Naval Air Station Patuxent River extended its Intergovernmental Support Agreement (IGSA) with St. Mary’s County for an additional two years during a joint session between the county and air station Dec. 8. The agreement, signed by NAS Patuxent River Commanding Officer Capt. John Brabazon and St. Mary’s County Commissioner President James R. Guy, allows NAS Patuxent River to work with the county to reduce their operating and capital maintenance costs while developing a culture of mutual support with the local community.
Under 10 U.S. Code section 2679, IGSAs grant military installations the authority to enter into working agreements with state, local, and territorial governments to enhance mission effectiveness and create economies of scale by sharing, providing, or receiving installation support services. They can serve as an alternative to acquisition for any new requirements prior to renewing or renegotiating an existing services contract at the installation level.
Pax River’s IGSA with St. Mary’s County was first signed in December 2018 for a two year period. After several successful projects under the agreement, the decision was made to extend it. “Pax River enjoys a uniquely strong working relationship with Southern Maryland, and our IGSA with St. Mary’s County is the perfect example,” said Brabazon. “We’ve seen a direct and positive impact since entering into an IGSA with St. Mary’s, and this IGSA continues to highlight our ironclad commitment to our community partnerships.”
In fiscal year 2020, the agreement enabled eight completed projects at NAS Patuxent River and saved the taxpayers nearly $1 million in road repair and maintenance. The IGSA streamlines contracting and execution for these projects by leveraging St. Mary’s County’s existing contracts for road maintenance services, which in turn provides NAS Patuxent River greater flexibility in its requests for road repair.
The infrastructure maintenance through IGSA is not simply for aesthetic reasons. Maintaining the roadways and parking lots in a safe condition protects Navy personnel and local government emergency vehicle traffic, improving the utility of the entire installation’s roadway system.
“It may seem minor in the grand scheme of things, but the quality of infrastructure maintenance provided by the IGSA has rippling effects throughout the mission,” said Sabrina Hecht, NAS Patuxent River community planning liaison officer. “The nearly 22,000 employees driving these roads every day means our roads require a lot of regular upkeep. As roads are resurfaced, paved, and maintained on a more regular schedule, wear and tear will occur less often, saving even more money and time. This has the added benefit of allowing existing public works contracts to focus on other types of services.”
An analysis of the IGSA over the previous two years further found a manageable increase in their overall contracts, and no negative impact on local small business as the work is currently performed by county contractors.
A highlight of the previous IGSA between Pax River and St. Mary’s County was the repaving of the Pax River Naval Air Museum aircraft parking apron, which is on federal land maintained by the air station. The repaving, which cost $23,000 utilizing county contractors through the IGSA, would have cost $124,000 utilizing traditional contractor resources outside the IGSA.
Helen Emory, NAS Patuxent River Installation Program Integrator, coordinated the agreement with Saint Mary’s County Department of Public Works, and said the results speak for themselves.
“From the start we’ve seen the IGSA be a win-win for the county and Pax River,” said Emory. “A healthy and well-maintained naval air station has cascading positive effects for everyone working or living on or near, the base. This IGSA greatly benefits the Navy and the taxpayer, strengthens the Navy’s partnership with the county, and boosts the local economy by employing county contractors. St. Mary’s County provides expert road maintenance for county roads through a paving contract, and the installation looks forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in the next two years of this agreement.”