AFCEC Participates in Installation Reuse Forum

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  • AFCEC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- Military communities across America are looking for ways to strengthen their ties to the military installations in their towns. They have learned that everyone comes out ahead when they work together. For active and closed installations, the issues can include redevelopment planning, environmental cleanup and in some cases, new legislation.   

The Association of Defense Communities’ Installation Reuse Forum was held Oct. 17-19 in Atlanta, GA to discuss these issues and explore new ways to support local economic development.   

Air Force speakers included Brian Brown Chief, Real Property Management Division, Air Force Civil Engineer Center and Steve TerMaath Chief, Base Realignment and Closure Division, Air Force Civil Engineer Center.   

“These forums are great because they give us the ability to explain and advocate the Air Force position and the work we’ve accomplished,” said TerMaath. “It’s a great venue to explain what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and how we’re doing it.”

Mr. Brown spoke on a panel about he active installation Real Estate Reuse Toolkit.  His division manages the Air Force real property portfolio, to include: 189 installations, 1,627 geographically separated sites, 9 million acres, and 623 million square feet in structures.  

The real estate discussion explored ways communities can partner with the Air Force to reduce cost and enhance benefits. For example, unused infrastructure can provide partnership opportunities, like enhanced use leases. While sharing services like firefighting, child care, or joint amenities may also provide mutually beneficial projects.

“I always enjoy hearing some of the ideas,” said Brown. “Like new legislative proposals that are on the horizon that could make life a lot easier for the community and the installations.”

One example of successful legislation is in the city Lynn Haven, Florida, which opted to pursue federal legislation instead of the GSA process to purchase property inside their city limits.

"And what’s nice about that is the proceeds from the sale actually go to Tyndall Air Force Base,” said Brown. “This was legislation that makes the entire process easier and faster. And you have all the parties involved working together.”

Both Brown and Termaath agreed that forums like the one in Atlanta give community leaders and military representatives a better understanding of each other’s perspective because they’re hearing straight from the experts. It helps them avoid pitfalls and move to achieve their mutual goals faster.