CAFB hosts third Air Force Community Partnership meeting

Unsold items from the Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, Commissary are loaded onto a truck to be delivered to the United Way of Lowndes County June 26, 2017. The Columbus Air Force Base Commissary, the United Way of Lowndes County, and the 14th Flying Training Wing’s 14th Mission Support Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding during the Air Force Community Partnership meeting in Columbus, Mississippi, June 22, 2017, allowing the Columbus AFB Commissary to donate unsold items to the United Way of Lowndes County for use in local food pantries. (Courtesy photo)

Unsold items from the Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi, Commissary are loaded onto a truck to be delivered to the United Way of Lowndes County June 26, 2017. The Columbus Air Force Base Commissary, the United Way of Lowndes County, and the 14th Flying Training Wing’s 14th Mission Support Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding during the Air Force Community Partnership meeting in Columbus, Mississippi, June 22, 2017, allowing the Columbus AFB Commissary to donate unsold items to the United Way of Lowndes County for use in local food pantries. (Courtesy photo)

Lt. Col. Timorah Beales, Partnership Broker from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, speaks to Columbus Air Force Base and community leadership at the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi, June 22, 2017. She met with the Air Force Community Partnership leadership committee about prioritizing the communities’ needs based on the ideas presented from the AFCP focus groups. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Savannah Stephens)

Lt. Col. Timorah Beales, Partnership Broker from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, speaks to Columbus Air Force Base and community leadership at the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi, June 22, 2017. She met with the Air Force Community Partnership leadership committee about prioritizing the communities’ needs based on the ideas presented from the AFCP focus groups. (U.S. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. Savannah Stephens)

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- Columbus Air Force Base hosted its third Air Force Community Partnership meeting June 22, 2017, at the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi.

Over 50 base and community members attended the meeting to continue developing their ideas from the last meeting.

Lt. Col. Timorah Beales, Partnership Broker from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force; John Broughton, Lead Air Force Community Partnership Facilitator; and Lt. Col. Nathan Miller, 14th Flying Training Wing Community Partnership Director and 14th Mission Support Group Deputy Commander, hosted the meeting.

The meeting focused on creating concrete plans for partnership ideas within the community. The three-hour workshop was spent broken up into four focus groups: Play, Learn, Live and Work. Each group developed ideas to present at the end of the meeting, which were then prioritized by the leadership team.

The Play focus group presented ideas on how to tie in the Columbus Lowndes Recreational Authority baseball teams with Columbus AFB youth center teams and community garden ideas. The Learn group presented ideas for professional development opportunities between base and community members, as well as ideas for skills development, Green Dot training in the community, and more.

“We are instructor pilots at the base, but we are not professionally trained educators,” said Lt. Col. Charles Gilliam, 48th Flying Training Squadron Commander. “Our instructors could highly benefit from professional education training.”

The Live group presented multiple ideas, including the commissary food donation program which was signed into action during the meeting.

The Columbus Air Force Base Commissary, the United Way of Lowndes County, and the 14th Flying Training Wing’s 14th Mission Support Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding allowing the Columbus AFB Commissary to donate unsold items to the United Way of Lowndes County for use in local food pantries.

“The food bank program is an outstanding success as we are contributing to the local communities by helping feed the hungry,” said Randy Eller, chief of Defense Commissary Agency’s environmental and planning division. “The agency is diverting millions of pounds of waste from the landfills.”

Last, the Work group presented ideas on how to expand our base recycling facilities into the community and expanding facilities to meet future housing needs of our Airmen.

After the presentations, the leadership team broke off and prioritized the ideas based on what impacts the community the most and what the timeline looks like to achieve these partnerships.

The Air Force Community Partnership Program, one of the 13 Make Every Dollar Count initiatives launched by the Air Force, offers opportunities for military installations and local communities to partner and achieve mutual value and benefit. It is a framework through which installation and community leaders are developing creative ways to leverage their capabilities and resources to focus on achieving reduced costs by finding a shared value.