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AF Community Partnership Program signs 100th partnering agreement

ALASKA (AFNS) -- Eielson Air Force Base and Fairbanks community leaders recently signed the 100th Air Force Community Partnership (AFCP) Program partnership agreement.

Leaders from the 354th Fighter Wing and the surrounding community inked a memorandum of understanding May 28 for a partnership initiative that helps align military dependents with potential teaching opportunities.

"I'm grateful we were able to sign a few agreements with the community already," said Col. Michael Winkler, the 354th Fighter Wing commander. "The Fairbanks North Star Borough is an amazing community with unparalleled military support.”

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board had approximately 165 positions for teachers, substitute teachers, aides and tutors they were unable to fill. It was estimated nearly 30 of those positions could be filled by military dependents within the local area. Through this initiative, local schools in need of qualified staff are now able to reach out to new families at Eielson AFB to fill education positions within the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

“This is just the start of things," said Luke Hopkins, the Fairbanks North Star Borough mayor. "We will continue to work with our partners and share what resources we can."

A newcomers’ information session is hosted monthly by the Eielson AFB Airman and Family Readiness Center to help tap into this valuable resource. School district representatives attend these sessions to discuss potential job opportunities. New hires can obtain the necessary training, so they are ready to work soon after arriving in the base community.

This is one of many initiatives the AFCP team is currently working between 50 installations and their local community leaders as part of an overall Air Force effort to improve and strengthen community and Air Force partnerships.

“We set the framework that provides trained teams to installations and their surrounding communities,” said Steve Zander, the AFCP Program director. “The greatest results are achieved when installation and community leaders embrace the concept of partnering and use the Air Force’s well-structured process as a means to achieve mutual value and benefit.”

In its third year, the program has matured in guiding installations and communities to identify partnership opportunities across the spectrum of installation services and mission support. More than 1,000 initiatives have been identified to date, and the results are proving successful. These partnerships are identifying new and innovative ways of supporting Airmen and their families.

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