Three years after it was launched the Air Force Community Partnership Program is active at 51 installations and host communities, helping partners reduce operating costs for installation services, improve mission support and achieve other mutual goals.
Installations and their neighboring communities have struck partnerships in a wide variety of areas, including medical services, emergency response, grounds maintenance, shared use firing ranges, joint fire/police training and installation services. Since October 2012, the program has generated more than 1,000 proposed initiatives with a potential benefit of about $160 million over the next five years, reported Air Force Public Affairs.
“Partnering starts with committed Air Force and community leaders,” said Steve Zander, the effort’s program director. “The greatest results are achieved when installation and community leaders embrace the concept of partnering and use the Air Force’s well-structured process as a means to achieve mutual value and benefit,” Zander said.
Examples of installation-community partnerships under way include:
- Robins AFB, Ga. — military doctors and dentists now receive renewal certification training at local hospitals, eliminating the need for personnel to travel to other locations and saving more than $434,000 for the Air Force and up to $2 million for the community;
- Ellsworth AFB, S.D. — the base leased underutilized facilities to a health care management firm, generating income equal to $635,000 in June 2015, creating jobs in western South Dakota and providing access to base services for the firm’s employees;
- Tyndall AFB, Fla. — leadership recently signed a one-year lease at a local medical center, allowing the 325th Medical Group to provide primarily pediatric and minute clinic-type care to patients at the center two days per week;
- Hill AFB, Utah — officials established a satellite pharmacy in underutilized space at the new base exchange, increasing the number of prescriptions filled, recapturing workload from the retail network pharmacies, and increasing foot traffic and sales at the exchange; over the past 13 months, the satellite pharmacy saved DOD an estimated $3.1 million in prescription costs; and
- Hill AFB, Utah — the community contributed to the cost of operating open house and air show events at the base, supplying $548,000 in donated services to the Air Force and generating a $15 million economic impact for the community during the events.