AFIMSC summit delivers joint basing solutions

  • Published
  • By Shannon Carabajal
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Leaders from all 12 Department of Defense joint bases gathered here to collaborate and find solutions for their unique installation challenges during the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center 2023 Joint Base Commanders Summit and Office of the Secretary of Defense Commanders Day April 25-27.

Attendees included current and incoming joint base commanders from every joint base, along with representatives from OSD, headquarters Air Force and the Army Installation Management Command. 

Chaired by AFIMSC Executive Director Sam Grable, the summit included briefings, panels and networking opportunities that gave the leaders a venue to discuss challenges unique to joint basing and seek enterprise-wide solutions, said Sandra Jackson, joint basing program manager with the AFIMSC Installation Support Directorate.

“This is the only in-person opportunity joint base commanders have to come together, network and focus on issues specific to joint basing, and seek enterprise-wide solutions,” she said.

In 2005, the Base Closure and Realignment Commission created 12 joint bases from 26 installations that were in close proximity or shared a boundary. The lead service at each joint base is responsible for providing installation management and support for the entire installation. The Air Force is the lead service at seven joint bases.

In addition to providing installation and mission support capabilities to Air Force installations, AFIMSC plays an integral role in joint basing, Jackson said, serving as the Air Force representative to the Intermediate Command Summit which provides dispute resolution for joint base issues on an installation. AFIMSC is also a liaison and advocate for joint bases with headquarters Air Force and OSD.

During the first two days of the summit, AFIMSC leaders and subject matter experts provided key updates on issues and programs important to commanders, including updates on resource management; housing, dorms and real property; Air Force Services Center and non-appropriated fund programs; and Air Force Force Generation, also called AFFORGEN, impacts on joint basing. 

“I’m learning a lot about joint issues and what it takes to achieve success,” said Col. Sergio Anaya, 62nd Operations Group commander at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

“During the briefings, outgoing commanders shared what they’ve learned over the last couple years, including some of their biggest challenges and how they got through them,” he said. “It sounds like every base is very unique – it’s definitely not a one solution fits all – but just learning about different approaches and hearing what has worked and what hasn’t worked has been very valuable.”

Usually held separately, OSD Commanders Day was held in conjunction with the summit this year. Along with a panel and roundtable to discuss common issues, the day included a working group focused on improving performance level standards for installation support, known as common output level standards, and collectively determining a future framework, said Col. Tammie Harris, director of Joint Basing for OSD. 

The standards measure the level of installation support provided across  joint bases, assess compliance with memorandums of agreement and help equalize differences between the levels of installation support typically provided by the services.

“I hope the commanders walk away with a commitment to working with us on joint basing issues,” she said, “and benefit from the week’s crosstalk and sharing of best practices.”