Leveraging military installation and local community capabilities and resources to reduce costs or risks by identifying shared values and opportunities.
Supported by the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Section 331, a Community Partnership Program is a framework through which military installation, civic, and business leaders collaborate to develop creative ways to leverage respective capabilities and resources to reduce operating costs and increase service capabilities. The net result is a “win-win” scenario where parties in a partnership agreement realize a benefit.
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 to provide a platform supporting military-community partnership opportunities. The EDC-Eglin-Hurlburt Community Partnership Program Leadership Committee is mandated by the Charter to provide an ongoing framework to identify requirements and needs for Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field and other partners; to develop partnership and collaboration opportunities among the member organizations; and, to leverage capabilities and resources to achieve mutual value and benefit.
Most successful programs are executed through regular ongoing meetings and workshops where stakeholders work together to identify potential partnership opportunities and develop a shared understanding and goal. There are many factors contributing 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 mutually beneficial solutions. This approach ensures improved communications, trust, and commitment between installation and community partners. In addition, central tenets of a successful program include embracing the shared value concept, an environment that rewards the entrepreneurial spirit, and leaders empowering their teams to collaborate and cooperate on mutually beneficial solutions. 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. Some of the most valuable outcomes of a successful partnership initiative include improved communications, trust, and commitment between installation and community partners.