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Defense communities discussion
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- At center, Kathleen Ferguson, acting assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics, and her counterparts from the Navy, Roger Natsuhara, and the Army, Katherine Hammack, participate in a panel discussion during the Association of Defense Communities Installation Innovation Forum here Feb. 11. The panel discussed issues impacting defense communities and future partnership opportunities for the military and defense communities. (U.S. Air Force photo/Shannon Carabajal)
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AFCEC leaders build community, industry partnerships

Posted 2/12/2014   Updated 2/12/2014 Email story   Print story


by Shannon Carabajal
AFCEC Public Affairs

2/12/2014 - SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Air Force Civil Engineer Center representatives met with defense, civic and industry leaders to build partnerships, share best practices and discuss key issues impacting defense communities during the Association of Defense Communities Installation Innovation forum here Feb. 10 - 12.

The conference, attended by more than 400 people, included in-depth workshops, briefings and networking events aimed at showing attendees the best way to partner and find solutions as installations and communities strive for efficiencies and look for innovations. Throughout the event, civic and military leadership discussed current projects, from renewable energy to military health care delivery, and shared ideas about future opportunities to enhance mission support.

The forum also included an installation leadership update with senior Department of Defense leadership including Kathleen Ferguson, acting assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics. The update focused on how installations are evolving and discussed partnership opportunities stemming from section 331 of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.

Section 331 allows the military to enter into intergovernmental support agreements with state and local governments for the procurement of installation support services. The law helps installations save money and create efficiencies. It also helps boost revenue for local governments that provide services to bases.

"The Air Force is very excited about opportunities that 331 provides to us. (The Air Force Community Partnership Program) has really done a great job of going out and looking for opportunities across the Air Force to partner with communities in and around the installations. They have identified 400 different opportunities and that's just the tip of the iceberg," Ferguson said.

AFCEC's Brian Brown, the Installations Directorate's Strategic Asset Utilization Division chief, participated in two panel discussions focused on building successful partnerships. Learning how successful partnerships were designed, developed and executed will help defense communities identify and pursue opportunities for growth and potential cost savings, he explained.

"We're team building. For many years, team building was taking place (and) what we're doing now is bringing more attention to the processes. You've got to know how to do it, how you get there, the pitfalls and the way ahead," he said.

ADC is an organization serving defense communities across the nation. The group brings together communities, state governments, industry and the military on a variety of issues including base closure and realignment, community-military partnerships, mission sustainment and base redevelopment.

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