Air Force installations and the communities they call home have a lot in common: We are asked to do more with a limited amount of resources.
To meet today's challenges, we must be creative - finding efficiencies, enhancing effectiveness, and sparking innovations wherever we can. Partnerships between Air Force installations and our home communities enable us to turn shared challenges into shared solutions.
Since January 2013, the Air Force Community Partnership (AFCP) Program has provided a framework through which installation and community leaders can leverage their unique capabilities to enhance mission performance, reduce costs, and improve quality of life.
Learn more about AFCP today, and find out how we can do more together.
The US Air Force has a long history of partnering with our surrounding communities to tackle shared challenges. For years, installation leaders have worked with state and local governments - as well as private entities - to address issues that impact their mission, operations, and quality of life.
Recognizing the successes achieved by individual installations, in 2013 the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment, and Energy (SAF/IE) created a centralized program to promote the idea of partnerships, support installations and communities as they pursued collaborations, and develop policy that furthers these objectives.
Over the years, AFCP's programming has evolved to meet the ever-changing needs of our environment. Our participants have confronted challenges ranging from infrastructure, base operational support, cooperative purchasing, education, public safety, energy, and natural resources to health care, recreation, transportation, and workforce development.
Since January 2013, AFCP has provided a framework through which installation and community leaders can leverage their unique capabilities to enhance mission performance, reduce costs, and improve quality of life.
AFCP has a structured process for:
We stand ready to tailor our process to meet your needs and maximize benefits!
Col. Bradley Lloyd, Wright-Patterson AFB's Director of of Medical Education, recently described his installation’s partnership with Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio as long – to the point where “it’s hard to nail down” precisely when the partnership started. The partnership originated decades ago with graduate medical education programming, and eventually became a joint program under Wright State University. The program services about 400 residents, and also includes other allied healthcare positions such as nursing and respiratory therapy. Col Lloyd emphasized how the collaboration benefits both the Air Force and civilian students.
Wright-Patterson AFB and Miami Valley Hospital’s collaboration recently gained notoriety for their ground-breaking efforts surrounding COVID-19 convalescence plasma (CCP). The CCP therapy treatment has been administered successfully to 18 patients, and could not have happened without the intellectual capital involved in this partnership. On 24 March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released an emergency investigative new drug protocol for COVID-19 CCP for severe disease. CCP involves utilizing plasma from a donor who contracted and recovered from COVID-19. Using an existing protocol as a starting point, the partners developed their own protocol. They eventually created a coalition that included Premier Health, the Dayton VA Medical Center, Kettering Health Network, and Dayton Children’s Hospital, and brought a donor to the Dayton area.
On 6 April, the first CCP donation was taken, and it has since been used to treat multiple COVID-19 patients. As Dr. Roberto Colon, who is System Vice President of Quality and Safety for Premier Health, recently told the press, “In just under two weeks, this therapy went from a concept at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center to operational across the city of Dayton.”
Wright-Patterson AFB is engaged in a variety of additional efforts to combat the virus, including: participating in a Community Support Cell; making face coverings; and coordinating volunteers for restocking food.
Partnerships can assist in overcoming even the great of challenges. Leaders at Tyndall AFB and the surrounding communities have used collaboration as a force multiplier as the folks on both sides of the fence line seek to rebuild after Hurricane Michael, establishing five partnerships in only 90 days. In October 2018, the category five storm devastated the region encompassing Tyndall AFB. With 484 buildings damaged or destroyed, the installation had a long road to recovery. Base and local leaders chose to approach recovery as an opportunity: they set their sights on becoming an example of resilience.
Achieving this aspiration will require a strong working relationship, built with significant time and effort. To lay a foundation and build momentum, the AFCP Program guided the partners in identifying a series of quick wins: five partnerships that could be established and produce results within a tight timeframe. The result was a truly amazing breadth of collaborations in an impressively short amount of time.
A medical training affiliation agreement with Ascension Sacred Heart Bay Hospital will expand local training options for the 325th Medical Group A joint mosquito eradication effort with Bay County allows the partners to work in concert instead of working in parallel to address mosquitos. The partners are also utilizing SkillBridge, a Department of Defense (DOD) program that enables service members to work in their local communities during their final months of service to facilitate a smoother transition to civilian life. A partnership focused on spousal employment will provide military spouses access to online job training and priority job placement initiatives. Finally, an agreement between the installation, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office, and Gulf State College will facilitate unique training on high-speed vehicle pursuit.
A number of factors contributed to the collaborators’ success – namely, the partners’ steadfast mission-focus on developing these partnerships within the stated timeframe. AFCP assisted by providing the structure of weekly calls supported by multiple staff, who supplied institutional knowledge and best practices. The partners added further structure and accountability through a steering committee, while work groups ensured that the appropriate subject matter expertise contributed to the process. These factors allowed the partners to succeed, even during the pandemic. While the parties could hold a limited number of in-person discussions, they relied heavily on conference calls and other means of carrying out their work remotely.
Though the Air Force dedicated funds to support the rebuild effort, it will take more money and “years before the rebuild (of Tyndall AFB) will be complete,” stated Col. Brian Laidlaw, who served as the 325th Wing commander during this challenging time. These collaborations are an important step towards ensuring that the entire Northwest Florida region area works in concert to build a strong, thriving region capable of weathering any adversity. And with five partnerships underway, these ambitious collaborators are asking themselves, “What’s next?"
In the fall of 2019, the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) and Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) established a historic blanket IGSA, which facilitates a new level of ease and efficiency for contracting. Under this new agreement, JBSA has the flexibility to go directly to AACOG for installation goods and services through internal resources or their network of service providers. “This agreement creates a much more symbiotic relationship between the many missions of JBSA and the communities that host those missions,” said AACOG executive director Diane Rath. Indeed, the agreement creates an important new source of revenue for the area. In return, the agreement leverages AACOG’s knowledge of the local market and existing relationships with vendors while consolidating the responsibility for coordinating disparate services onto one primary point of contact. The arrangement also benefits local vendors, who can contract through AACOG rather than the federal government to serve JBSA.
The US Army saves around 22 % annually by using an IGSA for installation support services at the Presidio of Monterey in Monterey, California. JBSA and AACOG will leverage their blanket IGSA to achieve similar efficiencies. A previous IGSA in which the City of San Antonio coordinated the completion of a road paving project served as a proof of concept. That project took only two months, compared to the eight months that such a project would typically take.
Congress originally granted the IGSA sole-sourcing authority in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. The law intended these special agreements to be used when such an arrangement would serve the best interests of the department by creating efficiencies or economies of scale, including by reducing costs, or by enhancing mission effectiveness. To that end, IGSAs are not subject to other provisions of law governing federal contracting, and can be sole sourced to state or local governments. Not every arrangement is suitable for an IGSA: these contracts cannot more than ten years, for example, and the state or local government receiving a sole source agreement must already be providing the service. However, there are a variety of circumstances under which IGSAs can be a valuable asset. The Air Force has successfully executed multiple IGSAs to-date. With such promising results, we will continue championing the utilization of this tool.
AFCP has been charged with the responsibility of overseeing the use of Intergovernmental support agreements. An intergovernmental support agreement (IGSA) is an agreement in which the Air Force receives installation support services from a community partner, like a local or state government.
IGSAs are a particularly exciting tool because of their unique flexibilities: IGSAs are governed by different sets of rules than traditional contacts, and so have a correspondingly different set of characteristics. Traditional contracts are governed by statute (including the Competition in Contracts Act [CCA]), regulation (most notably, the Federal Acquisition Regulation [FAR]), and policy in order to promote fair competition and value to the government.
IGSAs were designed differently: these agreements derive from 10 U.S.C § 2679, and are meant to achieve objectives – like speed of execution or economies of scale – that are in the best interest of the government, but cannot be achieved through traditional contracting tools.
Of course, an IGSA must serve the interests of the Air Force – and these flexibilities are not meant to avoid that. Rather, IGSAs are meant to afford a streamlined process for collaborating in very specific circumstances. So while contracting officers need not follow FAR requirements, certain terms and conditions must still be met to ensure that the IGSA provides value to the government. For example, IGSA flexibilities cannot be extended to subcontractors. So, it must be determined that any subcontracts are awarded competitively.
IGSAs were meant to harness existing community capabilities to provide for services that are outside the installation’s core competencies. By outsourcing these services to an expert who already provides them, these contracts create efficiencies through economies of scale.
Examples of successful IGSAs include:
Moody AFB and Lowndes County Water, Wastewater Treatment Plant IGSA – Moody AFB and Lowndes County plan to renew their IGSA following three years of success. Under the terms of the arrangement, Lowndes County operates Moody’s water and wastewater treatment plant. When the two parties signed the agreement in fall 2016, it represented the first time a Defense Department base received approval for an IGSA with a municipality for a utility. Both the base and the community have benefitted from this relationship. Additional services were added to the contract, including the construction of a Splash Pad for the base. The contract facilitated the alleviation of safety and environmental concerns by, for example, transitioning the method of chlorination from gas to liquid, and eliminating Moody’s septic system. The agreement also improved the safety and operations of Moody’s recreation area, called Grassy Pond. Through this IGSA, Moody tied Grassy Pond into the county system and completely eliminated the septic system at Grassy Pond, while outsourcing the servicing of the tanks to Lowndes.
MacDill AFB Advance Lifesaving Service IGSA – MacDill AFB partnered with the City of Tampa, using an Intergovernmental Support Agreement (IGSA), where the City provides Florida State licensed paramedics and a fully equipped advanced lifesaving ambulance for emergency medical response and patient transport. MacDill AFB receives these services consistent with the City’s operating costs and reimburses the City each month. By executing the continuous services from a government-provided facility, the City estimates it will avoid more than $5M in construction costs for a new fire station that would have been built adjacent to MacDill AFB.
Refuse Collection IGSA between Seymour Johnson AFB and the City of Goldsboro – In March 2019, Seymour Johnson AFB and the City of Goldsboro signed an IGSA to provide refuse and recycling collection services on base. The arrangement, which took effect in July, provides the base with reliable refuse and recycling collection and saves Seymour Johnson about $88,000 a year. Under the terms of the contract, the city provides the management, manpower, equipment, and vehicles to execute the base’s refuse collection and disposal. In return, Goldsboro is able to increase the area it serves and receives additional annual revenue.
Contact AFCP to learn more about IGSAs, determine if your project is a good candidate, and more!
1665 Air Force Pentagon
Washington DC 20330-1665