Development plan focuses leadership on base's future

by Rebecca Burylo
42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

1/17/2014 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Al  -- Maxwell leadership began an extensive look at the future direction, goals and vision of the installation throughout the next 15 years Tuesday at a daylong workshop held inside the Maxwell Club.

The Maxwell Air Force Base Installation Development Plan was presented to military, civilians and community partners to gain awareness and generate ideas for future installation projects and initiatives.

Col. Trent Edwards, 42nd Air Base Wing commander, summarized Maxwell's current mission and vision along with a new direction of energy efficiency and community partnerships.

"This is about planning for the future. What does this base look like in 2023 and beyond? There are a lot of moving pieces and parts," Edwards explained.

"We have to make sure that we synchronize each one of our missions and integrate them into this development plan because that's how we move forward in a very successful way," he added.

The initiative comes after the Air Force Headquarters' redirection in focus from a general plan to a more corporate outlook between installations' specific agencies, squadrons and community partners.

Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. will be helping Maxwell develop its installation development plan, or IDP, to incorporate goals and objectives specific to the installation.

Primary developer Greg Luebbers and his team have been working to understand the different missions at Maxwell and Gunter.

"Our intention for the week is for your mission and your mission partners," Luebbers said.

"We can help you develop an overall vision statement that describes what you need the base to look like to support your missions in the future."

During their stay, Luebbers and his team interviewed squadron, group and tenant commanders to include each organization's direction into the overall vision statement presented yesterday in order meet current needs and future objectives.

Edwards reviewed a number of upcoming projects he would like to see happen within the year, the first to include replacing the current air traffic control tower, which is one of the oldest in the Air Force, he said.

Other projects would include construction of a new Gunter Fitness Center and a new commercial vehicle inpection, construction of more Officer Training School dormitories and a new wing to the Judge Advocate General's School.

Maxwell leadership also has been investigating ways to utilize space efficiently,either by consolidating existing organizations, repurposing space to outside entities or demolishing unusable facilities.

Such repurposing directly ties into the ongoing land-swap negotiations between the base and the city as well as the cost-reduction goal Maxwell has to reduce 20 percent of  the installation's square footage by the year 2020.

Structures planned for demolition will be the closed theater building, old military family housing, two dormitories and the closed Falcon's Nest at Gunter.

Community partnerships under the P4 initiative, or public-public and private-public, will help establish joint resources and funding between Maxwell and the River Region, such as reopening STARBASE for local fifth graders.

The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation has been instrumental in channeling private and public donations toward the construction of the new River Region
Freedom Park on Maxwell and future projects.

"This really is about efficiency, reducing costs and being good stewards of our resources, so we have to think big," Edwards said.