“Proper planning prevents poor performance” – it may be a cliché, but the five P’s of success hold true whether you’re packing for a family vacation or hosting a party. This saying is especially accurate when it comes to facilities planning for our nation’s military bases, where every building is meant to support the warfighter and military families.
Critical facilities – such as aircraft hangars and barracks – are used for armed forces operations and training, or to house soldiers. There are also supporting facilities, such as dining halls in which to eat, schools for children, and utilities to make sure everything has power and plumbing. Think of military bases as small cities; with the same infrastructure requirements and many other similarities.
Installation master planning allows forward thinkers to pull future requirements and mission-essential elements together to lay out how the military can function most effectively and efficiently within the confines of a fence line – defining what buildings and infrastructure are needed, and when they are needed. Planning is also the best way to determine annual budgets for new buildings, renovation of old ones, or determine if it is no longer cost-effective to sustain a building that is past its useful life.
To illustrate the value that military planners can offer, I worked on a project to validate an aviation unit’s facility requirements after they had requested a new hangar on a base. My team inspected the existing hangar and found that it wasn’t in poor condition or not up to the aviation requirement – actually, it was filled with workout equipment. We told them they didn’t need a new hangar, they needed a GYM!
This kind of requirements validation usually occurs on a five-year cycle, but while the Department of Defense has strict criteria to determine and specify facilities spaces to ensure that spending does not get out of hand, many command leaders still see an opportunity to display wish lists. Installation planners adhere to firm requirements for each function on a military base to make sure that money is allocated properly for the life, safety, and welfare of our troops and to guarantee they remain mission-ready – after all, they are custodians and stewards of taxpayer money.
Markon is currently working on installation master planning engagements for DoD – it is a critical component of our military’s success, so we developed a consulting practice to support it. Our planning practice also supports capital facilities program development, asset management, feasibility studies, strategic facilities planning, and change management.
This blog post was written by Ryan Wing, Associate with Markon Solutions.