing a common-operating picture for installation wide planning requirements. The IPB is an opportunity to enhance collaborative communication and decisions installation-wide, prioritize local requirements, and highlight issues for elevation to Army senior leaders.”
According to Tindoll, one of the most important IPB processes is the Feeder Boards, and cautioned that if mission partners do not participate, it can limit the effectiveness of the resulting Integrated Priorities List. Tindoll mentioned how the Feeder Boards’ objectives are laid out to meet goals and that personnel selection for the feeder boards is crucial to the process. The process offers an opportunity to see what capabilities are aligned and what risks are taken.
“The IPB goes through all these steps in the meeting to ensure resourcing decisions are aligned with the Installation Strategic Plan and operationalized with the principle of sustainability, set by Installation Management Command.” White said. “This meeting forum also allows us to disseminate information and demonstrate integration of garrison requirements and planning efforts with the senior commander, partner organizations, and other installation stakeholder planning functions.”
Facility Installation Priority (FIP)
White explained the process to resource what is needed is now called Facility Installation Priority. Mr. Michah Boersma, acting director of the Directorate of Public Works, briefed the board on the FIP annual Cycle and how FIP focuses on MACRO programs, future projects and noted the importance of Mission Partner engagement.
Pepin stressed that it is critical to not only show numbers, but also the effects those numbers have on an organization. He noted that since last year was the first year for FIP, any command could elevate their projects to 3-star level through this program.
Funding challenges remain, and it was noted that construction contracts were 75 percent funded of requirement because construction costs rose by 22 percent from the original estimates two years ago.
George Dixon, director of the Directorate of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation thanked all the mission partners for their support of the services provided across the installation, and announced that the Officers’ Club has resumed rental of ballrooms, with outside food options and internal bar services. Also, Dixon noted the long-awaited reopening of the bowling alley is scheduled for this fall, along with the opening of 10 new cabins at the travel camp, though opening dates are not yet set.
Pepin asked mission partners to utilize installation services at every opportunity to keep those facilities available. With increased teleworking which began with the COVID restrictions in 2020, many services lost money, and if these trends continue, there may be further cuts in services.
White said at the conclusion of the event, the Integrated Priority List was established for 2023:
· Maintain and enhance installation force and health protection
· Improve homeland defense and defense support to civil authorities’ readiness
· Life, health, safety of installation facilities, residences and barracks
· Retain, train and recruit the workforce with “People First”
· Implement Efficiencies
Pepin concluded the meeting with guidance to “remember to put people first; that is the most important,” he said. “If we get the people part right, everything else will fall into place.”
Paul Lara, Fort Belvoir Public Affairs