Malmstrom AFB, Neighbors Work to Overcome Partnership Obstacles

Community leaders from Great Falls, Mont., and officials from Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard discussed the potential for forming partnerships in emergency management, vehicle management, bulk purchasing and medical training during last week’s quarterly meeting for the Air Force Community Partnership program.

One idea is to combine the purchasing power of Malmstrom, the Montana Air National Guard, Great Falls and Cascade County to save money on supplies, but overcoming the differing regulations and specifications of the participating agencies presents a challenge. Col. Tom Wilcox, commander of the 341st Missile Wing, directed his staff to see if they could surmount the obstacles associated with the bulk purchase of sand and paper, reported the Great Falls Tribune.

Officials are trying to solve problems related to radio interoperability, which limits the ability of the Air Force and its neighbors to work more closely on emergency management.

Malmstrom’s 341st Medical Group is developing training agreements with an independent health care provider and Great Falls College Montana State University that will take advantage of a simulated hospital on campus. The college started a partnership with nursing students who are now getting course credit for doing clinical rotations and training with the clinic at Malmstrom, according to the story. The participants now are considering expanding that model to include dental and pharmacy students.

A total of 142 agreements have been signed nationwide since the Air Force Community Partnership program started in 2014, producing $23 million in benefits for the Air Force and $24 million in community benefits, said Col. Jennifer Dalrymple, the Air Force headquarters liaison for the program at Malmstrom.

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