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During the 1993 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, Robins Air Force Base was added to the BRAC list for evaluation…a shock to the entire Middle Georgia region, as well as to the entire State of Georgia. At the insistence of Senator Sam Nunn, the 21st Century Partnership was hurriedly formed to defend Robins and thus the Middle Georgia area during the critical BRAC process. That massive organizational effort was spearheaded by community leaders such as George Israel, Bob Hatcher, Paul Nagle, Ralph Nix, Eddie Wiggins, Sherrill Stafford, Jack Steed, and many others…with the sage counsel of Senator Sam Nunn. The military value of the base, and community, was once again evaluated in BRAC 2005. As in BRAC 1995, not only did Robins survive, but actually gained missions during BRAC 2005.
Fortunately, the 21st Century Partnership continued to defend and invoke positive actions to ensure the continued viability of the base. But equally important, the organizational structure, mission, and approach have matured tremendously; vaulting the Partnership to the elite class of defense community support organizations in the Nation and certainly in the State of Georgia.
This transformation began with a drastic shift of philosophy. That is: the best way to defend Robins is from an offensive standpoint vs. a defensive standpoint. The objective was straightforward–make Robins and Middle Georgia so attractive to decision makers for assignment of military missions that the base would expand and become so vital to the Nation’s defense posture, it would always be in a position to accept and execute new missions vs. just fighting to keep jobs in Middle Georgia. This approach caused focus and solutions to issues like encroachment; education; affordable/ suitable housing; child care; health care; air quality; workforce development; transportation access; quality of life for assigned personnel; cost of living; cost of operating an installation in Middle Georgia; capacity to grow; base-community partnerships; public private partnerships; collaboration with sister Air Force industrial operations; helping Robins execute their strategic plans; etc.
The transformation in philosophy also led to organization structure changes. While the original board structure has virtually remained in place, retired senior military officers were added as advisors; Executive Directors were added; a formal office front was established; a 501c3 was created; then we transitioned to a CEO/COO construct. Ms. Chrissy Miner is currently serving as the President/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Daniel Rhoades serves as the Partnership’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Jamie Cook serves as the first-ever STEM Outreach and Workforce Coordinator on a part-time basis, and Ms. Pat Bridges and Ms. Judy Smith both serve in a part-time capacity as Executive Assistants. The Partnership works closely with the Executive Committee which is chaired by Mr. Dan Slagle.
Under the current staffing the focus will be developing a strategy and action plans that build on National, State and local layers, focusing on ensuring not only the continuing viability of Robins AFB in the future but work to bring more missions and jobs to the Middle Georgia area. We will then execute the action plans working closely with all the Middle Georgia, State and Federal leadership to ensure a cohesive and vibrant support posture for the state, community and the base.
George Israel; Jack Steed; Sherrill Stafford; Eddie Wiggins; Mark Byrd; Brad Fink, Rob Brooks
Former Senior Advisors:
Major General (ret.) Ron Smith; Major General (ret.) Rick Goddard
Former Chief Executive Officers:
Major General (ret.) Bob McMahon; Lieutenant General (ret.) Charlie Stenner
Former Chief Operating Officer:
Former Executive Directors:
Col (ret.) Ron Carbon; Mary Therese Grabowski; Col (ret.) Dan Penny