Public-Public Partnerships are intergovernmental agreements that leverage resources to enable mutual value and benefit (including achieving cost-effective efficiencies or reductions in risks).
Public-Private Partnerships are agreements and contracts between military installations and the private sector (including either for-profit or not-for-profit entities) that leverage resources to enable mutual value and benefit (including achieving cost-effective efficiencies or reductions in risks).
In an effort to "make every dollar count", the Air Force has put a concentrated effort to cultivate partnerships between our installations and the local communities. The Air Force Community Partnership program has been heralded by our Wing Commanders and community leaders as an ideal forum for exploring win-win partnerships. Since January 2013, the Air Force Community Partnership (AFCP) program has inspired 62 installations and communities to partner across a wide range of initiatives.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy (SAF/IE) currently manages and oversees the AFCP Program. Within SAF/IE, the program falls under the portfolio of Ms. Jennifer Miller, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Installations, with Mr. Teran Judd serving as the AFCP Program Director.
Installations and their communities have developed more than 1,000 initiatives and signed 390 agreements that has generated $68M in Air Force benefit and $27M in community benefit. Beyond the tangible savings, the program creates an invaluable forum for fostering relationships and promoting innovation.
Without losing focus on fostering a partnership mentality across the Air Force, and while continuing to strengthen its foundation by building upon concepts under development, we are now turning our attention to cultivate initiatives that show significant promise of large returns-on-investment or have Air Force-wide application. From working with local municipalities to sharing small/large weapons firing ranges and sharing ballfields and golf courses, the potential to save AF resources while strengthening relationships with the community is huge.
Types of Partnership Initiatives
The partnership initiatives underway span all installation support functions. Installations and communities now have the framework and tools needed to finalize many of the over 1,000 potential initiatives identified to date, such as shared medical/EMT training, joint small arms ranges, and shared refuse management services.
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Through a community partnership approach, installation and community leaders work together to achieve mutual understanding and identify potential partnerships of shared value. First, stakeholders identify requirements based on a need, and then they work to identify potential partnership initiatives to meet those requirements. Once initiatives are defined in adequate detail, installations and communities can leverage subject matter experts, toolkits and templates to help define the way forward. Partners then pinpoint what resources are required and when/from whom resources will be needed.
As a result of lessons learned since October 2012, the Air Force has refined a community partnership approach that is adaptable but not always as simple as it sounds. A key to partnership success is directly attributable to the hard work of installation and community leaders who commit to partnering upfront and then work together to craft and implement mutually beneficial agreements.
The Air Force Community Partnership process involves three groups: the Leadership Committee comprised of key decision makers; Work Groups; and partnership stakeholders/participants. The Leadership Committee and Work Groups are specifically involved in planning, while all groups participate in the implementation of partnership initiatives.
The Leadership Committee is responsible for identifying and leading potential partnering initiatives and steering the activities of Work Groups. The Leadership Committee at each location is comprised of key decision makers: Air Force installation leaders and appropriate functional leads, and community leaders, such as mayors, senior elected and senior appointed officials.
Work Groups are formed to focus on individual partnership initiatives, and their members are chosen based on the expertise needed to develop each partnership the Leadership Committee has selected. They include community and Air Force experts in areas such as legal, financial, security and acquisition.
Stakeholders/participants represent a much broader and more diverse group of base and community members, including local, State and Federal governments; regional planning organizations; key tenant organizations; economic development organizations; educators and university organizations; non-governmental organizations; governor’s military liaisons, conservation organizations; tribal organizations; union representatives; utility companies, community leaders (e.g., Community Alliances, Chambers of Commerce), non-profit organizations, private sector experts (as appropriate), medical professionals/hospitals, and housing privatization developers.