By Joshua Ford
Editor’s Note: This opportunity is available to Installation Management Command employees only. More information will be presented at the Nov. 5 Garrison All Hands. Updated information will be posted on the Missile Ranger and Public Affairs social media channels. The White Sands Missile Range point of contact, Dennis Stockwell, can be reached at (575) 678-3803.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas– The Army is looking to its civilian workforce to provide base support operations on contingency bases around the globe.
The U.S. Army Installation Management Command is forming this capability with the Expeditionary Base Operations Support program.
Currently in a pilot phase, EBOS aims to compliment the Army Civilian Expeditionary Workforce with small teams of civilian installation management professionals that will deploy to current or opening contingency bases to support operations.
The military has been opening and running contingency operating bases for nearly 15 years. During this time a lack of continuity was identified.
This lack of experience in base operation led to inefficient management, according to Army leadership.
“Working with the IG at United States Forces — Afghanistan, one of the management issues I was seeing was that the right skill sets weren’t coming over to perform the required tasks that needed to be done on base,” said James R. Peterson, an employee of the IMCOM Headquarters’ IG office who recently returned from deployment.
Army senior leaders across Afghanistan and Iraq found continuity challenges and capability gaps at contingency bases managed by rotational units. As a result, installation management was inefficient, costly and over-dependent on contractors.
The EBOS pilot will produce a roster of IMCOM civilians willing to deploy to advise and assist in contingency operations of installations anywhere in the world.
The civilians will be “on call” until a need is identified and they are called to deploy.
With more than 31,000 employees operating more than 60 installations Army-wide, IMCOM makes the best source for EBOS, according to IMCOM Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Hartless.
“IMCOM employees manage infrastructure and Soldier and Family support programs on more than 60 garrisons world-wide every day,” said Hartless. “No other command can say that.”
Not only will EBOS make contingency base management more efficient, Hartless said, but it will also allow the Army to provide the best services for Soldiers serving in contingency operations.
An added benefit to this pilot, according to Hartless, will be a more professional and well-rounded installation management workforce.
The EBOS pilot opens deployment opportunities to more Army civilian employees and offers them an opportunity to challenge their skills with a change of pace in a fast-moving environment.
“I wanted a change from the day-to-day that I had at the time,” said Reginald J. Ghiden, chief for assistance and investigations in the office of the IMCOM inspector general.
“I gained some job experience dealing with matters I don’t ordinarily see in IMCOM, and got to operate in a leaner environment where I could make more direct contributions,” he said.
If selected for the pilot program, an Army civilian could also receive financial benefits for serving overseas. Depending on the deployment location, Army civilians might qualify for both locality and hazardous duty pay on top of overtime.
“I saw the opportunity to serve and take advantage of the attractive benefits offered for serving overseas and I took it,” said Ghiden, “and I’ve never regretted it. I would recommend it to any career DA-civilian.”
How to join EBOS:
Volunteers must be serving on appointments without a time limitation, be available and willing to deploy to contingency areas, have a satisfactory rating or better with no current performance or disciplinary issues, have a valid passport, and maintain proper security clearance.
Other prerequisites include medical screening, online training and IMCOM’s expeditionary installation management training at the IMCOM Academy.
Volunteers must also attend a week-long training course at Camp Atterbury, Indiana, to prepare them for what to expect in an austere environment.
Interested personnel should log into Army Knowledge Online and visit https://www.us.army.mil/suite/page/662838 for more information.