JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
While the historic winter storms of February have passed, the work to assess and repair damages at Army installations around the country will last for months.
Although 22 installations were impacted by the storm, the bases with the most damage were Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Polk, Louisiana; and Fort Carson, Colorado.
Leading the recovery is U.S. Army Installation Management Command, led by Lt. Gen. Doug Gabram.
From the global operations center at IMCOM headquarters at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Gabram and his team of experienced professionals provide support to garrison commanders and their teams on the ground to coordinate a rapid but thorough recovery project.
Each afternoon, Gabram and his staff communicate directly with garrison commanders to go over their challenges in detail. As part of the larger Army Materiel Command team, Gabram can leverage the “Power of the Patch,” or the capabilities that exist at AMC or any of its 10 subordinate commands, to assist garrisons.
For example, the extreme temperatures at Fort Hood caused a number of HVAC heating coils to fail. Because of their age, they are hard to get and almost impossible to replace.
“It’s like you need an alternator for your 1965 classic hot rod but nobody makes them anymore,” Gabram said.
Gabram knew about the coils first hand because he had visited Fort Hood the day prior to walk the ground and view the damages himself. Gen. Ed Daly, commanding general of Army Materiel Command, had made a similar visit to hard-hit Fort Sill the previous week.
Renee Mosher, AMC’s deputy chief of staff for logistics integration, offered an idea to explore options available at the additive manufacturing capability at Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. The center has the ability to create a working new part using the old one as a template.
The Mission and Installation Contracting Command, also headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, is also part of the “Power of the Patch.” Led by Brig. Gen. Christine Beeler, the MICC provides real-time synchronized business solutions and acquisition support to Army installations across the United States throughout inclement weather.
Gabram and his multifunctional team also pay very close attention to the status of the 138 families across the Army who were displaced from their homes due to winter storm damages. The number is down below 100 now and decreasing each day. The families, temporarily housed in hospitality suites at each installation, return to homes that have been repaired and inspected.
Before parting ways at the evening update March 2, Greg Kuhr, IMCOM’s director of logistics and public works, reminded garrison commanders of the need for speed.
“While there is a process to determine reimbursements for storm damages, do not slow down on making repairs to wait on money. If you need to purchase parts or services to make these repairs, move out and we will sort out the funding later,” Kuhr said.
Gabram reminded the team to stay on the offense.
“This is where we need rapid coordination at the appropriate level. It’s all about taking care of the Army’s number one priority, people,” Gabram said.