As a nation that has been at war for nearly 18 years, one of the most important concerns for military leaders is sustained training and readiness. Therefore, it is no surprise that the preponderance of Department of Defense funding goes to combat readiness. An unintended result of these budget priorities has been the shortfall of available funding for maintenance of real property at bases at home and overseas. This reality has sparked military installation leaders to question the necessity of running such facilities as golf courses, horse stables, storage facilities, and lodging properties. Perhaps now is the ideal time to let private companies run these operations, allowing military funding to go to improving combat readiness.
As the Hampton Roads region continues to make major headway in growth and innovation to promote economic development, our local military bases are also realizing the need to reevaluate the allocation of funding towards base support and land use. While exploring different options to accomplish this, an alternative was found leading to a pro-business solution and promising economic development within the community.
Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana is setting a major example not only to the region, but also to the country as being a local command that is ready to make necessary changes. After many strategic planning meetings and input from the region on all levels, this concept is coming to fruition through the
Public-Public / Public-Private (P4) Partnership Opportunities.
This is a tactical plan which is focused on promoting privatization and commercialization of carefully selected underutilized parcels of land and non-core mission areas of NAS Oceana. In doing this, NAS Oceana will reconfigure the overall base and land use to better suit the current needs of the service members, while focusing only on mission-essential costs.
Successful programs have paved the way for the P4 Partnership concept including the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. Section 331 encompasses a successful Community Partnership Program which frames the cooperation of military instillations, civic, and business leaders to collaborate and develop creative ways to leverage respective capabilities and resources to reduce operating costs and increase service provided.
Specifically and most immediately, NAS Oceana will invite the private sector, federal government agencies, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and local municipalities to consider P4 Partnerships. Each partnership means working together to obtain a common goal by harnessing different resources that military installations can offer state and local governments, commercial entities, and non-profit organizations to develop a new community of business-driven sources. Undoubtedly, these partnerships can lead to “win-win” scenarios where each entity involved thrives while contributing to the needs of the base and community.
NAS Oceana will host an Industry Day on Friday, June 14th to invite local businesses and companies to NAS Oceana to learn more about these potential partnerships including Enhanced Use Lease (EUL), NDAA Section 331, Land Exchange, and Privatizing Utilities. The future configuration of NAS Oceana will also be discussed, showcasing available land. Contact the Hampton Roads Chamber if you are interested in attending.
Military bases and business cooperation is a vital part of what defines the region and secures Hampton Roads as a major military partner. The Hampton Roads Chamber invites all potential stakeholders to participate in this innovative and historic initiative to promote business growth and economic development like never before through the P4 Partnerships.
The Chamber’s staff continues to be focused on helping you and your business find greater success. Remember, this is YOUR Chamber – we work for you! Let’s keep the conversation going.