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Project Highlights

OEA continues to assist communities, both large and small, with adapting to Defense program changes. Communities benefit from decades of OEA knowledge and community best practices, allowing them to leverage state and federal resources to proactively and positively change their individual community.

Each project highlight story below showcases a challenge the community is facing and how this community, with OEA support, is working to solve it.

Base Redevelopment: Communities Respond Transcript

View each video speaker's biography here.

Many communities have transitioned successfully from military dependence to self reliance. Communities, businesses, government leaders, military representatives and citizens have found common ground in envisioning a new future and developing new opportunities. Some of the best opportunities involve taking advantage of former installation property that has been deemed surplus by the military. Well organized communities quickly focus on developing reuse plans, and making them a foundation for building a stronger more self sufficient community. The defense department decides to work very closely with communities through the reuse process to provide a seamless transition and assist communities with the community’s plans for reuse and job creation. Among their biggest decisions, is how to make the best use of the bases physical assets, its buildings and facilities. In recognition that one size does not fit all, the military departments have a mixed toolbox of options for conveying these assets to communities based on each community’s needs. In this video, you will hear from several leaders representing four communities that have experienced previous rounds of base closure. Through their efforts, these communities have built strong economies, safe environments, and today are recognized as highly desirable places to live, work and play. Their experiences can help your community achieve the same success. (Narrator)

What a community has to do is they have to convince someone that this piece of property is not going to become something that’s overgrown in weeds and going to be falling down around their ears because they’re getting ready to invest private money in this facility. (Jon Grafton)

You need to be proactive; you need to offer people a process that they can accomplish within a reasonable time, like within a year. (Anthony J. Intintoli)

If you look at your installation as a blank slate and it has all of these facilities on it and has a lot of history to it, but look at it as a blank slate. Get your team in place as quickly as you can and start creating this ten year vision. (Bill Burke)

It’s really important for our community to formulate a vision and a reuse plant as quickly as possible following a base closure announcement. (Robert Leonard)

Once the community is organized and the military has provided a notice of surplus property, the Local Reuse Authority, the LRA, can begin the redevelopment planning effort, which includes homeless screening, including outreach to state and local interests. The goal is to develop an effective redevelopment plan that presents the community’s consensus for reuse and carefully weighs infrastructure needs and economic development alternatives. The plan also provides a foundation for evaluating the property conveyance options in the defense departments mixed toolbox for achieving the planned uses and an action plan for turning the community’s vision into reality. (Narrator)

Base closure causes all segments of your community to really come together and fundamentally examine where you want to be ten and twenty years down the road. (Jon Grafton)

The leadership needs to really create that excitement about this blank slate, what you can do, and how you can take what you have in this installation and create something very very special. (Bill Burke)

As part of the reuse plan, we set two primary objectives. One was to bring jobs back to their island; two was to do in a manner that our city’s general fund or our financial funds would not need to subsidize the work. (Craig Whittom)

The actual development of the plan was a good eighteen month process, eighteen to twenty-four months, so there was an awful lot of work put in to those years. There were also an awful lot of anger and hurt feelings through that process, that’s natural, you can work through it. (Bill Burke)

Some communities have experienced real setbacks by changing what they want to do on a constant basis and well flexibility is a requirement in the reuse business. It’s very helpful if you have a well developed idea of what you want as a goal for reuse and pursuing that. (Roger Dickinson)

It’s absolutely key to deal with critical infrastructure utility systems early on, even before the base closure so that in essence the systems can get a transition to local operation and to support reuse even before the base closes. (Robert Leonard)

Know that what you have put forward will need to get changed. Know that this is not the final product because it will evolve. (Kyle J. Keady)

A plan is only as good as its implementation. How quickly former military assets can be developed for productive economic use and how well the plant can withstand temporary setbacks in order to achieve long term goals, are directly related to the community’s persistence, patience, and partnerships among community and business leaders, military installation officials, state and federal assistance programs, regulatory agencies and other interested parties are essential to an environmental and economical sustainability and overall success. (Narrator)

In our case we have partnered with local developers in fact to bring together the strengths that local government has with the strengths that the private sector offer to advance our reuse efforts. (Roger Dickinson)

Shirley was fortunate to acquire nine acres that was part of Fort Devens that was formerly, back in the 1900’s, that was formerly Shirley. We were able to place our new police station, town hall, and library on that acreage. (Kyle J. Keady)

It’s very important to be in a profit making mode when you do these redevelopment opportunities. You have to generate the income to patch the streets, to buy the fire equipment, to pay to policemen, to do those things that you just take for granted. (Jon Grafton)

You have to do your own due diligence, in terms of what are the environmental conditions. Then we should’ve had a better understanding of the infrastructure and the utilities and what the cost of that was going to be. We didn’t do enough upfront due diligence on that. (Bill Burke)

The reality was and is that military bases are not constructed to civilian building codes standards in most every case there is a need to come in there’s considerable infrastructure upgrades for life, health and safety purposes. (Roger Dickinson)

Many of the buildings including the officer’s row, the newer industrial facilities, were in very good shape. That allowed tenants initially to move into those buildings relatively quickly with few tenant improvements. (Craig Whittom)

We had a convincing anchor tenant coming in and to create that draw. We negotiated a deal for Gillette to come to Devens. If Gillette was willing to come here that meant others would follow. (Bill Burke)

Communities across the country have prospered in the wake of base closings. Their experiences are among your best resources for designing your own success. These communities have faced the decision you face now, and have made smart practical choices by following a few key guidelines. (Narrator)

The basic issues that are foundational to successful reuse, such as property transfer, such as environmental view and remediation, such as the disposition of personal property and equipment. All of those are going to be integrally tied to the service branch and to the Pentagon. So it’s critical to work on having positive relationships to make that process work more smoothly. (Roger Dickinson)

Truly the devil is in the details, so those infrastructure and utility issues, for example, can’t be overlooked. Don’t be infatuated with some of the buildings that you may see on the facility you really need to understand what they represent, what liabilities are associated with them before you move too far. (Robert Leonard)

Successful reuse doesn’t happen overnight, it is more of a saga than a short story. But, it is helpful to set out benchmarks for a community that they can see the progress measured against so they know that there in fact is progress being made. (Roger Dickinson)

Even the bumps, the hills, the valleys that you had to cross over, to hurdle, that you had to jump over, it was all worth it because you look at what could’ve been, versus what is and your proud of it. (Kyle J. Keady)

The reuse planning and implementation process can be complex, time consuming, even frustrating. But these four communities easily prove that success is easily within reach. With good organization, careful adjustment and steadfast patience, aimed at long term success. And the end result will be something that you and the generations that follow you can be dually proud of. (Narrator)

It made us proudly a better community, in the end. (Edward Randolph, Jr.)

We’ve taken this elephant and eaten it one bite at a time. Base closure and reuse is not something that’s going to happen in a year; it’s not something that’s going to happen in five years. You’re talking about a ten to twenty year process and it’s something that your community has to buy into. (Jon Grafton)


Bill Burke

Executive VP, Devens & Military Initiatives Mass Development
Devens, MA

Roger Dickinson

Sacramento, CA

Jon Grafton

Executive Director, England Economic & Industrial District
Alexandria, LA

Anthony J. Intintoli

Vallejo, CA

Kyle J. Keady

Town Administrator
Shirley, MA

Robert Leonard

Assistant Director of Airports, Sacramento Country Airport System
Sacramento, CA

Edward Randolph, Jr.

Alexandria, LA:

Craig Whittom

Community Development Director
Vallejo, CA

Communities Responding to Change Transcript

View each video speaker's biography here.

Over the past 20 years, scores of communities have faced the closing or realignment of local military facilities. For some communities, the impact was sudden and severe resulting in the loss of jobs and economic activities. Yet by partnering with the military departments, many communities were able to turn those initial losses into big successes. This program visits a handful of these communities, and the local leaders who helped them build bright new futures. (Narrator)

We were a Navy town. We have been a Navy town for over 60, 70 years. Loosing almost 4,000 jobs in the shipyard, I mean that had an economic impact of a million dollars a day for us. It was a real shock to us, and I was angry. I felt how they could do this. (Beverly O'Neill)

My first though is 'my god we are going to be faced with having a closed military facility with weeds 5 feet tall, and boarded up buildings, and fenced, and what a detriment to the community.' (Paul Tauer)

When this base was active, there was a total of civilian and military personnel of upwards of 10,000. And the local community was about 2,000. As I understand it this based pumped about $40 million into the local economy one way or the other either through purchases or employment. So when this all emptied out, it was a - just a big vacuum. A big sucking sound. (Arthur Thompson)

Fort Ord had been the centerpiece of the entire Monterey Peninsula for many years. At the time of the closure it was about 35,000 people, so in an area of about 125,000, you can see it was about a 3rd or 4th of the population that we had. (Edith Johnsen)

For the military in the state of Florida it has always been very, very important in here ; and here in our community, it certainly was significant. I mean it was where every new recruit came for their training, their basic training. When that list came out through that BRAC process, we were indeed concerned in the beginning. (Glenda Hood)

What you find when a bases closes is that you find a lot of empty buildings, a lot of empty housing and not enough people to fill the buildings and the housing. (Katy Podagrosi)

It has been mentioned for closing at least eleven times before, and the local populace really wasn't too concerned about it being on the '93 list because they had weathered all the others and though 'It was never going to happen to us', but it did. (Hunton Tiffany)

All communities that face the closing or realignment of a military facility, feels the same initial doubts and fears. Successful communities overcome those obstacles, and go on to promising futures by first finding the right leadership. (Narrator)

We worked very, very strong strongly to try to keep the base here, but when that all change, when we were actually announced as a closure base, the first thing we did was try to then reorganized everybody into a different kind of configuration to deal with the closure. We were realists. We decided we lost that particular battle, but weren't going to lose the war. (Edith Johnsen)

For it truly to be embraced by the community and owned by the community, you have to have many leaders involved. And that just doesn't mean heads of your chamber of commerce, your economic development organization or your major business or corporations, or other elected leader. It also means neighborhood leaders, special interest group leaders. (Glenda Hood)

The board got together and worked together from the beginning. Everybody on the board trusted each other's judgment and we were able to move forward very fast. (Arthur Thompson)

Some base closures affect more than one local jurisdiction, and it is up to those leaders in those jurisdictions to find common ground right from the start. (Narrator)

There were two cities involved in the land, and in eventually occupying and developing the plan, and the implementation. We met early on, and began to work through those details for multi-jurisdictional involvement. And it worked. We were both very reasonable; and that's critical because, if that doesn't happen, then nothing happens. (Paul Tauer)

If the base happens to be in several jurisdictions, then get the folks together and form a team, or authority or some form of organization. And be very clear that you are speaking with one voice. (Hunton Tiffany)

Creating opportunities requires vision and a plan for achieving it. Both begin with local leaders helping their communities decide what they want their future will be. (Narrator)

The city has had to really look at itself and say "What are we going to be when we grow up?" We set up a plan that turned out to be the three T's. We were going to emphasize tourism; international trade, because we have such a large port; and the emerging technology. (Beverly O'Niell)

We determined what we wanted our community to be like and we determined that we would not take just any industry that came; that wanted to come in. We would hope that we would get industries that would be in line with our wishes for the community. (Katy Padagrosi)

We decided that it was very important to have a major university in this particular area. So we made sure that we took this opportunity and had enough of a chunk of land, 800 acres, dedicated to the California University System. And we opened up the Monterey Bay University System here. (Edith Johnsen)

Among the lesson these communities learned, none has been important than how to put together the resources you have and find the financial and technical assistance you need. (Narrator)

You have to make use of the available resources within the community. That can be people, it can be facilities, it can be finances. All combine to make a better project. Second is involve the entire community in the planning processes, so that you can get buy in from the whole community. So that they can all help, and have a piece of the success of the redevelopment when it occurs. (Paul Tauer)

The first thing to realize is that you are not alone. There are very effective and numerous resources that are available to a community. (Hunton Tiffany)

We got EDA loans. We got bridge loans. We got all kinds of support from the Office of the Economic Adjustment. The Department of Commerce was wonderful. (Edith Johnsen)

In the end, it is leadership that enables a community to see the opportunities that a BRAC offers. Develop a vision and work together to achieve it. (Narrator)

You have a have a vision of where you want to go. And you have to bring people along and people with you in that vision, because if you don't know where you're going, then you won’t know how to get there. But if you have a direction that people buy into, that people like, and that you sell this. (Beverly O'Neill)

Take that bold step. Put together the very best people, the very best minds who have the expertise and the knowledge to come up with a plan and a vision that will work, and that you can deliver in the end. (Glenda Hood)

Identify leadership that is forward thinking, business minded, strong enough to withstand short term political pressure in favor of the long-term economic goals that are set. (Hunton Tiffany)

There will always be those who say it can't it be done. But if you stay focus and you believe and have that passion in what you know you can bring about, it will happen. (Glenda Hood)


Glenda Hood

Florida Secretary of State
Former Mayor
Orlando, FL

Edith Johnsen

Monterey County, CA

Beverly O'Neill

Long Beach, CA

Katy Podagrosi

Former Mayor
Rantoul, IL

Paul Tauer

Former Mayor
Aurora, CO

Arthur Thompson

Former Chair, Loring Development Authority, ME
Co-owner Thompson Associates

Hunton Tiffany

Former Chair Vint Hill Farms Economic Development Authority, VA,
Retired Chairman Fauquier Bank

Mission Growth Transcript

View each video speaker's biography here.

Many communities across the country are expecting their military populations to grow considerably. This offers great opportunities for community economic development. However, the challenges can be daunting in terms of planning and managing the kinds of larger scale growth required to accommodate thousands of newcomers. Yet communities have mastered these challenges. We present three of them. Bangor, Washington, whose nearby naval base KITSAP became the home port for the first squadron of Trident missile nuclear submarines. Jefferson County, New York, the site of Fort Drum, which became the new home of U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain division and Pulaski County, Missouri, where Fort Leonard Wood expanded to accommodate two new Army training schools. How these communities succeeded, and the lessons they learned along the way serve as models for communities who may be facing similar opportunities and challenges today.

An increase in military activity can challenge a community’s capacity to absorb new residents. Challenges include mobilizing a community to action, creating new housing and schools, building new infrastructure, and managing new growth wisely. (Narrator)

Once it was asked, we knew that we didn’t have a lot of time to plan for the community, plan for the growth. (Bill Mahan)

It doesn’t get dragged out over 20 years, this happens in a couple of years and it’s not going to be delayed. These submarines are going to be coming in a few years, we better be ready for it. (Peter Crane)

Our challenge was to place all of the people coming to Fort Lennerword from Fort McLelan in housing that would serve them well and that would end up being a good investment for the area. (Elizabeth Bax)

They were not going to house the additional troops on post, so we are posed with a fairly daunting task with developing a sizeable amount of housing, having it within the right price range, having it available at the right time and having it planned in the right way. (Larry Sexton)

No housing development had taken place in this community for a very long time prior to this, and candidly we had no structure here, there was no building community and so forth here to really realy upon. (Terrence Roche)

Essentially Fort Drum was a new community being built and the issues getting into and off of the facility and the community growth that would occur around it, and did we have water/sewer/road capacity, and can we provide the services, like health, like emergency services, like social and human services. For the schools, their main question was, where is the population going to be located, is it going to be in my district or not? (Bruce Armstrong)

We actually had two challenges that we were aware of at that time. The first one was how to manage the growth that was going to come with the base. The second was how were would have to pay for the infrastructure acquired from that growth: fire stations, schools, roads, sewer plants, things like that. (Bill Mahan)

In my opinion I think that this was one of the most important reactions to the announcement that the community had and that was to simply organize as a community which included the federal, the state level, the county level, the schools, all of the local governments to organize, to come at the problems and opportunities from a common direction. (Bruce Armstrong)

Dealing with growth challenges requires organizing all of the stakeholders in a community. The key job is to motivate the public, assess likely impacts, create a flexible growth plan, and coordinate its implementation. (Narrator)

In a community where the nearest town was Silverdale, which had one blinking traffic light, you are obviously going to need new roads, and you’re going to need new sewers to accommodate the housing, you’re going to need new schools to accommodate the kids. Someone is going to have to pay for that. (Peter Crane)

It’s critical to get the decision makers involved in the process and we had either the mayor or the city administrator representing the different communities. We had the presiding county commissioner; we had the superintendent of the school district. (Larry Sexton)

We formed an organization under New York state municipal law which was an intergovernmental relations council whose purpose it was to be the single point of contact between the federal state and local governments for all issues concerned with the growth of Fort Drum. We formed a number of task forces of citizens so that everyone who had a concern, an issue, a fear, a problem, some expertise, or good idea, got to bring it to a forum and that processes allowed us to get a real buy in on the decisions that we made. (Terrence Roche)

We really made a point of advertising this process and trying to draw in first the local development community and we also solicited assistance from other neighboring areas that were more populated, that were more likely to have larger home builders. (Elizabeth Bax)

It’s very important to involve the private sector, the people who are going to be the builders and developers, in the processes somehow because those are the guys who are looking at and understanding the markets that are going on and the growth as much as anybody else. (Bruce Armstrong)

The commanding general of our installation and all of his key leaders were actively involved, again, throughout the process. The media was deeply involved in our process. We had the publisher of the newspaper who is a member of the steering council as was the head of the radio and T.V. stations. So they were very much a part of the problem solving and the solution. (Terrence Roche)

You need it to have a central funnel that could speak with one voice and say here is what the impacts are in the community, here are the priorities of those impacts and its more important that we have a school built here than over there. (Peter Crane)

Developing an effective growth management plan requires a careful study of exactly what is needed and where it should be built. (Narrator)

We wanted to save the character of the county and keep the rural nature. We knew if we didn’t pay attention to how the growths occurred then we would lose that. (Bill Mahan)

We looked at what our needs were: housing, infrastructure, public safety, healthcare, all of those areas that we knew were going to be issues and had to be addressed in terms of growth. (Terrence Roche)

The county did not have any planning and zoning, some of the cities did have spotty building codes enforced here and there. The Office of Economic Adjustment grant made it possible for the RCGA to contract with a very well known national consulting group. They were highly effective in terms of working with the group to pull together a very highly utilized, concise growth management plan. (Elizabeth Bax)

The growth management plan was critical to our effort. We had a document that was very credible that we could issue to developers. They use that document to base their housing development, what price range of homes they needed to construct, the number, be it single family, multi-family, and of course the commercial development; they wanted to be convinced this was really going to happen. (Larry Sexton)

Once it was determined where the housing would go, we developed formulas to try to help the schools as best as we could in estimating the numbers of students that we would acquire. That, of course, had to be translated into construction as well as faculty and all aspects of the school. (Terrence Roche)

Once you know where you’re going to accommodate both population growth and other spin-off growth, commercial growth, that begins to give you a better handle on not only where your expenditures need to go but where revenue may come from also. (Bruce Armstrong)

Managing growth requires capital funding arrangements. Both local and other financial interests will depend on a carefully prepared growth management strategy. (Narrator)

The local political leaders certainly recognize that we did not have the tax structure that could allow for expanding roads, schools, and water systems, all that you needed to accommodate the thousands of people that were going to be coming in a very short period of time. The Office of Economic Adjustment, they were fantastic for us. They really were the liaison with different federal agencies. They got us the plan and grants. They were the ones who worked with virtually on a daily basis; I worked with the OEA staff. (Peter Crane)

The state of Missouri really stepped up in terms of financing and encouraging, giving us the final oomph to kind of move things over the edge to land development where it needed to be in the county and to make things happen really quickly. A developer would come to us with a housing or subdivision plan. We would approve that; that would trigger the availability of incentives from the state of Missouri. There were also infrastructure grants to help place the necessary water and sewer lines in the area, to help build roads, things of that nature. (Elizabeth Bax)

The state came to the forefront and created a development authority to work within the area. They had the capacity through binding and other financial mechanisms and actually putting a larger part of infrastructure in the ground for us. The state’s Department of Transportation was also very active in making improvements to the state highway system. (Bruce Armstrong)

Here at Fort Leonard where the military wasn’t afraid of going up with their community partners to the state level, and not lobby the state but help explain the importance of local initiatives and whatnot to soldier welfare and soldier’s family’s welfare. That uniform up at the state level was very appreciated, it was listened to and it really helped them to understand the criticality of what we were trying to do down here. (Ron Selfors)

We used all types of financing, revenue bonds, general obligation bonds from the county and state government. (Peter Crane)

These are thriving communities because they’ve mastered challenges and maintained a steady focus on what matters most. Providing adequate healthcare and education facilities, housing and infrastructure to accommodate expanding community needs.

From a population of about 95,000 before the arrival of Trident submarines, KITSAP County, Washington has grown to about 225,000. Jefferson County, once among New York’s slowest growing counties, became one of the state’s fastest growing counties, completing 130 new buildings, 35 miles of new roads and over 4,000 new family housing units. Today, the development base is so strong the county is confidently preparing to welcome thousands of additional troops and their families as Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division adds a new brigade to its ranks. Pulaski County’s population grew, with school enrollment increasing 12%. Another part of the story here is how growth related to Fort Leonard-Wood has spurred development in nearby communities, such as Saint Robert, as well as benefiting the entire region.

None of these communities had previous experience with large scale growth, yet through leadership and organization, the involvement of business, government, and private citizens, careful planning, building partnerships, leveraging resources and fostering creativity, they not only met their immediate needs, but put in place systems for community development that will enable them to shape their futures for decades to come. (Narrator)

It’s important that you have a strong partnership with you military, if you form a new organization you need to have a good, or excellent, executive director to run that organization, someone who is task oriented, not someone who shuffles papers. You need to have you municipalities, both local, county, and state government involved, and lastly then you’ve got to communicate, and communicate, and communicate. (Larry Sexton)

There needs to be someone taking the lead and communities must support that person taking the lead. Compromise, give up a little bit because the greater good is what you should be focused on. (Peter Crane)

That cooperation, that trust, that ability to work together at mutual respect, is something that doesn’t occur overnight. It’s something that is build upon, for example, social opportunities between the communities and the military. We have a number of those each year that helps enforce that bonding between the communities and the installation. It really comes from rolling up the sleeves and getting in together and sharing a common vision, common goals and objectives. (Ron Selfors)

It was kind of a magic moment in time where everyone literally worked together and spoke to their constituencies, brought them along and made it move forward. (Elizabeth Bax)


Bruce Armstrong

Director of Planning
Jefferson County, NY

Elizabeth Bax

Manager, Business Recruitment
Pulaski County, MO

Peter Crane

Former Trident Community, Impact Coordinator
Bangor, WA

Bill Mahan

Former Commissioner
Kitsap County, WA

Terrence Roche

Executive Director, Fort Drum Security Council
Jefferson County, NY

Ron Selfors

Director, FLW Regional, Commerce & Growth Association
Pulaski County, MO

Larry Sexton

President, FLW, Regional Commerce & Growth Association
Pulaski County, MO

Compatible Use Transcript

View each video speaker's biography here.


Our mission is readiness. To be ready, we need to be able to train 24/7. (Narrator)

If you’re not able to train, then you’re not able to fly, fight and win and more importantly come back home. If we can’t train our troops, if our soldiers cannot do maneuvers, if they cannot fire their weapons, can’t fly our helicopters, if we can’t get our soldiers off of Fort Bragg to deploy anywhere around the world, then we don’t need to be here. (Narrator 2)

People call and say that at 2:30 this morning, I was sound asleep and my children jumped up crying and running in because I’m having to listen to this helicopter hovering over my property. (Mary Ann Just)

The problem is the increasing concentration of civilian development close to military installations. The situation is both heightening sensitivity to noise and creating serious operational and safety problems for military training missions. (Narrator)

We are seeing the development of communities which are trying to locate along corridors and one of those being the Interstate 8 corridor, which just happens to be the northern border of the Goldwater Range. What we are concerned about is encroachment where we have development and communities trying to build right up to the range boundaries which would not really be very compatible with high speed aircraft operating in close proximity to family dwellings. (Jim Uken)

Encroachment has affected how we fly aircraft at Cherry Point. Off of runway 05, which is the main runway that’s over the city of Havlock, the encroachment that is already in place causes us not to use that runway except when prevailing winds require that that’s the only runway left. (Tyler Harris)

The growth in the surrounding counties has been phenomenal over the last ten years and in Fort Campbell in particular we’ve increased almost six thousand soldiers. (Ted Purdom)

Most military bases were located originally in relatively remote areas. However, the economic opportunities near installations have made them magnets for commercial and residential development. Today, communities are encroaching around military bases nationwide. Zones that were once kept clear to protect civilians from high noise levels and potential accidents are now the sites of homes, businesses, even schools and places of worship. (Narrator)

We had potential encroachments of a subdivision that was built very close to Saber Army Heliport, which if that had gone unchecked, it would cause a noise and light issue for our pilots that had to use the night vision devices to do their flying at night which they are going to do in war. So we had to work with the community of Clarksville, and basically we ended up acquiring one hundred and thirty acres of that land to stop that because that would have infringed on our training for wartime. (Ted Purdom)

There is a lot of growth starting to happen to the southeast end of the installation. We are working very diligently with local jurisdictions to protect that land so that all of the jurisdictions can grow in a compatible way with the local community and the air force base so we can continue to fly our missions safely. (Michael Toriello)

Noise and safety considerations are not the only factors involved. Tighter air quality standards, increased air space congestion, reduced radio frequency spectrums, endangered species and habitat protection and environmental requirements may restrict military operations and full use of training areas. (Narrator)

Encroachment through inappropriate development around bases can hurt our ability to train properly. We may have to deviate from normal training regimens and/or the way we approach or take off from a base and that does not in any way prepare us for the realities of war. (Colonel Frank Bottorff)

Responsibility for controlling civilian development lies with state and local governments. Elected officials are charged with protecting the public health, safety and welfare of their communities through judicious use of community planning programs, zoning and subdivision regulations, and building codes. At the same time, these officials are concerned with stimulating economic growth and balancing growth against regulations. (Narrator)

We want to make sure that everybody is friendly, that we bring all the parties to the table and everybody can agree on what needs to happen for the best of the community, but also what needs to happen for the best of the military installation as well. (Deb Sydenham)

As a property owning neighbor, the military installation has the same rights to protection as anyone else in the community. As a steward of the installation and its mission, the base commander is ultimately responsible for protecting those rights by actively participating in local development planning and giving a strong voice to the installations views and concerns. (Narrator)

I see the base commander as the point of contact for the interface with the community and the success or failure of that base commander with that interface with the community boils down to how much he or she is willing to work outside the fence line. (Colonel Michael Spencer)

We have to be very proactive in how we handle everything we do with the community, and ensure that we go out in advance to build those relationships so that when problems arise, or when they are in the midst of planning we are kept involved and informed of everything that’s going on. (Colonel Frank Bottorff)

Congress and the Department of Defense have given base commanders some very effective tools for building understanding, encouraging dialogue, and exploring solutions. In 1973 the Navy and the Air Force instituted AICUZ, the Air Installation Compatible Use Zones program. The Army began what it now calls its Operational Noise Management Program. The studies produced by these programs include detailed maps of the noise footprints and accident potential zones around military installations and suggest compatible land use activities that can protect and support community economic development. But state and local governments need help in understanding AICUZ and Operational Noise Management Program data and applying it to their planning efforts. In 1985, Congress authorized the Department of Defense to provide assistance to state and local governments to plan and carry out strategies where encroachment by a civilian community is likely to impair the operations of a military installation. The Compatible Use program incorporates the Joint Land Use Study program, or JLUS, as the means for delivering this assistance and helping states and communities to understand and apply AICUZ and Operational Noise Management Program data to local planning and development efforts. Local commanders are invited to participate in the JLUS process and through the country this close working relationship has spurred successful results. (Narrator)

The Joint Land Use Study is largely a regional land use plan and the way that land use plans work is they are kind of a road map or a dream sheet that kind of spells out how you would like for an area or a community to be at some future time. (Jim Dougherty)

The military installation needs to share what their operations are. What is the time frame of those operations? Does it occur in the morning? Are operations happening after 10 P.M. at night? The key is the communication aspect because unless there are open lines of communication between a city hall or the county board, the county seat, and the military it is going to make it very difficult to implement whatever you come up with at the end of the day. (Deb Sydenham)

Each JLUS participant has a role to play in its development. The base commander identifies a need by recommending a JLUS to the deputy assistant secretary of the military service. The deputy assistant secretary nominates a particular installation for a JLUS to the director of the Office of Economic Adjustment, OEA. OEA then assigns a project manager to work with the nominated installation and effected community or state to determine whether sufficient basis exists to proceed with a JLUS. This review includes determining whether all parties support the effort. OEA offers technical and financial assistance, including guidance to initiate, conduct, and complete a JLUS. OEA may fun up to 90% of the cost to develop and/or carry out a JLUS, while the local or state government assures that not less than 10% of the cost is derived from non-federal sources. The effected community provides important leadership, including financial and political support, management of the JLUS and carries out the JLUS recommendations. The objective is to support compatible use near our military installations wherein military and community needs are met through a balanced effort. Planning and zoning are among the tools for controlling incompatible development along with conservation buffers, development regulations, including transfer of development rights, subdivision and building codes, and real estate disclosures. (Narrator)

We had a parcel of land right close to NAS Pensacola. That parcel could have been developed into a 98 home residential subdivision. We went to the county, went to the developers and the land owners and explained to them the potential impact that that would have and we worked out a deal with them to purchase the property for 1.2 million dollars. The Navy and the state of Florida were involved in the process and they both helped contribute to the purchase of that piece of land. Which we now own and we are turning it into a park. (Bill Dixon)

Some of the recommendations included real estate disclosure statements so that when people want to rent, lease, or purchase property that they would know ahead of time that their land is located within a mile of the forge and may be subject to low level aircraft flights and levels of artillery and small arms noise. (Jim Dougherty)

A properly developed and implemented JLUS can suggest to base commanders and communities alike affective methods to protect the health and safety of civilians, stimulate compatible civilian activity and integrate the community’s and installations plans in ways the help ensure the sustainability of both. (Narrator)

Engagement with the community not only allowed me to educate the community on what our flight operations are, but even more importantly educate the community on what our airmen do day in and day out. (Colonel Michael Spencer)

Encroachment issues can create a tremendous financial and/or operational impact on the U.S. military and the local communities. It doesn’t have to be that way though. By working together and planning for the future, we can create an environment where we can both be successful together. (Colonel Frank Bottorff)


Colonel Frank Bottorff

Commanding Officer
MCAS Cherry Point, NC

Bill Dixon

County Commissioner
Escambia County, FL

Jim Dougherty

Executive Director, Regional Land Use Advisory Committee
Fort Bragg/Pope AFB, NC

Tyler Harris

Deputy Community Plans and Liaison Officer
MCAS Cherry Point, NC

Mary Ann Just

Local Resident
Fort Knox, KY

Ted Purdom

Deputy Garrison Commander
Fort Campbell, KY

Colonel Michael Spencer

Former Commander, 355th Fighter Wing
Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ

Deb Sydenham

Assistant Deputy Director for Development
Department of Commerce, AZ

Michael Toriello

Deputy Engineer
Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ

Jim Uken

Director, 56th Range Management Office
Luke AFB, AZ

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