Air Force Signs 100th Partnering Agreement with Host Community

The Air Force Community Partnership Program has celebrated its 100th partnership agreement, an initiative to help the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District fill vacancies for teachers and other positions with military spouses from Eielson AFB, Alaska.

The Air Force launched the partnership program to take advantage of a new authority allowing installations and communities to enter into intergovernmental support agreements to share base support services. Fifty Air Force installations currently are working with their host communities to identify opportunities to enhance support for airmen and their families, and trim installations’ operating costs.

To date, the program has identified more than 1,000 initiatives from across the spectrum of installation services and mission support, according to the Air Force Community Partnership team.

“We set the framework that provides trained teams to installations and their surrounding communities,” said Steve Zander, director of the program. “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.”

Local leaders believe the agreement signed by Eielson’s 354th Fighter Wing and the local school system will make a dent in the school’s requirement to fill 165 positions for teachers, substitute teachers, aides and tutors. The school district estimates 30 of those positions could be filled by military spouses.

“I’m grateful we were able to sign a few agreements with the community already,” said Col. Michael Winkler, commander of the 354th Fighter Wing. “The Fairbanks North Star Borough is an amazing community with unparalleled military support.”

“This is just the start of things,” said Luke Hopkins, mayor of the Fairbanks North Star Borough. “We will continue to work with our partners and share what resources we can.”

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