NEWS | Dec. 1, 2020

A Commander's Community Information Exchange demonstrates cohesion on Camp Arifjan

By Story by Sgt. Khylee Woodford Area Support Group - Kuwait

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - In compliance with social distancing, Area Support Group - Kuwait hosted an in-person Commander's Community Information Exchange, December 1, 2020, on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

The meeting gave leaders from units currently deployed to ASG-KU under the U.S. Army Central Command, the opportunity to receive current base related activities, events, and training directly from the garrison staff.

Despite the adaptations made to ensure safety amidst COVID-19, the event bolstered a unified front showing cohesion amongst leaders remains key on Camp Arifjan.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Albert Pride, deputy commander at ASG-KU, says one of the event's goals was to increase situational awareness of critical resources available on Camp Arifjan and Camp Buehring.

"What was intended from the event was to inform and empower leaders with a better perspective on garrison operations," said Pride. "Informing leaders on our capabilities allows tenant units to become a part of the garrison experience."

Each of the ASG-KU's staff directorates presented a brief slideshow, delivering the highlights of their operations, followed by a networking opportunity conducted in smaller groups.

While the presentation served to brief the commands, for Pride, the staff's personal delivery and participation are paramount to the engagement's overall success.

"It's important that people associate a point of contact to the good work that is happening here," said Pride. "The participation of our tenant units is what generates our success, the collective effort of our staff and command team is what makes these events possible."

Key topics included ongoing base projects, host nations affairs, holiday safety, COVID-19 updates, as well as educational and occupational training opportunities.

In attendance at the ASG-KU led event were unit representatives from Task Force Spartan, the 1st Theater Sustainment Command, the 335th Signal Command, and Department of the Army Civilians stationed on Camp Arifjan.

U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Helton, a senior enlisted advisor at the 160th Signal Brigade and a 335th Signal Command representative, says the event created a common ground for communication among the tenant units.

"ASG-KU garrison command brought forth a collaborative effort of communication," said Helton. "Amenities that were taken away that we take for granted are slowly coming back online and what we all are trying to do here is make sure the word gets out, along with sharing updates on COVID-19 preventive measures."

With many gatherings canceled earlier this year, Helton says the event was a worthwhile experience.

"This was probably one of the better events I've seen in my entire tenure here in southwest Asia," said Helton. "Putting a face to who is responsible for specific jobs at ASG-KU, helps us build stronger cohesive teams across the tenant units and with garrison command while simultaneously demonstrating COVID-19 mitigation procedures."

According to Helton, the event's networking portion also allowed him to discuss opportunities to improve base life support regarding Tier 2 communications with the ASG-KU engineers.

For U.S. Army Col. John J. Herrman, Area Support Group - Kuwait commander, providing a safe place for leaders to communicate with ASG-KU's staff was the event's primary goal.

"We wanted to create an environment that was convenient and safe for leaders to gain information about garrison operations particularly how they pertain to the changing environment with COVID-19," said Herrman.

Pending the COVID-19 environment, CCIE events are slated to occur monthly at ASG-KU.

Herrman says this type of networking and engagement between leaders is "immensely important."

"This level of engagement creates stronger cohesion among leaders, ultimately making things better for our Soldiers," said Herrman. "Building this level of collaboration enhances our capabilities which in turn helps us support our tenant units and our mission here at ASG-KU."

Hosted in the Camp Arifjan Morale Wellness and Recreation movie theater, compliance to COVID-19 was strictly reinforced with hand sanitizer and disposable face masks provided for all attendees.