WASHINGTON (12/07/2016)(readMedia)-- The Alabama National Guard received one of the inaugural Army Community Partnership awards in Washington, D.C., Dec. 6, 2016. The award recognizes Army installations that utilize partnerships to improve relations, share resources, and work toward common goals.
"Across the Army, we are becoming more efficient and effective," said Under Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy, who helped present the awards along with Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham, the Army's assistant chief of staff for installation management. "Partnerships are an important way America's varsity team is doing more with less, to ensure our resources support Soldiers maintaining their tactical and technical advantage."
"Our partnerships enable us to learn from others, and make us more innovative," he added. "They are a priority, and we are pleased to recognize our winners."
In a news release to recognize the Alabama Guard's award, Gov. Robert Bentley said, "General Smith and the Alabama National Guard have developed partnerships that enhance the ALNG's readiness and sustainability for the benefit of soldiers, their families and the community. I am pleased to see their efforts being recognized on the national level, and I look forward to their progress as they lead the nation."
The Alabama National Guard competed against installations and National Guard organizations across the entire Army. In the next two years, the partnership program is projected to save $21 million in real property and construction costs. Alabama National Guard partnerships also save money for our partners, such as the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, which is projected to save approximately $2 million by sharing space and capabilities in the next two years.
Some of the partnerships are about more than just cost savings (though these also save money), such as the partnership with the Alabama Department of Human Resources which allows Soldiers to guide older foster children preparing to leave the local foster care program. This partnership allows Soldiers to provide training and career guidance to foster children, while also showing them what the Alabama Guard has to offer as they transition into adulthood.
"This partnership directly enables our ability to reach a group of young adults as they mature out of the foster system... and we can assist them with their education and career goals," said Maj. Gen. Perry Smith, adjutant general of the Alabama National Guard.
"We continue to seek other partnering opportunities all across the state in an effort to grow additional relationships," said Smith. He also said that in the future, the Alabama Guard will seek partnerships that will "conserve valuable taxpayer resources."
See Gov. Bentley's release here
See the U.S. Army's story here