AFAP … you can make a difference!

by Lt. Col. Mechelle Hale
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern commander

Want to improve retiree dental benefits? Does your gym need a new floor? Is current child care adequate for your family? Well, if you want to influence change, you can.

The U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern is hosting its annual Army Family Action Plan Conference 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 23 and 24 at Armstrong Community Club on Vogelweh Housing.

This is an opportunity for you to influence change here and throughout the Department of Defense by submitting issues and suggestions, or by becoming a volunteer at the conference.

Volunteers and issues are needed for the two-day conference. The deadline to volunteer or submit issues to be discussed at the conference is Oct. 4.

Although this is an Army-wide program, all members in the KMC – whether or not they are associated with the Army – can submit issues or be a volunteer at this year’s conference because they can provide input for changes here, as well as within the Department of Defense.

If you have doubts about whether your suggestions will be heard, consider this — previous AFAP issues have resulted in more than 150 new Army and DOD policies, 90 pieces of legislation and 190 new and improved programs and services.

This program seeks input regarding the most significant issues that affect the wellbeing of those living and working here. It gives everyone here the opportunity to influence the quality of life and standard of living. Feedback from this conference alerts leadership to problems impacting the force. It lets them know what service members, civilian employees and retirees and their families value. This is the way to make life in the KMC the best for all of us.

The backbone of the process is at the local level, where delegates, who represent a cross-section of the community’s demographics, identify, develop and prioritize their quality of life concerns and make recommendations for solutions. The majority of issues are installation specific, and I can resolve many of those quickly and have.  Installation issues result in improved customer service, increased operational efficiency and stronger, more responsive programs.

This process benefits all branches – approximately 50 percent of AFAP issues are applicable across DOD. It is a powerful tool, giving members of this community a voice and leaders real-time information.

So, if you want to really influence change and make the KMC a better place to work and live, be part of this year’s AFAP. For more information on how you can get involved, call the AFAP Coordinator Angela Bellamy at Army Community Service, 493-4232 or 0631-3406-4232 or e-mail Help us identify the problems so we can all reap the benefits.

See also: Community family conference helps ‘change tomorrow’