2/23/2009 - SAN ANTONIO (AFNS) -- More than 500 attendees at the Association of Defense Communities Winter Forum conference held recently in San Antonio learned about issues impacting defense communities and the latest solutions to challenges resulting from Base Realignment and Closure and mission growth.
Representatives from the Air Force, along with those from the other services, attended and provided presentations to the larger-than-expected crowd.
During the two and half day event, Air Force leaders, including Bob Moore, director of the Air Force Real Property Agency, and James Holland, deputy for Air Force installation policy, hosted more than 14 small-group meetings with representatives from communities affected by BRAC and mission growth to discuss common areas of interest such as on-going BRAC implementation projects and enhanced use-lease opportunities.
"The importance of engaging with community and business leaders in these forums cannot be overstated," said Mr. Moore. "We must always appreciate the impacts that changes on our installations have on our neighbors outside the fence and continuously work with them to meet Air Force and community needs."
One highlight of the conference was the Air Force enhanced use lease presentation. EULs are opportunities for the Air Force to partner with private industry by leasing non-excess assets. Dennis Guadarrama, Air Force Real Property Agency's chief of strategic asset management provided an overview of the Air Force EUL program and described how communities can benefit from these joint ventures.
In addition to the EUL presentation, officials with the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment briefed on energy opportunities. Steven Arenson, Western Regional Environmental Office deputy director, provided a presentation on the Air Force vision for a secure, efficient and environmentally-sound energy future.
To provide a big-picture Air Force view on mission growth and BRAC at the halfway point, Jim Holland, SAF/IEI deputy for installation policy, gave a briefing with statistics on realignments and joint basing. He talked about San Antonio BRAC growth, centerpiece of Air Force BRAC 05 implementation as well as the Air Force's lead at six of ten joint base locations: Joint Base McGuire/Dix/Lakehurst; Joint Base Langley/Fort Eustis; Joint Base Andrews; Joint Base Charleston; Joint Base Elmendorf/Richardson and Joint Base San Antonio.