WARNER ROBINS -- The next Base Realignment and Closure Commission is expected to be at least three years away, but the new president of the 21st Century Partnership is wasting no time getting ready for it.
In his first meeting as the groups leader, retired Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon laid out a plan Thursday to prepare for the next BRAC, which he said he expects will happen in 2015 or 2017. His plan includes raising $1 million per year for the next five years to fund the defense of the base and to make sure all the factors BRAC would consider are in order. Those range from base operational performance to quality of life in the community.
We have a copy of the test for when the next BRAC comes, he said. We just have to figure out what the answers are.
McMahon retired in June after serving as commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, in which he led a dramatic turnaround in the centers performance. He was named president and chief executive officer of the partnership the week after he retired, and his first day on the job was Sept. 1.
Although it wasnt required or expected, partnership members gave a show of support for McMahons plan by unanimously approving a motion in favor of it.
He said the partnership needs money to fund objective studies of where the community stands on factors that BRAC would consider. The Department of Defense has 13 industrial facilities, he said, and Robins will be competing with those in the next BRAC.
No one should be surprised, when the results of the next BRAC come out, what those results say about us, he said.
The meeting was the last for retired Maj. Gen. Rick Goddard in his role as senior adviser to the partnership. Goddard said he will continue to be involved with the group, just not on a day-to-day basis. He was given a standing ovation.
Goddard has led efforts to establish the partnership as a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization, and that process is expected to be completed within four months. In the meanwhile, tax-deductible donations can be made through the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. McMahon said the partnership will not touch the money until the tax-exempt status gets final approval.
A key advantage is that the partnership can now be part of the Combined Federal Campaign, which is the U.S. governments version of the United Way. Federal employees each year can designate a portion of their paycheck to go to the campaign to be distributed among the charities, or they can designate specific charities for donations.
In his final talk to the group, Goddard discussed efforts of the defense industry to compete for work done at Robins. The partnership, he said, has worked to make sure no changes are made in federal law that would favor private companies trying to win work done at military depots. McMahon is due to go to Washington within the next month to discuss that issue, Goddard said.