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Home : News : News
NEWS | Aug. 14, 2017

Military, local business leaders meet for community partnership forum

By Steve Elliott 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

“Success will continue to breed success,” was the message Joint Base San Antonio Community Partnership Manager Monte Cox wanted to get across at the Air Force Community Partnership Program Public-Public; Public-Private Partnerships Meeting at the Alamo Area Council of Governments Aug. 10.

The Public-Public/Public-Private, or P4, Community Partnership Program between JBSA, businesses and public entities in the San Antonio area allows JBSA and the 502nd Air Base Wing to enter into partnerships in the community to provide, receive or share installation support services for many of its municipal and morale, welfare and recreation functions.

The first JBSA Community Partnership Ideas Workshop was held in February 2014 with leaders throughout the San Antonio regional area gathering to discuss opportunities for community partnerships, with the San Antonio governance charter signed in August 2014.

“I’m excited at all the progress we are making on our initiatives,” Cox said. “We want to represent this region and Military City USA well.”

The Community Partnership Program is a framework to match installation and community needs and resources to increase efficiency, reduce costs and improve quality of life, as well as facilitating and sparking brainstorming of partnership ideas.

“So far, there have been 31 completed P4 initiatives which have generated $28 million in benefits to JBSA,” Cox said. “And there are still another 41 active P4 initiatives in the works.”

While these community partnership proposals work to maximize the array of tools and authorities available, they are not meant to work around or outside of existing authorities and roles/responsibilities, Cox said.

“There’s lots of progress that has been made,” said retired Marine Maj. Gen. Juan Ayala, formerly the Inspector General of the Marine Corps and now director of the City of San Antonio Department of Government and Public Affairs. “I’ve talked to our new mayor, Ron Nirenberg, and he shares the enthusiasm for these P4 initiatives. He understands the military and that there is a great way ahead.”

One initiative brought up was the launch of the TXServes-San Antonio website at, which is a coordinated network of public, private and nonprofit organizations serving veterans, service members and their families in San Antonio and Bexar County. TXServes-San Antonio uses technology and its partner network to guide veterans, service members and their families to the most appropriate services and resources available

San Antonio and its immediate surrounding area is one of the largest military and veteran communities in the United States, and ranks ninth among the 100 largest veteran-resident cities in the country where veterans are 12.3 percent of the regions adult population.

Active duty, National Guard, Reserve Service members as well as veterans and their families who reside in the San Antonio area are eligible for support from the network.

“We aim to support all individuals who have worn the uniforms of our military – regardless of age, era, branch or discharge status,” said Diane Rath, executive director of the Alamo Area Council of Governments. “Not all services are available to every member however, our care coordinators will strive to find an appropriate local resource.”

The upcoming 2017 JBSA Air Show and Open House at the JBSA-Lackland Kelly Field Annex Nov. 4-5 was also a topic of discussion as airshow director Chris Kelly updated attendees on progress made towards attracting a number of diverse static display. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

“The joint aspect of the acts and displays scheduled is a very unique aspect of this air show and open house,” said Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle, 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio commander.

A partnership between JBSA civil engineers and the University of Texas at San Antonio was another highlight of conversation. Chris Merlo from the 502nd Installation Support Group outlined an initiative with the UTSA School of Engineering that benefits JBSA and local engineering students.

“This partnership is focused on providing real-world experience for UTS engineering students,” Merlo said. “If we can get these students involved and interested in Air Force careers, it’s a win for both sides.”

“There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes in these initiatives and many more,” Pringle said in her closing remarks. “We are always looking for ways to be more efficient. It’s a part of the strength of this community we know as Military City USA.”