A partnership that ensures mission success
By Airman 1st Class Brittany A. Chase, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 11, 2014
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- A small township was founded in 1887 centered around irrigation and the Bruneau Dam. As businesses grew, transforming the township into a full-blown community, the city of Grand View, Idaho, emerged.
Approximately 55 years later, construction began on a base 19 miles northeast of Grand View. A relationship had started that would shape both communities for years to come.
"I came to live in Grand View a little over five years ago," said Tammy Payne, city clerk of Grand View. "We came because the lifestyle out here is wonderful; it's a very tight knit Americana town that loves the military."
For years Grand View watched as the base would come and go but the relationship between the two has never faded.
"I remember when the base was built," said Paul Spang, former mayor of Grand View and 80 year resident. "After World War II the base shut down and didn't open back up until the '50s, where we started our relationship between our city and the base."
This on-going relationship has put many Grand View citizens at ease, knowing they have an Air Force base in their backyard.
"I really appreciate the presence of the base," said Payne. "Not only does it make me feel more secure but I know the whole community feels this way as well."
Having such a partnership proves to have many benefits for the tactical and strategic side of operations.
"Grand View makes us switch between rural and urban environments rather quickly," said Maj. David Cochran, 366th Operations Support Squadron chief of wing weapons and tactics. "This really enables the pilots and the convoy missions to switch from offensive in the country to the more defensive tactics in the rural areas, which helps in the scenarios we play out."
Even though the base has owned the airspace in and around Grand View for more than 30 years, Airmen still try and take the time to communicate their presence with the community.
"Before we start a mission one of our teams tries to go down and touch bases with the local authority," said Cochran. "It helps reassure them that we're not going to go on property or anywhere we're not welcome."
Once the community is told of upcoming missions through the town it's like their own personal air show said former mayor Paul Spang.
"I love hearing and seeing the jets fly over head," said Payne. "It makes my spine tingle every time."
In the passing years the camaraderie between MHAFB and Grand View has continued to grow.
"We are here to show our support and celebrate the presence of the Airmen," said Payne. "We appreciate everything you do, and as a community, we are always here to help in any way."