U.S. European Command Opens Navy Element
Story Number: NNS080603-13
Release Date: 6/3/2008 12:38:00 PM
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dana M. Clark, U.S. European Command Public Affairs
STUTTGART, Germany (NNS) -- U.S. European Command (EUCOM) Headquarters opened a Navy Support Element at the Army Post in Stuttgart, Germany, June 2.
The addition to EUCOM comes after a significant increase of Navy personnel stationed in EUCOM's area of responsibility.
"Helping our folks get through their tours here a little bit easier and having a coordinated effort - the right people, in the right office, doing the right thing...you have the [Personnel Support Detachment] concept, this is sort of a mini-version of that," said Vice Adm. Richard K. Gallagher, EUCOM deputy commander, during his opening remarks at the small ceremony.
"The number of Navy folks in this area is not insignificant...almost a thousand folks, and this has been a disjointed effort in the past," Gallagher continued.
The Navy support element will provide administrative support to Sailors, assisting with issues such as orders, benefits, finance and other personnel-related matters. In the past, Sailors volunteered for Navy-specific collateral duties in order to meet the administrative needs of their fellow shipmates. With the new support element, however, most of those collateral duties will go away and become permanent positions for those who work in the Navy support office.
"It will consolidate and formalize into a one-stop shop for a lot of the functions, roles and responsibilities that up until this point, have been fairly disparate," said Capt. Ted Digges, planner for the Navy element.
Many Sailors stationed in the Stuttgart military community are looking forward to the increased support the new element will provide.
"Serving at a joint command is challenging because we aren't all Navy here; and some of the other branches don't have the services available here that the Navy folks would use, like a Navy College office. I don't like having to send my stuff to Rota," said Yeoman 2nd Class Jeff Conran.
Currently, Sailors pursuing their college education must rely on the services of Naval Air Station Rota, Spain, but with the support element, there will be a Navy career counselor on board to assist Sailors in their educational goals - both professional and personal.
"I think it's a great thing for Sailors. We tend to lose touch with the Navy over here since there's not too many of us, but this will really reduce the time it takes for us to get basic Navy things done," Conran continued.
For more news from U.S. European Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/eucom/.
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