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21st Space Wing finalizes 2-year Community Partnership Initiative

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Col. Douglas Schiess, 21st Space Wing commander, is scheduled to formally host the Pikes Peak Community Partnership Initiative "Charter Signing" on Sept. 17 at the Peterson Club Heritage Room during the annual State of the Wing address.

The CPI is an on-going two-year initiative to  develop a collaborative environment between local government, civic leaders and local military installations to identify opportunities for supporting common mission requirements, addressing similar base-community needs, and exploring partnerships that are mutually economically beneficial and permitted by federal and state laws and regulations, according to the charter.

Currently, there are four active partnership initiatives where these collaborative efforts will benefit the bases and community.

The first is a Joint Public Works bulk purchase for road de-icer and winter chemicals, which allows cost-sharing and bulk-pricing for the Colorado Springs military installations and local community.

"Through this program, we are able to combine requirements to obtain lower costs through El Paso County," said David Clapp, 21st Civil Engineer Squadron, deputy base civil engineer. "This partnership is mutually beneficial to the bases and community as it allows us to reduce sustainment costs by regionalizing common requirements for the road chemical treatments."

Depending upon the weather, the agreement is expected to bring approximately $73,000 in cost savings and $6,400 in cost avoidance over a five-year period to the Front Range DoD bases, Clapp said.

Other active partnership initiatives include Centralized Transition Support Services, Expanded Medical Currency/Training Programs and Experiential Learning.

All three of these programs are designed to share resources and reduce costs while providing enhanced care and support to both the Colorado Springs area installations and the partner organizations, said Clapp.

For example, one of the initiatives is to centralize transition assistance for separating or retiring service members. This will reduce saturating service members with information and give them a single physical location where they will have access to military and community resources. This partnership has led to the Mount Carmel Center of Excellence designated as the location for community transition services, said Clapp.

The Experiential Learning initiative is another program that will benefit the local community as well as local military installations. Through this initiative, Pikes Peak Community College and other learning institutions can partner with installations to create internships for students from multiple educational disciplines. This not only increases the amount of available internships for PPCC and provides valuable on-the-job training for the students, but benefits the installations through accomplishment of needed tasks, he said. 

The fourth active partnership initiative is Medical Currency Training. This program will allow military providers and nurses the opportunity to train in local hospitals in order to obtain and maintain required credentials and competencies for their specialties, while providing needed skillsets and capabilities to the local hospitals, said Clapp.

Ultimately, the Pikes Peak CPI is collaborative in nature and not a decision-making body. The three planned annual meetings will be used to explore additional partnership opportunities and brainstorm collaborations, said Clapp.

Should a particular issue require it, the PPCPI can also establish a working group comprised of individuals from within and if necessary outside the PPCPI, he said.

"The goal is to partner with the local community and other bases to combine similar services and provide quality programs regardless of where those programs are hosted," Clapp said. "This will allow us to leverage military installations and local community capabilities and resources to obtain value and benefit in the support of the Air Force mission."

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