February 2015 marked the historical Public-Private Partnership solidification event where the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County (DBA One Okaloosa EDC), the 96th Test Wing Eglin Air Force Base and the 1st Special Operations Wing Hurlburt Field executed the EDC-Eglin-Hurlburt Community Partnership Program Charter providing a platform supporting military-community partnership opportunities. The EDC-Eglin-Hurlburt Community Partnership Program was reinstituted in July 2022 committing an ongoing framework to discuss possible partnership opportunities and collaboration between Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field, Florida state government organizations, Northwest Florida governments, and other public and private entities. Capabilities and resources are leveraged to achieve mutual value and benefit. The tri-county region includes Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton Counties--Eglin Air Force's land reservation footprint.
The Tri-County Community Partnership Initiative (TCPI) was created by One Okaloosa EDC to foster public-public / public-private (P4) partnerships to support local military installations and their host communities. The 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Section 331, provides the authorization for military installations to connect with civic orgnaizations, municipalities and business leaders to collaborate and develop creative solutions to reduce operating costs and increase service capabilities. TCPI brings together collaborative community and military efforts, under a well-defined and sustainable banner, uniquely focused on the enhancement of its military installations, their missions, and the surrounding communities. The net result is a “win-win” scenario.
Regular recurring in-person and virtual meetings serve as the heartbeat that keeps TCPI efforts progressively effective. Public and private stakeholders work together to identify potential partnership opportunities, and to develop a shared understanding and goal. Many factors contribute to successful partnership initiatives, including: available resources; suitability of agreement instruments; understanding of the legal framework; commitment of personnel; and, leaders empowering their teams to collaborate and cooperate on identifying solutions. This approach ensures improved communications, trust, and commitment between installation and community partners. Central tenets of a successful program include, 1) embracing the shared value concept, 2) an environment that rewards the entrepreneurial spirit, and 3) supportive leaders empowering their teams.
There are dozens of examples of successful partnerships in municipal and social services, educational arenas, public safety, facility maintenance, energy and water infrastructure, and others. However, some of the most valuable outcomes of a successful partnership includes improved communications, trust, and commitment between installation and community partners.
Leveraging military installation and local community capabilities and resources
to reduce costs or risks by identifying shared values and opportunities.