U.S. Army Garrison Japan uses innovative method for delivering community information

U.S. Army Garrison Japan uses innovative method for delivering community information

by Tim Flack
U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public Affairs

CAMP ZAMA, Japan - U.S. Army Garrison Japan officials recently launched a new initiative to more effectively deliver news and information to the local community.

For the first time, the Garrison hosted a Community Information Exchange (CIE) in conjunction with a Community Bazaar to take advantage of the more than 400 shoppers who visited the Camp Zama Community Club on April 29.

The Garrison has traditionally hosted CIEs as stand-alone events, but officials say they were seeking a new way to connect with the community.

“This Community Information Exchange was an outstanding success,” said USAG Japan Garrison Commander Col. Christopher Tomlinson. “As our community members shopped at the bazaar, they were also able to receive information at multiple stations throughout the club, giving them the chance to talk one-on-one with organizations such as the Red Cross, our Emergency Management team, our partners with the schools, and many others.”

Tomlinson said he considers the CIE a critical way to help communicate how the Garrison focuses on Soldier, civilian and family member readiness and quality of life with subjects ranging from housing to childcare, permanent-change-of-station moves to spouse employment.

“Our Garrison team works very hard to improve the quality-of-life programs to enhance our Army values and culture, and to ensure Soldiers and family readiness,” Tomlinson said. “This CIE gave our team and our private organizations the chance to explain their programs directly to our residents.”

Loretta Murray, Acting Director of Camp Zama’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, said the CIE is another great example of how the Garrison makes its people the top priority.

“Our Community Bazaars are very popular with our residents, so we knew we had the opportunity to combine efforts and provide a one-stop location in which we could also help deliver community news and information,” Murray said.

Shaun Ally, the DFMWR Community Recreation Division Chief, explained that it can be difficult to find the ideal time to host a weekday event, so offering the CIE over the weekend allowed for more people to attend.

“We coordinated with many of our private organizations at Camp Zama, along with key Garrison offices, to provide a wide array of information,” Ally said. “This was a win-win for our organizations and residents.”

Ally said there were 12 informational tables spread throughout the bazaar, including: American Red Cross; Army Substance Abuse Program; Army and Air Force Exchange Service; Army Wellness Center; VFW Lodge 9612; the Defense Commissary Agency; Navy Federal Credit Union; Emergency Management; the Killer Katanas roller derby team; Department of Defense Education Activity schools; Housing; and the Religious Support Office.

“I want to thank everyone who made this event such a success,” Tomlinson said. “We are constantly looking to improve the service to our community and hope our residents appreciated this new initiative.”

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