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Civic, military leaders collaborate on community best practices during 9th AF forum

Dr. Scott LaFevers (standing), Wayne County Military Affairs Committee chairman, speaks to attendees of the Headquarters 9th Air Force Civic Leader Forum, April 26, 2017, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. LaFevers highlighted how the MAC aids and supports Airmen at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick)

Dr. Scott LaFevers (standing), Wayne County Military Affairs Committee chairman, speaks to attendees of the Headquarters 9th Air Force Civic Leader Forum, April 26, 2017, Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. LaFevers highlighted how the MAC aids and supports Airmen at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Scott J. Zobrist (standing), 9th Air Force commander, provides opening remarks during the Headquarters 9th AF Civic Leader Forum April 26, 2017 at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. Zobrist highlighted the 9th AF mission and the importance of civic leaders and their wings’ involvement in their local communities. The forum provided an opportunity for civic leaders and their military counterparts to discuss current issues and to exchange ideas about programs and support provided throughout various communities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Scott J. Zobrist (standing), 9th Air Force commander, provides opening remarks during the Headquarters 9th AF Civic Leader Forum April 26, 2017 at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. Zobrist highlighted the 9th AF mission and the importance of civic leaders and their wings’ involvement in their local communities. The forum provided an opportunity for civic leaders and their military counterparts to discuss current issues and to exchange ideas about programs and support provided throughout various communities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick)

Leaders from 9th Air Force wings and the headquarters take a photo with civic leaders from around 9th AF as part of the Headquarters 9th AF Civic Leader Forum April 26, 2017 at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. During the forum, attendees exchanged ideas about programs and support they provide to their respective bases and communities in an effort to share best practices. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick)

Leaders from 9th Air Force wings and the headquarters take a photo with civic leaders from around 9th AF as part of the Headquarters 9th AF Civic Leader Forum April 26, 2017 at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. During the forum, attendees exchanged ideas about programs and support they provide to their respective bases and communities in an effort to share best practices. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Amanda Dick)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. --

Ninth Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Scott J. Zobrist hosted 30 civic leaders, wing commanders and command chiefs from around 9th AF at the 2017 Headquarters 9th AF Civic Leader Forum April 26.

The forum provided a venue for civic leaders and their military counterparts to talk about current Air Force and community issues and to exchange ideas about programs and support provided throughout those communities.

“We are all here with a common purpose,” Zobrist said. “All of you are tied into military affairs whether it is at the community, state or Air Force level. My hope is this [forum] is just the starting point for these discussions.”

During opening remarks, Zobrist spoke about the 9th AF mission and how it relates to the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s focus areas -- revitalizing squadrons, strengthening joint leaders and teams, and improving multi-domain command and control.

“Hopefully, this forum will help you better understand how the 9th AF mission ties into your communities, especially as the Chief of Staff has given us more of a warfighter focus,” Zobrist added.

The forum included individual civic leader presentations where items of interest and best practices were shared.

Additionally, topics such as spouse and dependent employment, education, welcoming of new Airmen and families, taxation and income, support to geographically separated units, and Public-Public, Public-Private (P4) Partnership Initiatives were covered during the forum.

Some items highlighted included the “Adopt-an-Airman program;” a county-base water and waste savings program; an Airmen-student mentoring program to assist with school; and efforts to enhance broadband internet to increase quality of life for Airmen living in less populated areas, to name a few.

During the forum, Zobrist praised the efforts of civic leaders across 9th AF.

“The innovation I’m seeing out of your communities is amazing,” he said. “I’m continually impressed with your creativity … Airmen getting connected with their communities is in everyone’s best interest.

Relationships with local civic leaders enable base commanders to enhance Airmen morale, enrich public trust and support, and demonstrate the valuable partnership Air Force wings can have with their communities.

As the forum concluded, many of the civic leaders expressed their desire to take what they learned and implement it in their communities.

“This forum was an eye opener,” said said Nhu Yeargin, Langley Civic Leaders Association vice president from Hampton, Virginia. “A lot of this we can take back, make improvements in what we do and move forward.”