Alabama National Guard meets with Dothan area leaders about future facilities partnerships

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Col. Philip Clayton, ALARNG Construction and Facilities Management Officer, takes notes during a meeting with Dothan area leaders about partnerships with the ALNG. Photo by Maj. Andrew J. Richardson

DOTHAN, AL (08/09/2017) (readMedia)-- The Alabama Army National Guard's Construction and Facilities Management Office held a planning and programming document charrette at CAE Dothan Training Center, adjacent to the Dothan Regional Airport, Aug. 9, 2017. Government representatives from several municipalities and counties as well as the state were present, along with members of chambers of commerce, the airport authority, and other business leaders.

The charrette was designed to bring potential partners together to discuss how future Alabama National Guard facilities can be dual-construction, shared-space facilities to benefit the whole community while still serving the mission of the Guard.

Alabama Representative Donnie Chesteen, house district 87 representative, spoke to the group about a joint-use project in Geneva, Alabama, that is currently being used for technical training by the local school system. "I really have to thank the Alabama Guard," Chesteen said. "This is going to change the lives of children."

Personnel from the Alabama Guard discussed parking, classrooms, kitchens, vehicle maintenance space, and other specific use facilities.

Eric Gerritson, economic development specialist for the Alabama National Guard, also highlighted that Alabama Guardsmen make excellent employees. He mentioned that Guardsmen were well-trained, work well in a team, are drug-free, and are trained in leadership. Gerritson also mentioned the healthcare and education benefits available in the Alabama Guard that can help alleviate the employers' personnel costs.

"The beauty of partnering with someone, as we did in Geneva, is the partner agency saves tremendously," said Col. Philip Clayton, Alabama National Guard construction and facilities management officer. This is done by sharing building costs as well as parking, bathroom facilities, and classrooms, especially parts of the buildings that are used by Soldiers mostly on drill weekends.

The Alabama Army National Guard's Construction and Facility Management Office will hold several planning and programming document charrettes throughout the state in the coming days. "A planning and programming document charrette (PPDC) is an opportunity for the Alabama Army National Guard to explore design, planning considerations, and potential partner relationships with the local community," said Clayton. "In a PPDC, we look for effective solutions to facilities that support affordable readiness and support the host community. We further identify unique agency requirements and develop narratives to explain functionality and mission support requirements."