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AFAP conference addresses depot, Army issues

Feb 18, 2011

By Jennifer Bacchus (Anniston Army Depot (AMC))

ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Anniston Army Depot held its annual Army Family Action Plan Conference Feb. 9 and 10 at the DeSoto Entertainment Center here.

The AFAP conference is comprised of delegates from various directorates on the depot as well as active duty military, retired military, retired civilians and spouses. This allows the concerns of those groups to be addressed.

By addressing issues important to them, changes can be made to policies, procedures and even laws, depending upon the issue and its recommended solution.

The 30 delegates, including facilitators, discussed 27 issues that were submitted by the depot workforce. These issues were comprised of topics ranging from Veterans' benefits to the Splash Water Park, parking and traffic.

The submitted issues were broken down by the delegates into 17 valid issues, eight of which were considered strong enough at the end of the conference to be briefed to depot leadership.

"Some of the issues could be addressed by that panel on the spot," said Cindy Taylor, program manager for the AFAP Conference.

Among the issues that were addressed immediately was a concern about the lack of shade and seating at Splash Water Park. Jim Webb, the depot director of Community and Family Activities was among the panelists for the outbriefing and assured the leadership on the spot that the issue would be addressed.

One issue raised here at the depot involved identification cards for military Veterans who did not retire from the armed forces.

Since it is an issue that cannot be resolved here, it will be sent through the AFAP system to Army Materiel Command, and perhaps even higher up the chain of command, for resolution.

Taylor said she would love to see the AFAP system implemented as a year-long program here, the way it is meant to be.

She said the program should see issues submitted and resolved year-round, rather than once a year during the annual conference. She encourages workers to send in issues as they come up in order to get the process moving.

"If the process is working like it's supposed to, you get issues year round and you address them year round," said Taylor.

Taylor added that anyone submitting an issue should also write down the types of solutions they would like to see, which allows them to be part of the decision-making process.

"What I would like to see, more than anything else, is our employees bringing more issues to our AFAP forum. If you complain and don't use the AFAP forum, it doesn't go any farther. But, if you use the system the way it is intended, you might get a solution," said Taylor.

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