Chamber of Commerce – Military Affairs Council Breakfast

The Military Affairs Council and chamber members met March 13 to receive updates from Fort Bragg to include the Bragg Task Force Commander, Commanding General, 82nd Airborne Division and Commander,  440th Airlift Wing, Pope Field.

Speakers: MG K.K. Chinn – Bragg Task Force Commander, XVIII Airborne Corps & Fort Bragg
Major General John W. Nicholson, Jr. – Commanding General, 82nd Airborne Division
Brigadier General James P. Scanlan – Commander, 440th Airlift Wing, Pope Field

Talking points from MG Chinn:

  • Womack hospital – 128,000 enrollment, the largest army hospital in the U.S. and top 5 premier hospital
  • 8,500 retired last year and predicting the same next year
  • Fayetteville is in the top 5 for a military retirement
  • 2 billion is being spent in construction on Fort Bragg
  • land development, housing development, and noise are becoming an issue on the base – Fort Bragg does not want to see the value of the base depreciating
  • traffic congestion is also an issue
  • the base is partnering with NCDOT on corridors
  • Fort Bragg will be providing fireworks for the 4th of July
  • the All American Marathon being held on May 4 will bring an estimated 20 to 30,000 thousand visitors to Fayetteville. Already, 1,600 people have registered for the marathon
  • the Airborne and Special Operations Museum brought in 165,000 tourist last year, even with sequestration

Talking points from Major Nicholson:

  • 3 priorities for the 82nd – 1) winning the war in Afhanistan 2)winning the next fight 3) building paratroopers

On Afghanistan

  • the Afgan war, which is on it’s 13th year is the nations longest war
  • this war has the smallest percentage of Americans fighting
  • 4 out of 9 infantry paratroppoers are in Afganistan

On winning the next fight

  • working on the next global response mission
  • the 18th and the 82nd are ready to go tonight for any task, anywhere on earth
  • there is an urgency around the globe with other trouble spots
  • 2nd and 3rd brigades are very focused and are ready to go in 96 hours
  • trouble spots in middle east

On building ready paratroopers

  • over 1/2 of the army is married with frequent deployments
  • the 82nd has reorganized from 4 to 3 units and has dropped from 19,500 – 18,500 which is a positive thing

Talking points from General Scanlan:

  • quote from Scanlan –  “I have been around many bases and bar none, I’ve never seen anything like the support we’ve received from you.”
  • the C130’s will be gone by September 2014
  • due to budget constraints, the 440th will be deactivated
  • quote from Scanlan – “Obviously, it was not great news for us.”
  • have to realign missions

Talking points from Doug Peters (president & CEO Fayetteville Regional Chamber of Commerce)

  • quote from Peters – “We can’t let what General Scanlan just talked about happen.”
  • this would mean the loss of 1,200 – 1,600 jobs at a cost of 75 million and will have an economic impact, not to mention employees that operate Pope as well
  • a resolution was approved from the legislative committee of the chamber
  • go to fayettevilleoutfront.com to send the resolution

What’s Next:

In regards to the loss of the 440th – on March 24th a coalition with community/city leaders will take place.  The meeting will be held at the First Citizens Bank (Westwood Shopping Center) at 9:00.

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