SAN ANGELO, Texas --
Goodfellow Air Force Base leadership and San Angelo civic leaders met at the San Angelo Fine Arts Museum where they signed a partnership charter and discussed updates on future and current agreements, July 19.
“This is a recommitment to the partnership between the city of San Angelo, Tom Green County and Goodfellow Air Force Base,” said Toni Hansen, 17th Mission Support Group Deputy Director.
Col. Ricky Mills, 17th Training Wing commander, San Angelo Mayor Brenda Gunter, Judge Stephen Floyd, civic leader Dr. Carol Ann Bonds, and the Regional Director for Rep. Mike Conaway, JoAnn Powell, signed the Goodfellow-San Angelo Partnership Charter. San Angelo Chamber President Bruce Partain, was not present for the meeting but had previously signed the agreement. Hansen elaborated on the charter’s purpose explaining it is a more formalized process where an executive committee of advisors would meet, set priorities and establish working groups.
According to Hansen, the Air Force Community Partnership Program has been active since January 2013 with 62 installations participating. The Air Force level program has developed over 1,000 initiatives, signed over 300 agreements, generated $51 million in Air Force benefits and produced $26 million in community benefits. Goodfellow and San Angelo currently lead the Air Force with 26 active agreements and 29 in total.
The quarterly update highlighted community initiatives including the STARBASE partnership which has graduated 1,302 students from 20 schools with over 309 volunteer hours. Other updates included an increase in Goodfellow Express ridership to 2,882 providing a savings of $25,000. The firetruck maintenance and ambulance service agreement has created a savings of $20,400 for the city and a savings of $59,000 for Goodfellow. There was also an update on the recent Clergy Day that took place in May where Goodfellow and local religious leaders connected to build stronger relationships.
There are three active working groups addressing various issues between the community and Goodfellow.
The first working group focused on workforce development. Topics addressed included better awareness and advertising of jobs on base and within the community. Another initiative discussed was a partnership to entice separating or retiring service members to stay in the San Angelo community.
The second working group addressed shade for playgrounds in base housing. The working group researched costs and materials for the best structures and will propose a path forward for the next quarterly update.
The final working group is involved with the creation of a Joint Emergency Management Site. The goal of this group is to create a location in San Angelo that provides various training for emergency services to include fire protection, medical care and law enforcement. The working group is researching the feasibility of training facilities which would include indoor and outdoor firing ranges, a mock village, medical training and education.
Mills expressed his dedication to the partnership program with a message for new Goodfellow commanders.
“Take a look at what’s been done and start thinking about what’s in the realm of possibilities because I think now is when it starts getting hard,” said Mills. He acknowledged that many of the easier initiatives have been addressed and new partnerships would require innovation and creative thinking.