South Dakota School of Mines students are helping to enhance Ellsworth's combat readiness.
As part of a Community Partnership Initiative signed Thursday, Mines students will collaborate with the 28th Bomb Wing on projects that are aimed at enhancing combat readiness.
Projects could include everything from design ideas for bomber missions to performing joint medical drills in preparation for the 75th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
Base leadership calls this new partnership a "win win" by fostering community involvement and allowing Mines students to get practical experience.
Lt. Col. Susan Lynch, Commander of 28th Communications Squadron says, "This is a very exciting time for both the Air Force and the community. We are one of 13 bases across the nation that are actually part of this initiative, so we are setting the stage for mutual partnerships to come."
SDSM&T Industrial Engineering Professor Dean Jensen added, "These students are working and learning at the same time, so for very little cost, the military gets the benefit of some of the ideas and cutting edge technology these guys use."
Other partnerships have already begun.
This past fall, School of Mines Industrial Engineering students aided the 28th Civil Engineering Squadron in the planning stages to transform an outdated aircraft hanger into a recreational facility.