The Kirtland Partnership Committee seeks to support, preserve and grow Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) by helping to enhance existing missions and attract appropriate new missions. We support legislation at local, state, and national levels in pursuit of this endeavor. We increase awareness of the significant Annual Economic Impact of KAFB, currently ~$7.8 billion dollars. Our surrounding communities have overwhelmingly supported Kirtland Air Force Base for more than seventy years as part of the National Security Complex. We interface with the Department of Defense and Department of Energy decision-makers to underscore the importance of and contributions made to the national defense by Kirtland Air Force Base.
KAFB is a complex installation, hosting more than 100 mission partners who answer to nine major commands; most Air Force Bases report to one or two major commands. (See Below)
"In New Mexico, the Annual Economic Impact of Kirtland Air Force Base is almost $7.8 billion dollars."
The Kirtland Partnership Committee (KPC) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, community-based organization that is financially supported by its membership along with strong support from the City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County. KPC’s mission is to “support, preserve and grow” Kirtland Air Force Base, AFRL and Sandia National Labs, or as KPC refers to them as the “Kirtland National Security Complex” which we believe more accurately reflect the work done on Kirtland. Although work to support Kirtland had been ongoing since the 1980s, KPC formally began as a response to the 1995 BRAC round. We organized the community and federal congressional delegation so successfully that KAFB was ultimately removed from the realignment list. Following that very public success, the community came together to formally create the Kirtland Partnership Committee to maintain consistency as the primary community-based advocacy organization for Kirtland AFB.
Beyond its initial success with the 1995 BRAC, we have not trumpeted our accomplishments in the community but continue to rack up notable achievements, including:
- Belen Alexander Airport: facilitated State support through the New Mexico Aviation Division ($4.5 million State Funds), created additional capability for 58th SOW;
- Buffer Zone, east of Kirtland: worked with the DOE, NNSA, 377th ABW, to prevent encroachment;
- Centerfire Drop Zone: 58th SOW asked for help in 2003--they lost their long-time Drop Zone; KPC generated short term help from New Mexico State Land Office--White Lakes DZ; 58th SOW long-term lease with Centerfire Realty (new DZ located south of Kirtland)
- Cibola National Forest: concerns with training, misuse of CNF property by 342nd CCTS (PJs); supported 377th ABW Commander had to lead a team to "clean up" the mess
- Civic Leader Programs: KPC membership—Global Strike Command, AETC, AFMC, AFGSC; CSAF; prior to KPC no Albuquerque participation
- Corrosion Control Facility: 58th SOW, advocated for Congressional insert
- Distributed Mission Operations Center (DMOC): advocated for Congressional insert
- Education: dialogue with Albuquerque Public Schools; Sandia Base Elementary received a "F” in 2013 and now has a “B” rating.
- Kirtland/Community Sustainability Committee: Organized December 2015; continued to work on hold-over actions from the Kirtland Joint Land Use Study; JLUS Implementation; and Kirtland Installation Complex Encroachment Management Action Plan (ICEMAP) with wide governmental agency participation; quarterly meetings
- Operationally Responsive Space (ORS): achieved NM Gross Receipts Tax Exemption in 2013
- Flight simulator facility 58th SOW: supported Congressional insert
- Wherry Elementary School: OEA Grant, $16.3 million; intense dialogue with APS, Kirtland, OEA asked KPC for assistance (DOD Educational Facility Review)
- Valle Del Oro: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge southwest of Kirtland/Sunport; closely monitoring impact on Kirtland, Sunport traffic
- Fuel Plume: Discovered in 1999; Air Force slow to engage; supported balanced approach; Air Force now directing resources, senior personnel
- State of New Mexico Military Base Planning Program
The membership of the Kirtland Partnership Committee represents a cross section of the community from small business owners who see airman in their shops to CEOs of the largest corporations in New Mexico. There are roughly 100 members in the general membership and currently 14 members on the Executive Board. There are typically 1-2 annual meetings for the entire membership which include a briefing from the 377th ABW Commander as well as other speakers. The smaller Executive Board meets monthly to address the direction and administration of KPC. KPC has recently hired a new Executive Director, Elizabeth Driggers who is working to increase the KPC’s exposure in the community including through a revamped website and social media.
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