TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – If I asked you what your plans are for next month, would you be able to answer? A year from now? How about in the next 25 years? That’s exactly what I asked Travis and community leaders to think about last November. Over a three-month period, we developed a 25-year vision for the base that was complementary, compatible and contiguous with our partners in the local area.
In 2018, as the base passed its 75th Anniversary, we were at a unique moment where we could collaborate and conceptualize a future that would both extend the installation’s planning horizon for 25 years as well as optimize Travis’ strategic ability to project American power…anytime, anywhere. In what is now 24 years, Travis will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary and it was only fitting to call this project the “Travis 100.”
We looked at future operations, upcoming technologies, household demographics and environmental factors. We even looked at how Airmen spend their time off and how they want to commute to work. After much deliberation, we categorized the “Travis 100” into four groups of objectives. We created goals for the on-base community, the installation, the airfield and a large vacant area on base we call the Northwest Development Area.
Goals for the installation include constructing an expeditionary beddown location to continue to support military contingency and civil emergency organizations (re: natural disaster response); and to develop as well as execute long-term plans for energy resiliency (could we produce our own renewable energy?).
Airfield goals prioritize accurately accommodating aircraft parking space, building new munitions/holding facilities and constructing a parallel taxiway that would increase our operational capabilities. This taxiway is pivotal in allowing high throughput operations to support the National Defense Strategy…no matter the state of our expansive airfield.
Goals within both the on-base community and for the Northwest Development Area center on quality of life initiatives. For example, can we work with our base partners to provide alternate forms of transportation for personnel or construct multi-family living quarters that are walkable to restaurants in the community?
We realized that if we are to retain the best Airmen in our service, we would need to invest in and plan for a shared future; it is part of our service as Travis leaders to think beyond just the two-year command tour the Air Force affords us.
At the top of the plan that I sent to our commanders and superintendents earlier this year, I included a quote from Walt Disney: “First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And finally, dare.” The “Travis 100” doesn’t lay out exactly how we will achieve our goals nor does it make any guarantees. What it does, however, is influence our short- and medium-term planning decisions, to include the installation development plan and budgetary/land use priorities. We must think of a Travis AFB that isn’t ham-strung to a five-year planning period. When working on a task, instead of saying to ourselves, “That’s the way we’ve always done it,” we must now say, “How might we reimagine this project?”
In 24 years, I’ll be long retired, as well as your entire command team. Most of you will be, too; but, when you return to the installation in 2043, the transformation that began during your time here should make you proud. “Travis 100” is your legacy. Take it. Own it.