News flash — April 8, 2014

New garrison senior enlisted leader

Command Sgt. Maj. Roy L. Rocco took responsibility as the senior enlisted adviser of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden on March 24. Rocco, who entered the Army in 1987, is no stranger to Germany having served in Vilseck and Darmstadt on previous tours. He has also served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea.

Public Affairs Officer of the Year

The U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Public Affairs Office’s Teri Viedt was recognized as the winner in the Individual Achievement category Community Relations of the 2013 Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs Competition. Viedt also won the Kathy Canham-Ross Award of Distinction. American Forces Network Wiesbaden’s Sgt. Henry Gundacker was also a Keith L. Ware award winner taking first place in the Video Feature Report category of the 2013 Broadcast Journalism Competition.

Community Bank closure

All Community Banks in Wiesbaden will be closed April 18-21 during the German Easter holidays. ATMS are available at the Hainerberg Shopping Center, Clay Kaserne, Mainz-Kastel Storage Station, Amelia Earhart, Wiesbaden Commissary, Wiesbaden Army Lodge, Rheinblick Golf Course and at the Dagger Complex in Darmstadt.

Tent Sale

The Hainerberg Shopping Center will hold a Tent Sale featuring antiques, collectibles, shoes, apparel and wine. Customers can preview items from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 12, register for the auction from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 13, attend the auction starting at 1 p.m. April 13, shop for apparel and shoes April 17-22 and attend the wine gala April 23-30.

Easter closings

The following offices will be closed April 18 and 21 due to the German federal Easter holidays: Driver’s Testing, Transformation Motor Pool, Personal Property Processing Office, Installation Property Book, Central Issue Facility, QA/QC and the Privately Owned Vehicle Inspection Station. Call civ (0611) 705-1340 for more information.

Staying safe on bikes, blades

With warmer weather bringing out more two-wheeled enthusiasts, the Directorate of Emergency Services reminds bicyclists, skaters, skateboarders and kick-scooters to use paths, sidewalks or parts of the road marked for bicycle use when available and to ride as far to the right of the road as possible. Using skates, rollerblades, skateboards or kick-scooters in traffic is prohibited. Using cell phones or mobile music devices that impede hearing is prohibited. Enthusiasts should wear light-colored clothing or reflective accessories and an approved helmet. Skaters, skateboarders and kick-scooter riders should wear knee and elbow pads and wrist guards. Bicycles must be equipped with a headlight, taillight, wheel and pedal reflectors and functioning brakes. Military ID cardholders must wear a helmet when on military installations.

Contacting CWT/Sato Travel

To avoid long waiting times during a visit to the official travel office send an email to wiesbadenCTO@cwtsatotravel.com. That way your request will be addressed by CWT/Sato travel agents throughout Europe. Your reservation request should contain the travel date, desitnation authorized per your order, full name, Social Security Number, date of birth of all travelers, phone number and point of contact. If traveling with a pet provide kennel dimensions and weight of pet. Patrons are also asked to use the civilian number civ (0611) 977 340 rather than the DSN number to contact the office.

SHARP Stand-Down Day

Various presentations, including a performance by comedian Bernie McGrenahan, will be featured during the Readiness and Resilience Campaign’s Sexual Harassment and Assault Response Prevention Stand-Down Day April 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Wiesbaden Fitness Center. The event will also feature an Information Fair from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

MPs cracking down on unregistered motorcycles
     The Military Police will be targeting unregistered motorcycles parked throughout the garrison over the next few months. If you have an unregistered motorcycle you must either obtain a valid registration and license plates or register it as nonoperational with the Vehicle Registration Office. U.S. Army Garrison Command Policy No. 11 lists the authorized locations to park vehicles registered as nonoperational. As a service to motorcycle owners, Morale, Welfare and Recreation is now offering a towing service and covered storage for motorcycles on the North Side of Clay Kaserne for a small monthly fee. Contact the MWR Automotive Skills Center at mil 337-6679 or civ (0611) 705-6679 for information on this service.
Change in hours at AAFES Hainerberg Express
     The Hainerberg Express now closes at midnight Monday through Sunday. New opening hours are 5 a.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. on Sunday. The change in hours is aimed at reducing the Army and Air Force Exchange Service's energy footprint and at enhancing AAFES's ability to contribute to quality-of-life improvements, according to AAFES representative Brad Nisbett. Nisbett added that a 24-hour Esso gas station is located at Schiersteiner Str. 92 in Wiesbaden. To find other Esso stations in Germany visit www.essofuelfinder.com/en-gb/locator.
Earth Day Photo Contest
     Get your photos featured in the Herald Union and vie for the chance to win an Army and Air Exchange Service gift certificate in our Earth Day Photo Contest. Photos should have been taken in 2014 in and around Wiesbaden with the theme "Green Cities." Be sure to include your name and "Earth Day" in the subject line when sending your digital photos (no more than three per person) to army.wiesbadenpao@mail.mil by April 15.
Beware of scam
     Some myPay users have received fake emails asking for the answers to myPay security questions. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service will never ask for this information by email. The fake emails came from smartdocs@dfas-mil.org and smartdocs@dfas.mil.org. People who responded to this email request with answers to their myPay security questions are advised to log into myPay to change their security questions immediately. The official SmartDocs email address is SmartDocs@dfas.mil. (Courtesy of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service)
EasyTV available in Aukamm

Aukamm Housing residents can now get TKS’s easyTV cable television service. The all-digital service features USA cable networks with 109 digital channels, 47 high definition networks and all AFN digital channels. The basic service starts at €19.95 a month. For more information visit your local TKS office at the Hainerberg Shopping Center or www.tkscable.com.

Lock your vehicle

Leaving your vehicle unsecure is a traffic violation in Germany and can result in a fine. If you leave your vehicle unsecured and the Polizei cannot locate you or secure your vehicle they will secure your valuables and you can retrieve them with a ticket at the local Polizei Precinct. Also the police advise everyone to secure their license plates properly to their vehicles. Report missing or stolen plate to the Military Police immediately. (Courtesy of the Directorate of Emergency Services)

Put it on ICE

Have you been waiting to submit feedback for a garrison service or facility but aren’t sure how? Submitting an electronic Interactive Customer Evaluation card ensures the appropriate  manager gets the submission immediately. To access ICE visit www.wiesbaden.army.mil and click on the ICE button on the bottom left side of the page. This will take you to the garrison’s ICE page. Once there either use the “Service Provider Search” option, the “Show All” option or “Submitting a Site” comment. You can leave your contact information and request a response from management or you can leave an anonymous submission. All are reviewed — so make sure your feedback is heard. Put it on ICE.

New CAC ID process

Starting March 1 a new CAC ID Process will be implemented for Appropriated Fund civilian employees. Army employees and family members will no longer be required to visit their Civilian Personnel Advisory Center before renewing their CAC cards. They will bypass CPAC and go directly to their ID card section. This only applies for Army ID card facilities. If you choose to obtain a CAC from a non-ARMY ID card office you will be required to obtain a DD Form 1172-2 (application for identification card/DEERS enrollment). For more information visit https://cpolrhp.cpol.army.mil/eur/automation/CAC_ID_Process.pdf.

Casualty Assistance/Notification Class

U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden’s Military Personnel Division will host Casualty Assistance and Casualty Notification Classes April 28-30 and June 4-6 in Room 007 of Building 1023W on Clay Kaserne. Call Master Sgt. White at mil 337-7326 or civ (0162) 975514 for more information.

Threat awareness training

Service members and Department of the Army civilians are required to attend annual Threat Awareness and Reporting Program training. The training takes about one and a half hours and addresses subject areas including espionage, terrorism, subversion, sabotage and insider threat indicators. Training will be held from 9-10:30 a.m. and 2-3:30 p.m. at the Taunus Theater in the Hainerberg Shopping Center on June 19, Sept. 18 and Dec. 11. For more information call mil 337-5540.

Recycling information

Looking for information about recycling or the 2014 trash pick-up schedules for Wiesbaden military community housing areas. Visit www.wiesbaden.army.mil and click on the Recycling link or get there directly by visiting www.wiesbaden.army.mil/sites/directorates/Refuse_Schedule.asp. Residents are also reminded that the Recycle/Reuse Center on Clay Kaserne is now open weekdays from noon to 3:30 p.m. and stays open until 6 p.m. on Thursdays.

Visual information requests

Customers requesting visual information support from Wiesbaden’s Training Support Center are advised that when visiting the VIOS website, www.vios.army.mil/viosmain.html, they must now click on the Europe section of the map  to submit a request.

Inclement weather updates

Be sure to tune in to AFN radio (FM98.7) starting at 6 a.m. weekdays to hear the latest road, traffic and school closure information. Community members can also call the Weather Hotline at civ (0611) 7245 or 6101, check the Garrison Wiesbaden Facebook page or click on the Weather and Road Conditions link on the garrison’s home page (www.wiesbaden.army.mil) for the latest updates on delays and closures due to weather.

Eagle 360

American Forces Network listeners in Wiesbaden can now get live streaming radio services on their computer desktops and mobile devices. AFN 360 Internet Radio, launched Dec. 3, offers eight streaming radio channels including a local station and seven additional streams of news, sports talk, political talk and music. In addition to music and talk shows, AFN 360 features local and regional information. Visit www.afneurope.net and select AFN to get streamed AFN Wiesbaden The Eagle radio. (Defense Media Activity News Release)

Check Fuel Card

Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials advise patrons to check their Esso Fuel Card expiration date (lower right hand corner). If near expiration, customers must stop by the nearest AAFES Fuel Card issuing location for a replacement card. (Courtesy of AAFES Public Affairs)

Bikes on public transportation

Did you know that you can take your bicycle along with for free on any S-Bahn throughout the week in the Rhein-Main Region? Bikes may also be taken on U-Bahns and buses on the weekends; however, on weekdays they are not permitted during rush hour (6-8:30 a.m. and 4-6:30 p.m.). Anytime on weekends is OK for bikes. Wheelchairs and buggies have priority over bikes.

Home protection

Host nation crime prevention experts warn people that recent incidents of single home burglaries involved perpetrators sticking small pieces of plastic between the entrance door and door frame to determine if occupants were home or away on business or vacation. The burglars reportedly checked after a couple of days to see if the plastic had been removed or was still in place indicating that the door had not been opened and a break-in could occur unimpeded. People are advised to be on the lookout for inconspicuous pieces of plastic placed in the doorway and to report it to the Military Police. For more crime prevention tips visit the Hessen Polizei home page at http://www.polizei.hessen.de/icc/internetzentral/nav/c7e/c7e70b60-d9ec-e141-14ae-3c060ef798e7.htm. (Courtesy of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden’s Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security).

New Mainz-Kastel Housing prefix

The military prefix telephone number for all offices in Mainz-Kastel Housing have changed from 337 to 548. The civilian conversion is (0611) 143. That means the number for the Vehicle Registration Office is now mil 548-7819/7821/7823 or civ (0611) 143-7819/7821/7823.

VA telephone scam

Veterans Affairs warns veterans of a scam involving attempts to contact the VA by phone. Reportedly scammers are using a phone line number that is one number off from the Veterans Benefits Administration National Call Center and the GI Bill Call Center. Numbers to be avoided are (800) 872-1000 (the actual VA NCC number is 800-827-1000) and (888) 442-4511 (the correct ...VA GI BCC number is 888-442-4551). Both fraudulent call centers appear to be attempting to gather personal information for identity theft. VA officials noted that they would never ask for a credit car number or banking information over the phone. If you feel you are a victim of a fraud, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357. Visit stopfraud.gov for more information about reporting financial fraud.

Legal Assistance hours

The Wiesbaden Legal Assistance and Claims offices are open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m.; Thursdays from 1-4 p.m. The offices are closed the first Friday of every month for Readiness Day activities and all federal and training holidays. To speak to an attorney call civ (0611) 705-4725 to make an appointment. Powers of attorney and notaries are done on a walk-in basis.

Package appointments

Patrons who have five or more packages to mail can schedule an appointment before normal opening times by calling mil 337-6413 or civ (0611) 705-6413.

Snow and ice response

The U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden’s Directorate of Public Works provides snow and ice removal after major storms. Priority is given to clearing the airfield taxiways, garrison-controlled roads and common area walkways. The city of Wiesbaden clears road in open housing areas giving priority to city bus routes, then major roads feeding to city bus routes and then residential areas. Housing residents are responsible for clearing sidewalks from the front door to the parking space. Newman Village residents are also responsible for clearing the sidewalks in front of their quarters. Tenant units/activities are responsible for clearing the steps leading to their facilities while DPW crews will clear the steps of public facilities.

Farm traffic only

Drivers are reminded that the farm road behind Clay Kaserne (adjacent to Newman Housing) is for farm traffic, cyclists and pedestrians only. It is not to be used as a thoroughfare to approach or leave Clay Kaserne. The Polizei will ticket drivers who use the farm road, according to Lt. Col. Joseph Hissim, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Emergency Services director.

ESWE offers night bus service

ESWE now offers a night bus service departing from downtown Wiesbaden that includes a stop at the Main Gate at Clay Kaserne. ESWE Bus N7 will pick up at the Platz der Deutschen Einheit stop (located on Schwalbacher Strasse near the Luisen Forum) at 12:30 a.m. daily and arrive at Clay Kaserne about 20 minutes later. Also, on Friday and Saturday ESWE Bus N7 offers two additional pickups at 2 and 3 a.m. Patrons can call (0611) 45022-450 for bus pick up information from Mainz-Kastel or other outlying areas. Visit www.eswe.verkehr.de for more information.

Internet pets

Several community members have reported becoming the victims of an Internet pet scam. People seeking pets are asked to send money to such places as the Ukraine, Cameroon, Spain and other places in order to buy or even to see a photo of a potential future pet only to never receive the pet or the money back. This has sometimes involved the “seller” asking the purchaser to send payment through Western Union. Community are advised to beware of online pet sales.

Parking policy

Do you know the rules for parking in the Wiesbaden military community. Read the updated commander’s policy letter – “Reserved, Designated and General Parking” – on the garrison’s home page at www.wiesbaden.army.mil by clicking on Command Focus, Policies and then the policy – CP11.

Green Boot program

Is your unit signed up for the Green Boot program? Help the Army save by sharing ideas on ways to conserve and use energy more efficiently. Contact Maj. William McGlothlin at mil 337-5840 or William.p.mcglothlin.mil@mail.mil for details.

Passport up to date?

Although some European borders don’t always feature passport checks when crossing from one country to another, U.S. military community members are reminded that they should always carry their passport when traveling between countries. Military assignment orders are not a substitute for a passport. Police in some European countries can pull vehicles over without suspicion of wrongdoing to check for passports. Avoid possible detainment, search and illegal border crossing charges – carry your passport and keep it up to date when traveling in Europe.

Overseas car conversion

Americans in Europe must beware of European car dealers who offer to convert cars or motorcycles to U.S. standards. You could lose a lot of money by trying to ship a vehicle “converted” in Europe to the States. The Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency only accept work done by licensed companies in the United States, not the work of individuals or overseas companies. U.S. Customs can easily check vehicle identification numbers to detect phony conversions. Under EPA regulations, nonconforming vehicles less than 21 years old may only enter the United States through an independent commercial importer. These vehicles must be tested and adapted to the emission standards in effect at the time of production. Vehicles that are 21 years old or older do not require EPA tests or conversions. DOT requires shippers of nonconforming vehicles to sign a contract with a registered import company that must certify in advance that it can convert the model to U.S. safety standards. The owner must also post a bond for one and half times the vehicle’s dutiable value. Shipping, paperwork and conversions cost between $6,500 and $25,000 per vehicle. Get the “Importing a Car” pamphlet from Customs or visit www.hqusareur.army.mil/opm/cars.htm for details.

Update DEERS information

As summer approaches many service members and their families are gearing up for permanent change of station moves and retirees may be heading off to distant destinations. It’s important for Tricare beneficiaries to update their DEERS information to make sure their health care follow them to their new address. Visit www.tricare.mil for more information. (Tricare Communications)

DOT code a must

Tires shipped stateside must meet U.S. Department of Transportation standards, whether fitted to vehicles or not. So if you replace tires on your privately owned vehicle or buy a used vehicle, check for the DOT code if you intend to ship the POV to the States. Check both sides of the tire for the code as it may appear only on one side. Visit www.nhtsa.gov/Vehicle+Safety/Tires for more information. (Customs Release)

Save tax on imported vehicles
     U.S. personnel stationed overseas can ship vehicles to the United States free of federal tax and duty. Shippers must meet three conditions —taking physical possession of the vehicle before shipping, having valid Permanent Change of Station orders and importing for personal use (or by immediate family members) only. Exemption does not free one of state taxation. Registering a vehicle is the best way to show possession, but you can also prove it by putting a copy of your movement orders in the glove compartment. It is illegal to import vehicles for third parties or in order to sell them. Obtain state tax information from the relevant Department of Motor Vehicles (links available at www.hqusareur.army.mil/rmv/stateside_dmvs.htm). Stop by your local Customs or Transportation Office for more information about shipping procedures and fees. (Customs Release)
New Passport Office procedure
     The Wiesbaden Passport Office now only allows passport pickups on Tuesdays from 1:30-4 p.m. The office is located in Rooms 162 and 163 in Building 1023E on Clay Kaserne. Coordinate with passport agents for all emergencies or alternate pickup dates by calling civ (0611) 705-5308/7470 or 5515.
TSP app warning
     The Apple App Store is offering a Thrift Savings Plan application that is not sanctioned by the TSP. The free iPhone app, TSP Funds, offered through the Apple App Store, asks TSP participants for their account login information. The app is not being offered through the TSP and TSP officials do not recommend using the application to access TSP accounts.
Free alterations
     The Army and Air Force Exchange Service is offering free alterations and modifications on all issued uniforms for severely wounded, ill and injured Soldiers at all 79 Army Military Clothing stores around the world. The Army-led initiative ensures all wounded Soldiers receive free alterations and modifications on all issued uniforms in accordance with the Wounded Warrior Clothing Support Program including Army service, combat and improved physical fitness uniforms as well as undergarments. Eligible Soldiers must present an approved Army Form 3078 along with the prescribed modifications by the physical or occupational therapist to receive free services.
(AAFES Public Affairs)
Energy tips for offices
     To help reduce costs and save energy people are asked to power down all computers at the end of the duty day and to shut off computer speakers, scanners and other attached equipment when not in use. Place computer and peripherals on a power or smart strip and turn off at the end of the day. Ensure all exterior doors/windows remain closed and well sealed, except to ventilate for short periods for mold/mildew control. Space heaters are strictly prohibited in heated or cooled spaces. Building lights should be turned off when facility is unoccupied. If windows are cracked or missing submit a work order for repair.
(Courtesy of the Directorate of Public Works)
Make ID card appointments online
     Did you know you can make an appointment online to get a new ID card? To schedule an appointment go to https://rapids-appointments.dmdc.osd.mil. The ID Cards/DEERS office is located in Room 111, Building 1023E on Clay Kaserne. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the last customer sign-in at 3:30 p.m. Call mil 337-6355 or civ (0611) 705-5515 for more information.
Slow down to save money
     Each month the city of Wiesbaden records some 10,000 speeders on its streets, thanks to radar devices throughout the city. Drivers are asked to always observe the speed limits and to be aware that speed measurement devices are in place at various locations, including near the Hainerberg Shopping Center.
Don’t mail meat
     Some U.S. personnel in Europe receive fines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture because they mailed packages or sausages, ham or pate to the United States. The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection conducts inspections of incoming mail and refers violations to the USDA. Fines can range from $100 to $1,100. However infestations of animal disease can cost the U.S. taxpayer much more — millions of dollars each year. It is illegal to send meats and sausages without USDA approval. Even pasta or soup mixes that contain dried meat are not allowed. All packages mailed to the United States must have valid Customs declarations. Visit www.hqusareur.army.mil/opm/uscustoms.htm for more information.
(Customs News Release)
Commissary feedback
      Although the Defense Commissary Agency is not incorporated in the Interactive Customer Evaluation system, patrons can make comments and ask questions at local store’s customer service office. If the local customer service representative is unable to answer a question or help with a problem, patrons are advised to ask for the store director or manager on duty. If that too, doesn’t work during a commissary visit, head to the DeCA website, www.commissaries.com. Store contact information, a customer comment form and Frequently Asked Questions are available through the “Contact Us” page on DeCA’s website.
(DeCA Public Affairs)

Stateside phone access

Anyone can now call the Army in Europe’s official Defense Switched Network phone numbers from the United States via a standard stateside commercial telephone number. The number, (301) 981 1059, gives callers in the United States who do not have a DSN line available immediate commercial access to an operator in Germany who will then connect them to the appropriate DSN number in Europe. Callers must pay commercial calling costs to the Maryland 301 area code, but there are no overseas calling charges, and the number is accessible from any phone. U.S. Army Europe officials said the number is for official use only — not for “morale and welfare calls.” For more information email ocpa.pi@eur.army.mil or call civ (06221) 57-7270. (USAREUR Public Affairs)

Getting service records

Army veterans who served on active duty or in the Army Reserve, and the family members of those veterans, are eligible to receive service-related documents for free through a number of official sources. Soldiers who separated in October 2002 or later can submit a signed Standard Form 180 (Request Pertaining to Military Records – www.archives.gov/research/order/standard-form-180.pdf) to the U.S. Army Human Resources Command by email to askhrc.army@us.army.mil or by mail to U.S. Army Human Resources Command, ATTN: AHRC-PDR-V/Department 420. Soldiers who separated before October 2002 should submit a signed SF 180 to the National Archives and Records Administration’s National Personnel Records Center at National Personnel Records Center, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63132-1002. For National Guard information visit www.nationalguard.mil/resources/states.aspx. Veterans can also access their information directly through a joint partnership between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense known as eBenefits at www.ebenefits.va.gov.

It’s your call

Confidential help for the U.S. Army Europe community is available through the Military Crisis Line at civ (00800) 1273-8255 or mil 118. Suicide prevention and crisis support through confidential chat is also available online at MilitaryCrisisLine.net.

Online disability help

Soldiers, family members and commanders can now find helpful data, phone numbers and first-line information on how the integrated Disability Evaluation System works for the Army in Europe at the U.S. Army Europe IDES website — www.eur.army.mil/IDES. Europe and Asia are part of the final implementation evaluation process for Soldiers which began in October 2011. The new system eliminates both the requirement for veterans to navigate the Department of Veterans Affairs disability evaluation process on their own and the delay between the end of a Soldier’s service and the beginning of his or her Veterans Affairs benefits. The IDES partners the disability rating systems of the Department of Defense and the VA to produce a disability rating system used by both departments. The IDES also features a single set of medical examinations and a single set of disability ratings, resulting in benefits that begin as soon as Soldiers separate from military service. (USAREUR Public Affairs)

Military Kids Connect website

The challenges faced by a child when a parent or caregiver deploys are unique to the military community. MilitaryKidsConnect.org is a new Defense Department-sponsored website to help military children support one another and learn coping and resilience-building skills. The site was developed by psychologists at the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, DoD’s primary agency for applying innovative technology to issues of psychological health and traumatic brain injury. Visit MilitaryKidsConnect.org for more information. (DoD News)

Check mail before sending

Customs officials advise mailers to avoid mail delays and customs issues by ensuring their mail is free of prohibited, restricted and otherwise non-mailable items. Restricted items include weapons, explosives, ammunition, tobacco products, meat products, alcohol and alcohol-filled candy, fruit, plants, medicines, dietary aids, butane lighters, obscene articles, aerosol cans and “Kinder eggs” with the prize enclosed. The Military Postal Service also cannot be used for humanitarian aid or business ventures. Restrictions vary from country to country. When in doubt contact your local postal clerk for guidance. (Courtesy of IMCOM-Europe Public Affairs Office)

Army Mentorship Program

The Army Mentorship Program is a voluntary, web-based program that promotes mentorship by linking mentors and mentees, and provides training videos and literature teaching the concepts of mentorship. Studies have shown that mentoring relationships can help individuals with personal and professional growth by improving their leadership and interpersonal and technical skills. For more information visit www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/mentorship. (USAREUR Public Affairs)

Career transition training

The Department of Defense now offers an online Career Decision Toolkit to help service members assess transition needs and explore transition-related subjects such as career exploration, financial planning for transition, job search success, effective resumes and cover letters, interviewing excellence and negotiating salaries. For more information visit www.turbotap.org. (DoD News)

Hanau Veterans Center

A new American Veterans Center opened on the former Francoise Kaserne in the Lamboy section of Hanau (Building 905/Club 905 — Francoisegarten bus stop). Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday. It will serve as a social center and information point for all American veterans, retirees, spouses and widows. Coffee and tea will be available. For more information email retired Col. Paul Sanders at Pauls09165@hotmail.com, Joyce Schloesser at Schloesser-bob@t-online.de or call civ (06128) 489 202. Parking is available in the Club 905 spaces.

Check vehicle registration

Directorate of Emergency Services officials remind privately owned vehicle operators to check their vehicle registration for expiration. Don’t become a blotter statistic. While checking your vehicle registration, also make sure your U.S. Forces Europe driver’s license is still current. Make sure to renew both in a timely manner.

Selection board video

The Department of the Army Secretariat released a 10-minute instructional video to assist officers, warrant officers and noncommissioned officers preparing for centralized selection boards. The video explains the overall selection board process and shows Soldiers where in the Army Human Resources Command website to find selection boards and their specific convening dates during the fiscal year. The video explains how to navigate the My Board File and prepare military records for those being considered for promotion. It also provides information about what board members look for during the board file review process. The video can be viewed at http://goo.gl/gEy4v by logging on with an Army Knowledge user name and password. (USAREUR Public Affairs)

Starr Card supports community

One way military Families can help reduce costs and strengthen their Army and Air Force Exchange benefit is to take advantage of the Exchange’s Military Starr Card. Unlike bank cards, profits generated from the Military Starr Card are shared with military communities through contributions to the military service’s quality-of-life funds. The Military Starr Card is accepted at all Exchange activities, as well as the Exchange Catalog and Exchange Online store at www.shopmyexchange.com. Click on "Credit Services" when visiting the website for more information about the Military Starr Card. (AAFES Public Affairs)

USB power, think again

Before plugging any device in a U.S. government computer — whether it’s a thumb drive, phone or mp3 player — think again. Anything that plugs into USB can not only draw power but can also transfer data. Plugging those devices into U.S. government systems creates vulnerabilities, which lead to significant risks to the networks.

Army Career Tracker

The Army Career Tracker is a leadership development and career management tool that continues to be fielded to Soldiers, officers and civilians in phases, based on their career management fields, throughout the remainder of 2011. The ACT integrates training, assignment history and education into one personalized, easy-to-use portal. The tracker can also be used to search for multiple Army education and training resources, monitor career development and history, and receive personalized advice from leadership. The ACT allows Soldiers, officers and civilians to manage their career objectives and monitor their progress toward career requirements and goals. The ACT release schedule is available on the Army Knowledge Online website at www.us.army.mil/suite/page/659786. (USAREUR Public Affairs)

Access data at Tricare Online

A new feature on Tricare Online at www.tricareonline.com allows users access to expanded health data, including lab results, patient history and diagnoses and provider visits. The features are an expansion of the Blue Button capability which allows beneficiaries to securely access and print or save their demographic information, allergy and medication profiles. The level of data available is dependent on where treatment occurs — with the most data available to those who regularly get care at military hospitals and clinics.

Know before you go

People moving to the States this summer should start preparing now by finding new homes for the things that are banned from import. It is also a good idea to apply early for import permits on restricted items, Customs officials advise. "Prohibited items include meat and meat products such as sausage, pate and salami, as well as plants and destructive devices," said Bill Johnson, director of the U.S. European Command’s Customs and Border Clearance Agency. "If you’re planning on shipping firearms, ensure you have proof that you owned them in the States or have an import permit." Other points to remember include: t Owners of vehicles not made to U.S. standards have to ship them through commercial importers registered with the Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency. However vehicles more than 25 years old are exempt from this rule. t Most mopeds and motorcycles must also meet U.S. safety and pollution standards, and all vehicles must be free of dirt, insects and vegetation. t Wine collections can only be shipped with advance approval from the transportation office. Endangered species items such as ivory and some furs may only be shipped if owners can prove they were previously owned in the United States or are antiques 100 years old. t State attorneys general must approve imports of gambling devices. These devices must be registered with the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. Pick up more information at your local Customs Office or visit www.hqusareur.army.mil/opm/uscustoms.htm. (USEUCOM Customs Public Affairs)

Getting vehicles ready for shipment

Soldiers and civilians are reminded that they are responsible for ensuring specific steps are taken before shipping their privately owned vehicle. Individuals must v Have six copies of PCS orders; v Have a valid ID card and registration; v Make and confirm an appointment with Transcar shipping office to turn in a POV (call civ 06134-69303 or mil 337-7849); Remove all personal effects; v Ensure POV is in operable condition; v Clean vehicle interior and exterior to meet USADA standards (no dirt, soil, plant or animal life); v Make sure fuel tank is less than one quarter full; v Make sure emergency brake is in full working order; v Vehicle has no leaks; v EPA and DOT labels are attached to the vehicle; v Lug nut key is available; v Car stereo equipment is permanently fixed or bolted down; v Must have read the "Global POV Contract Outbound — What to Expect" pamphlet given during the transportation briefing. (Courtesy of USAG Wiesbaden’s DPTMS)

Federal benefits contact

The federal benefits unit in Frankfurt has a new telephone number for those needing assistance with Social Security, Medicare or Veterans Affairs issues. The new number is civ (069) 90555 1110. The federal benefits unit Frankfurt may also be reached at FBU.Frankfurt@ssa.gov or by fax at civ (069) 749 352.

Avoid demonstrations

Garrison force protection and security experts advise community members to always avoid any public demonstrations as they could become violent. Listen to the American Forces Network radio, check the garrison home page and Commander’s Information Channel for the latest advisories and plan your route to stay away from demonstrations whenever possible.

Think Act Save

Help save Army dollars by doing your part to recycle refuse. Join the Separate Or Recycle Trash effort by properly sorting all recyclables. Also turn off lights and other appliances when not in use. It’s commonsense, it makes good sense and it saves lots of cents.

Ready Army

Army families are reminded to plan ahead and establish a family emergency plan for all potential hazards. Soldiers, civilians, families and contractors are advised to "get a kit, make a plan and be informed." "One of the most important tools you and your family can have to protect yourself in possible emergencies is a family emergency plan," said Rene Gomez, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high Yield Explosives specialist. "It is important that you plan ahead as a family for all types of emergencies and responses." When establishing a plan it’s important to: (bullet) Know your installation’s evacuation procedure; (bullet) Discuss as a family where you will go in the event of an emergency; (bullet) Plan how you will evacuate family members with special needs; (bullet) Include pets in your family plan; (bullet) Save "In Case of Emergency" information on everyone’s cell phone; (bullet) Set up practice evacuations or shelter-in-place drills for your family to ensure everyone knows what to do; (bullet) Keep your emergency supply kit up to date, replacing water and perishables periodically.