MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
The relationship between Air Force installations and the communities that surround them are a vital part of their economies. One way the Air Force helps these relationships thrive is through the public-public, public-private, or P4 initiative.
The P4 initiative is used as a tool for maximizing operational effectiveness and minimizing costs by encouraging Air Force installations to partner with local businesses to expedite training programs, construction projects and much more.
To facilitate this, Moody and Lowndes County created the Moody Community Partnership Committee or MCPC which met with base leadership to discuss upcoming projects, Oct. 24, 2018, here.
“This brings the key people together in a forum that is more than just social,” said John Eunice, 23d Civil Engineer Squadron deputy base civil engineer. “This is a business type meeting where we can talk through opportunities. Something new may be coming up that only one person knows about, but because of the networking that happens here we can see how it applies to Moody and the community.”
The MCPC creates mutually beneficial partnerships to help Moody and Lowndes County save money, which is permitted through the Air Force P4 initiative. Since the P4 initiative’s inception in 2013, 53 Air Force installations and their communities have developed more than 1000 initiatives and signed 200 agreements that have generated $39M in Air Force benefit and $24M in community benefit.
“We’re blessed with an amazing community support relationship and network,” Eunice added. “The MCPC formalizes the relationship that was already in place by adding some structure and a forum to talk about new things that may be coming to the community or to Moody.”
The MCPC reached a historical milestone in 2016 when they finalized the transfer of the Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant from a private contractor to Lowndes County. That project allowed Moody to become the first base in the Department of Defense to gain approval for an inter-governmental service agreement with a municipality for a utility.
“It’s not just saving money, it’s being able to offer opportunities that may not be available on the base side or the (community) side that will help improve the quality of life on both sides,” Eunice added. “This provides an opportunity to get information for the variety of programs we offer out into the local community.”
Some of those opportunities include bringing business owners from the local community into the Air Force-wide career skills program, which helps military members acclimate to life within the private sector up to 6-months prior to their date of separation or retirement.
“The fifth P in this initiative is people,” said Paige Dukes, Lowndes County Board of Commissioners county clerk and public information officer. “ Colonel Short has taken this initiative to the next level and the freedom related to concept development that she lends this process is inspiring. Our community is extremely fortunate to be a part of a program that encourages leadership to focus on ‘how we can’, instead of ‘why we can't’."
Though the P4 initiative has been around since 2013, the MCPC is continuously growing.
P4 meetings provide a multitude of amazing ideas,” added Dukes. “Currently, efforts related to healthcare, education, and internships are exciting developments that continue to evolve. The P4 initiative is a results driven process that encourages thinking outside the box and the idea that maybe the box isn't even needed.
“From there, the administrative infrastructure is in place to support success,” Dukes added. “Knowing that P4 projects will have a positive impact on both our community and Moody Air Force Base for many years to come is a reward beyond measure.”