With responsibility for delivering firm base support to the Army, Gen Bashall was keen to see in practice how this is being delivered for Service and civilian personnel based in Germany.
Gen Bashall was greeted at HQ BFG by Commander BFG, Brig Ian Bell.
The brief visit with staff at Catterick Barracks, Bielefeld, was followed by an opportunity to meet staff from across HQ BFG, who explained how they supported the delivery of the essential services to the BFG community.
Reminiscing on his own time serving in Germany, Gen Bashall noted how services had been improved and simplified, as well as the range of adventure training available in Germany.
Following this, Gen Bashall and Brig Bell visited Col John Connelly, Commander Westfalen Garrison.
Gen Bashall visited the Normandy Barracks Officers’ Mess to meet and speak with with key personnel from BFG, Westfalen Garrison, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, Army Welfare Service and Community Support to discuss various topics pertinent to the BFG community.
Lt Gen James Bashall was hugely positive about the level of support and services available to the BFG community, as well as how the Forces in BFG are
He said: “The vibe in BFG is still very positive, and there is much less stress now as centralisation is occurring. Well done for all the hard work in relocating units back to the UK, it went very smoothly. It is important that these positive messages to the community continue.”
Following a brief from Commander Westfalen Garrison, Gen Bashall visited HQ Army Welfare Services.
Peter May, Senior Welfare Support Officer, briefed the general about the role and services provided by AWS. He had the opportunity to see first hand some of the opportunities AWS provide to the British Forces community in Germany when he sat in on a Mental Health First Aid course that was taking place.
The busy visit was rounded off by a trip to the Paderborn PRI shop located in the Paderborn Community Hub, where he spoke with Kelly Tucker about the introduction and purpose of the facility.
It was highlighted that the shop is there to provide items not available from NAAFI and that significant savings can be made on renowned branded items, such as Pandora, North Face and Guess.
This was another example of the services available to the community, which Gen Bashall was impressed with.
He said: “This is a great amenity, and offers a wide range of products to suit everyone. I can see why this is a popular place to shop.”
After this hugely successful visit, Lt Gen Bashall said: “Having served in Germany as GOC 1 (UK) Armd Div I am pleased to be able to return today in my new role as Commander Personnel Support Command.
“I was delighted to hear about the great work that continues to go on here to improve the way in which we deliver services to the BFG community.
“Tax free shopping and registration and de-registration of cars is far easier than when I was here, for example.
“These improvements combined with the recently announced reduction in married quarter charges and exemption from Contribution in Lieu of Council Tax, as well as excellent travel, adventurous training and sporting opportunities continue to make this an attractive place to live.”