By Army News ServiceDecember 6, 2018
WASHINGTON -- Five installations and two National Guard commands partnered with neighboring organizations this year on projects and services that earned them recognition Tuesday in the Pentagon.
The 2018 Army Community Partnership Awards acknowledge the Army's need for community bonds that enhance readiness, modernize processes, and improve business reform, according to Jordan Gillis, acting assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and the Environment.
"The entire Army, without a doubt, could not achieve its goal of readiness without the continued support from its partners," Gillis said.
"Leveraging other federal, state, or local government skills and capabilities are necessary to maximize our collective response to emerging issues, and anticipate those issues in advance," Gillis said. "Our continued collaboration is critical to ensuring the Army is ready and resilient."
Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham, the Army's assistant chief of staff for Installation Management, joined Gillis in presenting representatives from each partnership with their award at the Pentagon ceremony.
"The high quality of this year's qualifications demonstrate the initiatives and success of these partnerships that forge strong relationships with Army installations and community neighbors," Bingham said.
"We couldn't do what we do inside our gates, without the full support and partnership with those outside our gates," she added.
This year's winners include the following partnership initiatives:
• Fort Carson and El Paso County, Colorado, partnered to build the Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex Trap and Skeet Range. This complex is operationally self-sufficient through fees paid by both military and civilian users.
• Fort Detrick and the County of Frederick, Maryland, partnered on a computer-aided dispatch system to create interoperability and system synchronization. Fort Detrick also partnered with the county to integrate the installation into the County Solid Waste Management Plan, enabling the Army to reduce installation emissions and landfill use requirements.
• Fort Polk was recognized for three partnerships. First, the collaboration with the Vernon Parish Police Jury, Louisiana, for solid waste management, which enables the sorting of field waste associated with the rotational unit training missions. The second partnership was with the city of Leesville involving vegetation control, grounds maintenance, and tree-removal services. Finally, Polk partnered with the town of Rosepine, for custodial services, which allowed the town's staff to provide custodial services to the installation.
• Fort Riley partnered with the City of Manhattan, Kansas, on bulk purchasing of road salt. This agreement benefits the Flint Hills region, which experiences severe winter weather and requires bulk salt purchasing and storage before events.
• Parks Reserve Forces Training Area partnered with the federal correctional institution at Dublin, California, to provide federal inmate labor for PRFTA Department of Public Works projects on garrison property.
• The Wisconsin National Guard and the Department of Military Affairs partnered with the private electric utilities of Wisconsin to identify opportunities to improve recovery following incidents such as power outages.
• The South Carolina Army National Guard partnered with the SCANA Corporation on several initiatives involving enhanced defense capabilities in the cyber environment.
The relationship between the South Carolina Guard and its industry partner began in 2012, according to Lt. Col. Linda J. Riedel, the 125th Cyber Protection Battalion commander. Since then, both parties have created a strong bond, providing the joint team with a wide range of training opportunities during state and national-level exercises, and drill weekend, she said.
Cyber Shield was one of the exercises. Cyber Shield is designed to train National Guard members across the United States on cyber protection, network defense, forensic analysis, tactics, techniques, and procedures, she said. Participants team up to defend against cyber attacks, hackers, or other malign actors.
"The value they bring to the table is huge as we learn processes and procedures as it relates to both Guard and industry," Riedel said of the Guard's industry partners. "We don't want to wait until something happens to try and put procedures in place -- it will be too late. Building those relationships early, training together and working out the kinks helps us all."
The partnership also looked at protecting vital infrastructure and allowed for the open sharing of best practices within the cyber field, Riedel said.
"Partners are out there, and they are ready," she said.
"They have opened their door, and we have opened ours. We are truly more than partners -- we are family. We look for ways to include each other as often as we can. Even if that means thinking out of the box and going against the norm."