US Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz’s DPW Kontakt Week: Building cohesion, efficiency within Department of Public Works

U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz’s Department of Public Works conducted its first-ever cohort “DPW Kontakt Week” Apr. 24-26. Courtesy photos

U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz’s Department of Public Works conducted its first-ever cohort “DPW Kontakt Week” Apr. 24-26.

‘DPW Kontakt Week’ cohort 1 consisted of 14 team members who visited each division of DPW, meeting colleagues who they might not interact with every day, to gain a better understanding of their own department’s functions and learn how the work in each section affects the other divisions, and garrison overall.

USAG Rheinland-Pfalz’s DPW has six divisions and employs nearly 400 people in both the Kaiserslautern and Baumholder military communities — Department of the Army Civilians, local nationals and hundreds of contractors, executing all elements of the garrison’s public works activities.

The DPW’s overall mission is to provide safe, clean, comfortable, and functional facilities in an environment to meet the needs of Soldiers, Civilians, and family members within the garrison.

Each division offers unique and crucial functions and capabilities that are essential for the garrison’s operations year-round, comparable to a city public works department.

The Master Planning and Real Property Division is led by Claude Armstrong, chief of the Master Planning Division. MPD develops and maintains master plans, conducts Real Property Planning Board meetings, provides major construction programming services, and ensures maximum utilization of facilities. The Real Property Branch section services the acquiring, managing and disposal of Real Property & Estate.

The Environmental/Energy Management Division falls under the stewardship of HansKarl Betzhold, supervisory environmental engineer. EMD provides environmental and energy guidance, support, and liaison services to those who live, work and train on garrison installations. The EMD’s core role is to help ensure that the military community complies with all necessary environmental requirements.

The Business Operations Integration Division, helmed by David Vines, supervisory industrial engineer, provides management of directorate resources, information technology, human resources, and organizational strategic planning — along with financial planning, analysis, programming support and industrial engineering services.

The Facility Engineering Division, overseen by Nathan Hay, FED chief, provides engineering support and construction project management to the garrison. FED plans, organizes, coordinates, and oversees planning, execution of design, and construction.

The Housing Management Division, under the guidance of Harald Kastner, HMD chief, supports personnel with unaccompanied, on post family and private rental housing. The HMD administers housing entitlements, furniture support and provides guidance to the garrison command on exceptional situations in support of Soldiers and their families.

Lastly, the Operations & Maintenance Division, directed by Gerd Mueller, OMD chief, supports the garrison mission through effective use of energy, providing and maintaining sustainable facilities/infrastructure, and emphasizing a culture of safety.

Leading the garrison’s DPW is Truett Sanchez, serving as the director, alongside Travis Monson, who holds the position of deputy director. Together with Dr. George Brown, chief of the Administration and Operations Branch, they provide strategic direction and operational oversight to steer DPW towards its mission fulfillment.

Truett Sanchez, DPW director, and organizer of Kontakt Week, set the following goals for the participating DPW team members: orient team-members to jobs and duties in other divisions and to enhance understanding of the overall DPW mission, goals, and objectives; provide cohesiveness in how jobs affect the overall DPW mission; increase job understanding and job satisfaction; and ultimately help to increase productivity within each division.

According to Brown, DPW leaders used the template from USAG RP’s Team Member Orientation, which is designed to help new employees understand the overall garrison mission and its organizational structure by providing an overview of each directorate and describing how their missions are nested into and compliment the garrison mission.

“We have a uniquely expansive garrison footprint that spans a large geographic area. As a result, regular travel to each location is impractical, making it particularly meaningful to see the locations and meet the people in person, especially those from DPW, who work in various locations and departments across our region.”

One cohort member told Brown it was important for him to learn about the impacts his job has on others; Kontakt Week gave him a better understanding of the DPW’s mission. Mathias Reh, general engineer from OMD Utilities Branch, participated and said that it was a great week. “It helped all of us gain a better understanding of day-to-day operations and how we can support each other within the DPW [in our shared mission] to make the garrison the best it can be.”

DPW is looking forward to the next Kontak week cohort. For more information about DPW, please visit Directorate of Public Works: Directorate of Public Works: