Would a BSB by any other name smell as sweet?

Soon, we’ll know. BSBs and ASGs, the acronyms denoting base support battalions and area support groups, are being drummed out of the U.S. Army — and banished from the lexicon. The change will take affect Monday.

Proudly stepping in will be the USAGs, or U.S. Army Garrisons.

The name change will be noted in an official ceremony Oct. 13 at 3:15 p.m. on the Campbell Barracks parade field. At that time, all of Europe’s ASGs and BSBs (and three Area Support Teams) in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands will be inactivated, then reactivated as 21 USAGs, each bearing at the end of its title the town or region in which it resides.

For instance, the 26th ASG in Heidelberg will be known as U.S. Army Garrison Heidelberg.

“I think people will get accustomed to the new name very quickly. I think it’s easier,” said Michael Beldermann, public affairs deputy for the Installation Management Agency-Europe, which used to be known as IMA-E and is now called IMA-EURO.

The name change, according to IMA-EURO’s chief of strategic planning, signals a new consistency throughout the Army, whether in Europe, the U.S. or Asia, in how and where services are delivered to soldiers and families.

“One of the goals to standardize the organizational structure so that as soldiers and family members go from post to post, they’ll go to the same office for the same purpose,” said Brad Averill. “The internal organizations will be named consistently and the functions will be aligned consistently.”

That consistency was one of the main reasons IMA came into being three years ago, he said, assuming support services and base management from commanders. The name change, Averill said, “is a very big step forward.

“One small step for IMA; one large step for mankind,” he said.

For one of the new garrisons — Franconia — its reign will be brief. Plans are already afoot for its discontinuation within a year as part of the 1st Infantry Division’s return to U.S. bases, according to the IMA Web site.

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Nancy is an Italy-based reporter for Stars and Stripes who writes about military health, legal and social issues. An upstate New York native who served three years in the U.S. Army before graduating from the University of Arizona, she previously worked at The Anchorage Daily News and The Seattle Times. Over her nearly 40-year journalism career she’s won several regional and national awards for her stories and was part of a newsroom-wide team at the Anchorage Daily News that was awarded the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

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