SIERRA VISTA — Fort Huachuca is one of only 10 installations that will be recognized at the Pentagon next week for the partnerships it has fostered with the communities that surround it.
The award, announced in mid-November, honors Fort Huachuca for four partnerships that include:
• a partnership with Sierra Vista to provide advanced life saving and basic lifesaving ambulance service;
• a partnership in the Upper San Pedro Partnership to balance the water needs of the region affected by a growing population, without causing unacceptable environmental, economic or social consequences;
• a partnership with the United Service Organization that establishes a permanent USO center on Fort Huachuca which will provide a variety of programs for active-duty service members and their families;
• and a partnership with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management for wildland fuel removal and Mexican Spotted Owl habitat protection in areas that affect the Army’s training mission.
Fort Huachuca has been a cooperative member of the Upper San Pedro Partnership since the late 1990s. Hydrologist Ryan Fitzpatrick said some of the responsibilities include “dealing with surface groundwater and conserving groundwater through recharge projects.”
According to the Upper San Pedro Partnership website, Fort Huachuca has been a “local leader in water initiatives, through a program of conservation and effluent re-use. Fort efforts have resulted in a 35 percent reduction in water consumption on post between 1990 and 2000...”
The fort’s partnership with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management is more recent, starting in 2007, said forester Shane Hall. It was initiated because Fort Huachuca needed help with “prescribed pile burning” and to “protect endangered species’ habitats.”
Tanja Linton, spokeswoman for Fort Huachuca, said the award is significant because it recognizes the installation for “four different partnerships.” She said it also speaks to the level of the relationships between Fort Huachuca, the community, surrounding municipalities and state and federal agencies.
“We’re excited about it,” she said. “We’re being recognized for our hard work.”
The City of Sierra Vista — also a cooperative member of the Upper San Pedro Partnership — has long celebrated its relationship with Fort Huachuca. City Manager Chuck Potucek said the city looks forward to teaming up with the military community in a statement regarding the Community Partnership Award.
“The City of Sierra Vista is closely tied to, and very supportive of, Fort Huachuca and its endeavors to achieve its goals,” Potucek said. “We are glad to have partnered with the Fort in these award-winning efforts and will continue to work toward establishing agreements and joint projects to benefit the Sierra Vista/Fort Huachuca community. Sierra Vista is proud to have Fort Huachuca as part of our community.”
The award will be given to Fort Huachuca and nine other installations at a ceremony Dec. 5, at the Hall of Heroes in the Pentagon. Linton said Fort Huachuca will likely be represented at the Pentagon by the garrison commander or his representative.
Other U.S. Army installations honored with the Community Partnership Award include: the U.S. Army Futures Command, Texas; Camp Humphreys, South Korea; Fort Belvoir and the Community, Military and Federal Facility Partnership of Northern Virginia; Fort Drum, New York; Fort Hamilton, New York; Fort Meade, Maryland; The Montana Army National Guard; The New Jersey Army and National Guard; and the Presidio of Monterey, California.