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2012 Armed Forces Action Plan Conference a historical success

By Cheryl Harrison | Warfighter and Family Readiness, Marketing | Nov. 21, 2012

JBSA-FORT SAM HOUSTON — Active duty, retired, civilians and family members joined together to address significant issues that could affect the well-being of the military family at the annual Armed Forces Action Plan Conference Nov. 13 to16 at Dodd Field Chapel.

Once known strictly as an Army conference, AFAP continues to evolve as a Joint Base military effort.

AFAP allows a process for concerns and issues of not only Army Soldiers, but all members of the Joint Base San Antonio community to be heard and potentially resolved to make a better and stronger military.

AFAP was created in 1980 through focus groups, but was fully developed with the first official conference held in July 1983.

The Army designed the AFAP program to identify issues, raising them to the appropriate level to be solved. But, the program doesn't stop there. Once an issue is entered into the program, the Army monitors it to ensure it is resolved or deemed unattainable.

This 'grass root' program brings up issues and provides recommendations to the chain of command.

Some issues are handled at the local level, but many issues take Department of the Army-level action to affect change.

This year's significant aspect of the AFAP program is its affect on the "total" military family and their quality of life.

"We have re-titled the AFAP to the Armed Forces Action Plan because of the joint nature of San Antonio," said Col. James Chevallier, vice commander, 502nd Air Base Wing and deputy commander, Joint Base San Antonio.

"It is good to see that we had representatives from all the services and clearly by some of the issues, they were joint issues."

During the three and a half day conference, 38 delegates, seven teenage delegates and 22 facilitators, recorders, transcribers, issue support persons, and room managers looked at about 85 issues during the conference and 59 issues were submitted to the Interactive Customer Evaluation, or ICE, for resolution.

Guest speaker Maj. Gen. Adolph McQueen, deputy commanding general for Support, U.S. Army North addressed conference attendees saying, "Your being here, truly is improving your surroundings and these actions will improve the surrounding on Fort Sam Houston. The Army isn't a Soldier it is a family, your voice is important."

Each issue was considered and tackled in positive ways. All issues were prioritized and discussed in assigned work groups.

Subject matter experts were on-hand during the conference to provide delegates with information and facts so delegates could decide how to prioritize the issues and develop possible recommendations.

Issues that can be worked at the installation level will remain at the installation and those that require higher command action are forwarded to the major command level conference