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Barracks renovations at USAG Wiesbaden improve Soldier quality-of-life, readiness

By Emily Jennings September 14, 2020

WIESBADEN, Germany -- U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden has been working to renovate areas of the barracks and give Soldiers more space.

Garrison commander Col. Mario A. Washington said the move had the support of Army leaders.

"It's in line with the Chief of Staff of the Army, our senior leaders and Gen. (Christopher) Cavoli's first line of effort, which is the barracks and quality of life for Soldiers, so this has provided us an opportunity to work that line of effort, and it's just, I believe, the right thing to do for the Soldiers."

Improvements that can be made now are being done right away, such as painting, laying new flooring, restriping parking lots and revamping day rooms, said Donald Meyer, Chief Housing Division, USAG Wiesbaden.

A team of carpenters, painters, roofers and gardeners executed numerous improvements at the Clay barracks to improve the quality of life for Soldiers living in this community, according to Rod Oshiro, director of Public Works.

Gardeners have been clearing weeds and refreshed the sand volleyball court. They are set to begin targeted tree trimming this fall.

Roofers began replacing shingles and installing metal flashing on gazebos. Staff coordinated with units to clean up trash and dilapidated grills. The next phase will consist of sanding and staining the rest of the structure with the help of the Soldiers who live there.

Carpenters and painters removed the carpet and installed new flooring and window blinds and repainted the day room in Bldg. 1206. The renovation was capped off with replacement furnishings and a game table for the Soldiers to socialize.

In addition, the garrison will give Soldiers more room in the barracks by offering staff sergeants the option to move to shared two-bedroom apartments in Crestview.

"From a quality of life standpoint for our service members, we can't meet the Army standard of 1 plus 1 barracks (one Soldier per room, connected by a shared bathroom) unless we do a major renovation," Meyer said. "However, with utilization of excess Army housing (in Crestview), we can provide better quality of life for our sergeants and staff sergeants, which allows more barracks space for E-4s and below, which in turn improves everybody's quality of life."

The Crestview apartments have a full kitchen, living room, dining area and basement storage. Washington said the extra space provides Soldiers the opportunity to unwind, which in turn improves readiness.

"People look at readiness sometimes as going to the range or doing physical activity, but readiness is also your mental health and being able to decompress from work, and this provides them that opportunity," he said.

The commander said his goal is to take care of Soldiers, and improving their quality of life with more living space is one way of doing that.

"Taking care of service members and family members is my number one priority, and this is in line with that," Washington said. "So any opportunity I get to take care of service members and their families, I take it."

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