JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas. —
As Joint Base San Antonio continues to evolve and support its many missions, so does the planning that goes with how they will grow for the next 20 years and do so in partnership with the cities that surround JBSA.
“It’s a detailed plan that includes an illustrated plan, a regulated plan and an implementation plan,” said James Wimberley, JBSA community planning chief.
JBSA is divided into 13 districts and an area development plan is being constructed for each of them. Community planners are reaching out to each district to identify what is needed in those districts over the next two decades.
Workshops are being conducted to gather information about each district and what kind of growth or reduction is coming. Mission partner participation in those workshops are critical.
Some of the components being considered include creating long-term goals for each site to consolidate campuses for key missions. This would create unit cohesion, reduced travel, increased walkability and optimize space utilization. JBSA planners are also looking at developable land in each district.
Architects and engineers have gathered data from workshop participants for districts at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and JBSA-Lackland. That data is being reviewed. Meanwhile, workshops are about to get underway at JBSA-Randolph, the Services district at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and for the Port of San Antonio where several JBSA mission partners reside.
Once all the information is compiled, it will be sent to the JBSA planners and the 502nd Civil Engineer Group for review.
It should be noted that in the workshops, the Air Force isn’t the only military operation that is currently being assessed at JBSA.
“We also look at the Army, Navy and Department of Defense; all those missions that we support,” Wimberley said. “We look at goals and objectives and try to align our objectives with those.”
As planning for the next 20 years continues, planners will include new phases of projects already in progress. One of those is the JBSA-Lackland Airman Training Complex. Four of those complexes were completed in phase one. The second phase will include four more Airman Training Complexes and a dining facility.
“The success story is this [Airman Training Complex] was actually planned in our area development plan 20 to 30 years ago. It is the 20-year planning horizon,” Wimberley said.
The plans for phase two for the next 20 years are ambitious.
“They’re trying to project their student loads and their mission requirements. They’re trying to reserve space for programming funds to support those requirements,” Wimberley said.
“We want to know what our installations are looking at,” said Amber Lamm, JBSA community planner and lead for the area development plan effort. She added that there are many issues to consider.
“We’re looking heavily into our cyber security. I think we definitely see our planning support coming into play for future cyber efforts at JBSA,” Lamm said.
At JBSA-Lackland, planners are exploring ways to help visitors navigate around the property.
“We’ll have blue signs … Follow the blue signs and you’ll get to the parade field or the graduation and that will help anyone coming in,” Lamm said.
Each plan will be comprehensive and flexible.
“The key is stakeholder involvement. It’s a continuous communication process,” Wimberley said.
Those stakeholders aren’t limited to projects inside JBSA. As planners look to the next 20 years, they are considering relationships outside the base in the spirit of keeping the advocacy positive and supporting the mission.
“We are inside the fence, but as the mission grows we do have to think about external…How do we still continue supporting our mission and at the same time manage the encroachment piece?” Lamm said.
Each area development plan will be updated and reviewed in the future. As data is collected from each workshop, JBSA commanders are updated on the conclusions and recommendations. The area development plans themselves are part of the overall JBSA installation development plan which is scheduled for review and approval this September.