Base, community join in P4 initiative

Photo by Staff Sgt. STACI MILLER

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Luke Air Force Base and West Valley Phoenix community leaders inked a memorandum of understanding identifying the structure of the Luke Community Partnership program during the Luke West Valley Council meeting June 16 at Luke AFB.

The Luke Community Partnership program is part of the Air Force’s Public-Public, Public-Private initiative, known as P4, started in 2012.

“Through the program, we have identified requirements and needs amongst all the partners and collaborated to strengthen the mission capability of Luke Air Force Base, while at the same time, increasing the economic vitality and quality of life for the surrounding community,” said Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander.

This partnership provides an ongoing framework and offers a means to effectively combine and use capabilities to enhance mission effectiveness and reduce costs.

“It demonstrates a willingness of Luke and our West Valley partner leaders to engage in on-going cooperation,” said Col. James Kossler, 56th Mission Support Group commander. “It’s a continuing signal that Luke is not just an air force base, but an active participant in this great West Valley community.”

In its fourth year, the overall Air Force P4 program has matured in guiding installations and communities to identify partnership opportunities across the spectrum of installation services and mission support.

Here are a few examples of the ways the P4 program has helped strengthen bonds in other communities:

• Robins Air Force Base, Georgia: Medical leaders realized renewal certification training for medical and dental doctors was available at local community hospitals around Houston County. Attending local training eliminated the need for military members to travel to other locations, resulting in cost savings of more than $434,000 for the Air Force and up to $2 million for the community.

• Hill AFB, Utah: Established a satellite pharmacy in some underutilized space in the new base exchange. This increased the number of prescriptions filled, recapturing workload from the retail network pharmacies, and increased foot traffic and sales in the exchange facility.

While partnerships have existed between bases and the surrounding communities for decades, this program is a means for Luke and the community to come together on initiatives that promote positive change for those involved while having the oversight and staff support of Headquarters Air Force.

“Leadership support is critical for its success,” Kossler said. “The creativity, energy and will of participants are the only limiting factors.”

The community partners include Avondale, Buckeye, El Mirage, Gila Bend, Glendale, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Peoria, Phoenix, Surprise, Tolleson, Wickenburg, Youngtown and Maricopa County.