Governor Bentley Recognizes National Guard on Partnership Award

By: Lori Davis, Digital Content Producer

MONTGOMERY (Governor’s Office) – Governor Robert Bentley on Friday announced that the Alabama National Guard (ALNG) has been selected as one of the recipients of the 2016 Army Community Partnership Awards.

This award recognizes the ALNG for partnering with several state and local agencies in order to consolidate and mitigate expenditures, enhance retention and recruitment and contribute to their Long Range Construction Plans (LRCP). Under the direction and leadership of Governor Bentley and Major General Perry Smith, the ALNG’s partnership initiative is becoming a flagship model for other states to follow.

“General Smith and the Alabama National Guard have developed partnerships that enhance the ALNG’s readiness and sustainability for the benefit of soldiers, their families and the community,” Governor Bentley said. “I am pleased to see their efforts being recognized on the national level, and I look forward to their progress as they lead the nation.”

In conjunction with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), the ALNG has opened armories across the state as operating posts for ALEA officers during times of need, in order to save time and money. The ALNG has also collaborated with Maxwell Air Force Base to convert an underutilized, 45,000 sq. ft. facility into a readiness center. This costs the ALNG virtually nothing more than time and administrative work while simultaneously alleviating the National Guard Bureau (NGB) and the Department of Defense (DoD) of the need for programming and funding of a $17 million Military Construction (MILCON) in the Montgomery area.

“As the Adjutant General of the Alabama National Guard, I have the honor of commanding the best National Guard of any state,” Maj. Gen. Smith said. “Governor Bentley has encouraged our National Guard to look for ways to work alongside other state agencies to bring efficiencies to reality. It is through these partnership efforts that the Alabama Army National Guard has been recognized with the 2016 Army Community Partnership Award.”

By partnering with the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), the ALNG has access to all high school recruiting-aged populations, teachers, counselors and career coaches working in Career Technical Education (CTE) classrooms. In return, the ALNG provides ALSDE with first-class conference space and low-cost lodging at leadership meetings.

Additionally, the ALNG has joined with the Department of Human Resources in working within the foster care system to support 16 to 18 year old at-risk youth who are preparing to age out of foster care. They are providing these young Alabamians with job training assistance, college preparation and Guard career opportunities. DHR estimates that enlisting one person and helping that individual obtain a trade and life skills, will save the state up to $72,000 annually in basic care.

The Army Community Partnership Award Ceremony will be held at the Pentagon on December 6, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.