As military installations continue to plan for the fiscal impact of a declining U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) budget, bases are being encouraged to engage in innovative community partnerships designed to lessen operational costs while also providing tangible benefit to the installation’s host community. Eglin AFB and the local community serve as a national model for collaboration and Public-Public, Public-Private Partnerships (P4), particularly in real property and energy service contracts. In an effort to expand on these successes, the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County (EDC) originated the Tri-County Community Partnership Initiative (TCPI) in 2014.
The TCPI program is a framework through which military installation, civic, and business leaders collaborate to develop creative ways to leverage respective capabilities and resources to reduce operating costs, increase capabilities, or improve services. The most successful programs are executed through regular meetings and workshops where stakeholders work together to identify potential partnership opportunities and develop a shared understanding.
Commissioner Boyles, District 3, Okaloosa County and Brig. Gen. David Harris, 96th Test Wing Commander, sign an artificial reef initiative declaration on Oct. 1, 2014. .
To leverage military installations and local community capabilities and resources to achieve and reduce operating and service costs in support of the military mission.
To function as the tri-county community partnership facilitator identifying and supporting public-private partnerships capable of sustaining military base missions and municipal functions at reduced expenditure for all parties.
The TCPI is facilitated by an advisory board whose members represent public and private entities adding value to the collaboration process. Members are selected based on the skills, relationships, knowledge and expertise they possess and represent local governments, installation representatives, service providers, utility companies, financial and real property experts, chambers of commerce, etc.
Florida and the Tri-County region are blessed to be home to the Eglin AFB complex, Hurlburt Field, and outstanding communities that provide unmatched support to military missions. The TCPI has conducted and supported numerous community engagement events and was instrumental in facilitating, educating, and coordinating with local governments, business leaders, and utility providers in a way that is difficult for the government to do. As a result, the TCPI has been directly responsible for the high level of community involvement necessary to keep the P4 process moving forward.
The TCPI’s goal is simple – help build a strong foundation upon which partnerships can be institutionalized.