CAFB hosts fourth Air Force Community Partnership meeting

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

Columbus Air Force Base hosted its fourth Air Force Community Partnership meeting Aug. 28 at the Courtyard Marriott in Columbus, Mississippi.

Lt. Col. Timorah Beales, Partnership Broker from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, kicked off the meeting by giving an overview of the program and showing where the program has come since the beginning.

“The point of today’s meeting is to develop a plan and work through the remaining obstacles to get your partnership agreements to a ‘yes,’” Beales said.

Following her brief, two community partnership agreements were signed. The Chaplain Services Agreement was signed between the Columbus AFB Chaplain Corps and the Columbus/Lowndes County Community Clergy. This agreement allows for community chaplains to step in and help the base if there were ever a situation where it was needed. Dr. Stanley McCrary, CLCCC President, and John Almond, CLCCC member, signed the agreement.

The second agreement was signed between Columbus AFB and the Lowndes County Extension Office and Master Gardeners. Lt. Col. David Jokinen, 14th Civil Engineer Squadron Commander; Aimee Boltwood, Master Gardeners of Lowndes County; and Nichole Cancellare, representing the Lowndes County Extension Office, all signed the agreement. This agreement allows for the creation of a landscape garden on base with plans of a vegetable garden in the future.

For the remainder of the meeting, the groups broke out and discussed the 12 other agreements in the works. The groups spent time going over what has been achieved, figuring out what actions need to be taken next, and ultimately, how their agreement can reach the final stages.

In closing, each group presented their plans to the leadership committee. The groups are working on cleaning up the South Gate; raising awareness of recycling in Columbus; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics initiatives; a recreation league in conjunction with the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority; and the Teacher for a Day program on Sept. 8.

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.