The historic Blanket Intergovernmental Support Agreement (IGSA) between the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) and Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA), the first of its kind for the U.S. Air Force, is generating millions of dollars in reduced costs for the military at JBSA, significant military members and missions, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in new non-tax revenue for local governments in the San Antonio region. A win-win-win and Partnership that Pays for Itself!
SONRI brokered every aspect of negotiating this agreement, and provides ongoing support for its execution, including conducting analyses for new Task Orders, facilitating workgroups to develop new opportunities, and providing coaching and advice to AACOG staff concerning intergovernmental relationships, Task Order execution, and billing and payments.
In 2017, AACOG identified the need for additional community investments in fostering IGSAs to better position the community and JBSA, not only to compete for new missions, but to prosper regardless of impacts caused by future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process changes.
AACOG hired SONRI to help break a logjam in developing IGSAs, which would not only help the military save money, but also produce new revenue for local government and generate mission benefits for the military, such as promoting safety of flight at JBSA-Randolph AFB. The vision was to create a whole new level of cooperation and collaboration between JBSA and the many communities that host its diverse facilities and missions.
SONRI convened a working group with a truly bold goal: develop the first ever Blanket IGSA created exclusively under the IGSA authority outside of Monterey, CA. The Air Force had never before attempted this daunting task and had been completed only one other time by the Army. The process required innovative approaches and innovative thinking on the part of all stakeholders. Throughout, SONRI provided advice to stakeholders on how communicate effectively with each other, facilitated working groups, and when necessary, utilized SONRI’s exclusive Bureaucratic Engagement Protocol© to overcome naysayers. The Protocol provides a framework in which to hold people responsible and accountable for timely, constructive work and contributions to the working group, and provides for graduated consequences for obstruction, obfuscation, or delay.
On September 25, 2019, AACOG’s Executive Director joined Brigadier General Laura Lenderman, Commander of JBSA and the 502d Air Base Wing, in signing the historic Blanket IGSA agreement. This created a novel approach to base operating support for the military and fundamentally changed the relationship of the community to the base in a host of ways. Instead of relying solely on organic capabilities or contracting under the Federal Acquisition Regulations, installations can now turn to their host communities for support, and anything a host state or local government does for themselves may be offered as goods or services to the installation.
Under this agreement, At JBSA-Randolph AFB, the City of Schertz is now providing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to provide first response and patient transport. Because the city has vastly greater EMS resources in the vicinity of the base than past commercial service providers, safety of flight and flightline safety is enhanced. In addition, the Air Force is saving money on acquiring these vital human health and safety services, and the City of Schertz is generating new revenue to reinvest in their city-wide EMS capacity.
In addition, AACOG’s Alamo Regional Transit (ART) subsidiary is providing shuttle service for Wounded Warriors and their families while the Warriors are in treatment at the Brooke Army Medical Center. This is saving the military money, generating new revenue for ART, and most importantly, significantly improving transportation service for America’s most deserving Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.
This truly innovative approach required leadership, political will, patience, persistence, and perseverance. It makes JBSA an even more attractive location for new and expanded military missions and creates new connections and opportunities between the base and AACOG. The Blanket IGSA approach holds the greatest promise for community support for military installations since the creation of the Monterey Model in the mid-1990s, as was recognized by General and Mrs. C.Q. Brown, Air Force Chief of Staff, at the 2022 Air Force Association convention. The visionary leadership of AACOG, with strong community support and open-handed partnership from JBSA, is transforming how communities and their installations interact and cooperate. SONRI is proud to have been the lynchpin of creating this historic agreement!