Lewis-McChord Becomes Showcase for Joint Basing
The smooth transition the Army and Air Force made in forming Joint Base Lewis-McChord over the past 18 months has earned the joint base national recognition for creating a culture of collaboration.
Perhaps the largest success officials have achieved is integrating the two services while ensuring neither would lose its identity.
“You cannot erase an existing service culture or identity, as those are important to mission commanders, family members, and at the same time, adequate housing, child care, library services are common to all,” Deputy Garrison Commander Air Force Col. Jerry (Kenny) Weldon II told the installation’s public affairs office.
Weldon pointed to several notable successes. For one, no Air Force employee lost a job as the Army assumed responsibility for both bases’ installation support functions. The Army and Air Force combined emergency services, creating a one-stop center for police, fire and emergency medicine that has improved emergency response times. Establishing a common network for the joint base also has helped bridge the two services, according to the story.
“The whole point of joint basing is to find efficiencies for installation support,” said Col. Julia Taylor, director of the garrison’s joint integration office. “I do think we are seeing the first round of many [joint bases] to come and joint basing won’t be going away,” she said.