GRAFENWOHR, Germany — Army computer services all over Europe are being consolidated into new garrison-level directorates that will offer one-stop shopping for users.

About 100 information management officers from Grafenwohr, Vilseck and Hohenfels gathered at Grafenwohr’s Tower Inn for a conference Wednesday aimed at explaining the change.

The 69th Signal Battalion operations chief and conference organizer Ramon Ramirez said the consolidation of computer services within the garrison will be complete by Oct. 1.

The 69th Signal Battalion commander Lt. Col. Scott Baer added that the same thing is happening at other U.S. Army garrisons all over Europe.

The new Information Management directorates will deal with automation, communication and information assistance, Ramirez said.

“There will be a help desk for users. If you have a computer problem at the end of this you will get all your services from one place,” he said.

Individual units have had their own people helping users solve computer problems, he said.

“You could go to the guy in the next office and ask him to help fix your computer. Now you will have to call the help desk and they will fix it from a centralized location,” he said.

The new system will save the government money, he said.

Another change is a new accreditation process for computer networks, Ramirez said.

“Everything you connect to an Army network has to be accredited — computers, printers, switches. You have to have a set of programs and security patches in each system to connect to the network,” he said.

People should contact their information management officer if they want to connect a new piece of equipment, he said.

Baer said there might be a few hiccups while the system is put in place but most users will not notice a difference.

“From a customer perspective, I don’t think you care how you are provided with a service as long as you have that base line level of service,” he said.

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Seth Robson is a Tokyo-based reporter who has been with Stars and Stripes since 2003. He has been stationed in Japan, South Korea and Germany, with frequent assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Haiti, Australia and the Philippines.

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