The new authority enacted in the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill allowing military installations and their host communities to enter into intergovernmental support agreements (IGSAs) for base support services has brought renewed attention to the importance of installation-community partnerships.
In an interview about the IGSA signed last month by the city Monterey, Calif., and the Presidio of Monterey, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, emphasized that other authorities also are available for installations and their neighbors to forge partnerships.
“IGSAs aren’t the sole way to form a close relationship in a specific area with a community; we do have several other tools that we can use,” she told On Base.
Other available authorities include mutual aid agreements, which allow an installation and neighboring municipalities to share emergency services, and memorandums of understanding, which can be used for a variety of smaller initiatives. For example, a host community might agree to install lights at an installation’s baseball field in exchange for the right to use the field for its Little League teams, Hammack said.
“You don’t need a very complex agreement for something like that; you can do it in very short form,” she said.
“We want to encourage people to be as effective and efficient as possible,” Hammack said.
To be sure, the Army is taking advantage of the IGSA authority. As of a month ago, the service had eight active IGSAs generating in aggregate a little more than $1 million annually in cost savings or cost avoidance. Eight more IGSAs will be considered for approval during fiscal 2017, she said. That group also is projected to save the Army about $1 million annually. During the review process for those agreements, officials may decide to convert some to a different authority, however, Hammack noted.
“We appreciate this authority [intergovernmental support agreements] and see it as a benefit for the Army and communities,” she said.