April 24, 2014
Moody Air Force Base - The Moody Community Partnership Committee Charter, which is part of the Air Force's Community Partnership Initiative, is a move in which 16 prototype air bases work with local leaders in order to eliminate redundant costs you would find on and off the base.
"What it does, it consolidates services in some ways. Water and sewer, trash, garbage, libraries, sports, and all of those things so it consolidates services and that way it cuts cost", says Valdosta Mayor, John Gayle.
"We're not just a community within the fence line, but we are a part of the communities in which we live and our airmen are like other people. We need the support structures that every member of the community needs" says Lt Col Mandy Birch, who flew in from the Pentagon to oversee the meeting.
Birch helps lead arrangements like the Moody Community Partnership across the country. She says Moody has a strong bond with the Valdosta community, which benefits both civilians and airmen.
"When you talk about Valdosta - Lowndes County, you talk about Moody Air Force Base. People feel welcome here and they're more than just a name, rank, and service number, if you will" says John Eunice, Deputy Base Civil Engineer at Moody AFB.
Eunice says now that the charter has been signed, all seven parties - the City of Valdosta, Lowndes County, South Georgia Medical Center, VSU, the Chamber of Commerce, and Wiregrass Tech will work together to find new ways to collaborate.
Eunice also says one aspect of the partnership is already underway. The Warrior Athlete Project involves two VSU physical therapy students training with Moody's para-jumpers to get experience they wouldn't receive in the classroom.