From the Desk of Fighter Country Partnership,
We are excited to unveil a new initiative within the operations of Fighter Country Foundation…the new “Luke Forward” campaign. As FCP and FCF continue forward with sustaining its important role of providing programs and services that are geared towards Morale and Well-Being, Culture & Tradition and Mission Sustainability, we will also add to the resume of supporting “facilities” on the base directly.
We recently got word from the Department of the Air Force that our request to “renovate Luke Fire House #1” has been approved, which has been an internal initiative for years in the making. This is an unprecedented event, and with most things FCP and FCF do, it hasn’t been done anywhere else in the country. There are plenty of public-public/public-private relationships across the country that are “mutually beneficial” relationships between an installation and a third party, but the fact that our offer to the Air Force is simply a “gift” is what sets us apart. This initiative exists simply “because we want to do it.”
Luke Fire House #1 is a community asset just as much as it’s a Luke asset. Luke’s first responders answered over 200 calls outside the fence line last year by being a part of the Automatic Aid Response Program, and over 300 calls in 2013. If you have been reading our articles, then I don’t need to educate you that the military budgets are continuously declining and sequestration has added to the challenge. It isn’t that Luke doesn’t want to renovate their fire station; it’s more like they can’t, and rightfully so.
Luke’s primary mission is to train the world’s greatest fighter pilots while deploying mission-ready warfighters. As they focus on that mission, the items that are “mission critical” are going to get their attention prior to other items, like a renovation request.
This is where FCP & FCF become very unique. We work with senior leadership at Luke AFB to first ensure they like the programs we wish to initiate, and then we charge ahead. We know Luke wants to renovate its firehouse, but a few cracked tiles and some torn carpet don’t stop our top-notch firefighters from accomplishing their mission. The fact of the matter is this if we want to see Luke Fire House #1 get renovated…we need to do it, so we are.
It is a simple project; with the main emphasis being a new kitchen and eating area. The total project cost is approximately $200,000, and we need to thank Butler Design Group, Willmeng Construction and LaneTerralever for the donated efforts they have contributed thus far. The collaborations and partnerships FCP & FCF have to work with allow projects like this to be completed way under budget because we can ask for things to be donated or reduced, and the military can’t operate in that fashion.
Now that the “Offer of Gift” has been approved, FCF can now officially move towards raising the funds. This initial Luke Forward project will prove lots of things. It will prove to us that we can do it. It will prove to the community that we can do it. But most importantly, it will prove to the military that we can do it!!! We will document our progress and continue to report back. This is just the start of many projects that Luke Forward can focus on, but let’s walk before we run. And WALK PROUDLY!!!!