Civil engineers meet with industry to develop partnerships Published Jan. 16, 2013 By Capt. Lauren Wright AFCEC Public Affairs JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas (AFNS) -- The newly established Air Force Civil Engineer Center hosted its first industry day Jan. 15 in San Antonio. Maj. Gen. Timothy Byers, the Air Force civil engineer, and Joe Sciabica, Air Force Civil Engineer Center director, addressed more than 350 industry professionals about the future of Air Force engineering operations and the importance of maintaining and establishing new public-private and public-public collaboration opportunities. The event included overall Air Force and AFCEC civil engineering briefings followed by presentations about specific mission areas where industry can partner with AFCEC to conduct operations. Attendees also had the chance to break out into small forums to learn more about areas where they have interests, as well as one-on-one time with Air Force representatives for more specific question-and-answer sessions. "Fiscal challenges demand that our Air Force develop innovative Airmen who find better and smarter ways to fly, fight and win," Sciabica said. "Our industry partnerships allow us to bring innovations to the fight in ways that provide win-win opportunities for the Air Force and industry." During his remarks to those gathered, Byers said the Air Force must reduce, retain, sustain and recapitalize infrastructure needs by centrally managing assets and using strategic sourcing to build industry partnerships. Working together as an Air Force-industry team and capitalizing on different skillsets will reduce the risk to mission and Airmen, Byers said while addressing how the Air Force can achieve optimum execution capability in today's constrained budget environment. "I ask you to continue to work with us and give us your feedback on how we can improve things," Byers said. "We need to continue to do the right things that are smart for not only the Air Force, the Department of Defense and our country, but, quite frankly, for you, us and taxpayers." Mark White, West Texas Power Company president, traveled from San Angelo, Texas, to participate in industry day and said he now has a better idea of what the Air Force is looking for from the private sector. He said he appreciated the senior leader opening remarks and showing the new organization chart, adding combining previous organizations "is an opportunity for private industry to be able to understand better what the Air Force is about and its new direction so we can be more helpful. "I'm excited about the new opportunities that we have to be more helpful as a strong business to participate. The open door is an offer we look forward to and will take advantage of," White said. AFCEC activated on Oct. 1, 2012, with the merger of three field operating agencies into one to provide full-spectrum installation engineering services. Contractor partnerships help AFCEC execute its missions that include facility investment planning, design and construction, operations support, real property management, energy support, readiness and emergency services programs, and environmental compliance and restoration. The 1,644 members of the unit conduct operations at more than 75 locations worldwide.