NEWS | Feb. 24, 2015

AF Community Partnership Program, making every dollar count

By Trisha Gallaway 628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

In a continued effort to strengthen community ties and explore cost-saving opportunities for Joint Base Charleston, base leadership hosted the first Air Force Community Partnership Program Initial Planning Meeting Feb. 13, 2015 at the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce in North Charleston, S.C.

Colonel Jeffrey DeVore, Joint Base Charleston commander, opened up the IPM, which included more than 70 community and base attendees, and emphasized his appreciation for the great relationship the base and community already share here in the low country.

The Air Force Community Partnership Program, or "P4" for short, is a way for JB Charleston to work with its community partners in the Tri-County area to develop creative ways to leverage their capabilities and resources, combine like services, and improve the quality of life for those who call Charleston home. 

Within the program there are two types of partnerships; Public-Private and Public-Public, hence the short name "P4."

"P4 is basically identifying areas under our umbrella where we have excess capacity to offer as well as areas where we need capacity and could use some help," said Lt. Col. Ralph "E.T." Taylor, 628th Mission Support Group deputy commander and the base's P4 project officer. "If our community partners do the same, then we can hopefully 'marry up' certain areas to develop 'win, win' initiatives."

During the IPM workshop, base leadership and community leaders participated in Brainstorming Breakout Sessions facilitated by the P4 Team from the Pentagon.  Teams began identifying potential partnerships, areas where excess capacity existed, areas where help was needed, and the resources available. 

Currently, 40 installations across the Air Force have become part of the Community Partnership Program.

Colonel DeVore will head the P4 Leadership Committee. 

"We are very excited to be bringing P4 to Joint Base Charleston.  This isn't new to us though," said DeVore. "We have been doing this for years.  Just look at our airfield operations and how we share the runways and airfield responsibilities with Charleston International Airport.  What we are hoping to do is further partnerships in the Low Country to find smarter ways of doing business.  P4 is another way of doing just that."

Robins Air Force Base, Ga., has been part of P4 since 2013 and one of their partnership agreements allows for continued medical education between the base clinic and regional health care entities. In the end, Robins AFB sees a savings of about $15K a year. This agreement eliminated the need to send members of the 78th Medical Group elsewhere for their training.

Within the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., community, there was a demand for soccer and lacrosse fields. With more than 24 soccer fields, JB McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst used their base fields, Army Air Force Exchange Service food operations and the 87th Force Support Squadron event planning to support the demand. In 2014, the expected revenue from this partnership was anywhere from $115K to $142.5K. The increased revenue would then be reinvested into improving the grounds and the base. 

These are just two examples of hundreds of innovative initiatives that have been a result of the P4 Program.

The next P4 meeting is tentatively scheduled for March 26, 2015. 

P4 here at JB Charleston is in the early planning stages and leadership is open to ideas for potential initiatives. To submit an idea and have it considered for the program, please contact Lt. Col. Taylor at ralph.taylor.1@us.af.mil.