WASHINGTON -- The Department of the Army recently announced the winners of the 2020 Army Community Partnership Awards, which will be presented in a virtual ceremony in the coming months.
Ten U.S. Army installations and their public partners were selected for demonstrating partnerships that improve quality of life for Soldiers and their families, enhance Army readiness and modernization capabilities, and building stronger community relationships.
"Our people are the centerpiece of the Army, and we must do all we can to take care of them," said Hon. Alex Beehler, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment. "To ensure we maintain readiness, we will continue to mitigate the risks posed during this unprecedented time to keep Army personnel and their families healthy and safe."
Awardees include partnerships signed by various Army organizations, including commands, installations and state National Guards. Eligible partnership agreements included memorandums of understanding, memorandums of agreement, cooperative agreements, educational agreements, leases or licenses, mutual aid agreements, and intergovernmental support agreements.
Fort Meade, Maryland Community Covenant Agreement: Fort Meade and the Central Maryland Chamber of Commerce signed a Community Covenant Agreement in 2019. This partnership strengthens the bonds between the installation and the community by providing service members and their families enhanced quality of life through Chamber of Commerce-supported events. These events include job fairs for spouses and back-to-school backpack and supply drives.
The Army Community Partnership Recognition ceremony will highlight these examples of exceptional partnerships that encourage continued collaboration to improve readiness, drive modernization and enhance quality of life initiatives throughout the Army.
Submissions were evaluated by the extent that they:
· improve Soldier and family quality of life
· improve or enhance readiness
· modernize a service, system or process
· provide cost or other efficiencies
· expand capability
· improve community relations
This year’s winners include the following partnership initiatives:
Fort Lee, Virginia, computer-aided dispatch intergovernmental support agreement: Fort Lee partnered with Prince George County, Virginia, to perform computer-aided dispatch services for the installation. This partnership, which will realize a $5.3 million cost avoidance for Fort Lee over a five-year term, also decreases emergency response times, improves cooperation with the local community and increases compliance for enhanced 911 dispatching standards.
Yakima Training Center, Washington, joint fire response team: Yakima Training Center and the City of Yakima, Washington, fire department have partnered in a mutual aid agreement to perform fire emergency services. The agreement ensures immediate alarm notification to each department, dependent upon emergency response requirement and incident location. This partnership significantly improves the quality of life for Soldiers, civilians and the community where Army families work and reside.
Georgia Army National Guard COVID-19 care facility dashboard: The Georgia Army National Guard and the Georgia Department of Community Health worked together to establish a data-mining tool that identifies long-term care facilities in need of immediate help during the COVID-19 pandemic. An executive order from Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp made the partnership possible. All participating organizations can use the dashboard to make informed decisions on when and where to send resources. This joint effort specifically enhances readiness by efficiently using constrained resources, streamlining decision making, mitigating risks and creating operational processes that enhance the safety of Georgia.
North Dakota National Guard Partnership in Prevention: The North Dakota National Guard collaborated with the North Dakota Department of Human Services to develop a Partnership in Prevention initiative aimed at sharing suicide prevention strategies and resources to mitigate the risk of suicide by service members. This memorandum of understanding has increased resilience, readiness and wellness, resulting in improved quality of life for Soldiers and community members.
Fort Hamilton, New York, joint law enforcement support: Fort Hamilton and the New York City Police Department created a partnership aimed at providing various police, K-9 and counterterrorism support to U.S. Army Garrison Fort Hamilton. Through this joint effort, USAG Fort Hamilton receives advanced training and intelligence support from 1 Police Plaza, NYPD's central command.
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia, autonomous vehicle study: Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, in collaboration with the Marine Corps, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission, local communities, academic institutions and private-sector representatives, conducted a comprehensive research study on the use-cases of connected and autonomous vehicles. The study evaluates the potential to enhance mission assurance and readiness, reduce base operating costs and provide transportation services more efficiently and effectively through connected and autonomous vehicles.
Detroit Arsenal, Michigan, Child and Youth Services middle school and teen program: U.S. Army Garrison Detroit Arsenal is partnering with the L’Anse Creuse Public School District to support area youth through middle school, after-school and summer camp programs. The purpose of the middle school and teen program is to provide quality care through Army youth program service areas, to include arts, character and leadership development; education support and career development; sports, fitness and recreation; and health, wellness and life skills.
U.S. Army Garrison Daegu, South Korea, mutual aid agreement: USAG Daegu and South Korea created a mutual aid agreement for joint fire response. This partnership helps protect more than 20,000 square miles of the geographically separated garrison, including 11,000 U.S. personnel, more than five million South Korean residents and more than $2.5 billion in U.S. infrastructure.
Fort Huachuca, Arizona, mutual public safety support: Fort Huachuca partnered with Cochise County, Arizona, to improve first responder capabilities for the installation via a mutual aid agreement. Their combined efforts achieve efficiencies in public health messaging, COVID-19 testing and positive trace analysis, medical preparedness, response capabilities and information sharing.
This article originally ran in the Pentagram on November 18, 2020.