Fort, local communities work together for brighter future Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 August 2017
By Shatara Seymour
Public Affairs Office

Partnership and people were topics of discussion during the 2017 Sustainable Ozarks Partnership annual meeting held Aug. 24 in Waynesville.

Leaders from across the state and Fort Leonard Wood shared insights into the meeting’s theme of “Strong Region, Strong Partnerships and Strong Future.”

Col. Heath Roscoe, former Maneuver Support Center of Excellence chief of staff, focused on Fort Leonard Wood and its role in national defense.

“Our purpose can be simply stated as capability and developing that capability for our nation. Forces Command is responsible for the readiness of deployable units. Our purpose at Fort Leonard Wood is to develop people and capabilities that contribute to Forces Command’s readiness,” Roscoe said. “If we do our jobs correctly, we are providing the nation’s operating units with trained and ready Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen who are prepared to perform and lead.”
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Kathy Aydt, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood deputy commander, speaks about the importance of community partnerships during the 2017 Sustainable Ozarks Partnership annual meeting. Photo by Ryan Thompson, Public Affairs Office

He went on to say that, at any given time in some dangerous part of the world, there is a military mission going on, and at the heart of that mission’s success is a Soldier, Marine, a Sailor or an Airmen with a unique capability, a skill, a tool, a piece of equipment that was developed right here in the heart of America — Fort Leonard Wood.

“The purpose of our military is to train, to fight and to win our nation’s battles. Just as today is different than a few decades ago, the future is going to be different, as well,” Roscoe said. “We have people looking out 15 to 20 years ahead and trying to figure out what that looks like. We do know that it is going to be persistent disorder, contested norms, and that we will face violent ideological differences in  contested domains.”

The keynote address for this event came from U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, of Missouri, on today’s defense challenges and opportunities.

McCaskill talked about how  in the National Defense Authorization Act markup, millions of dollars were authorized to make General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital as good as it possibly could be to serve not only the fort, but the entire region for decades to come.

“I’m confident that we will get that $50 million in the appropriations bill,” McCaskill said.

While Roscoe and McCaskill emphasized Fort Leonard Wood’s lines of effort and the defense challenges and opportunities to today’s Army, respectively, Kathy Aydt, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood deputy commander, highlighted the importance of community partnerships.

Aydt talked about several initiatives between Fort Leonard Wood and surrounding community organizations, covering a variety of subjects such as the use of applied robotics in installation and base operations, studying acute traumatic brain injury, and yearlong apprentice  opportunities for career-ready high school students on the Army post.

“This is an example of a community that really values partnership. That has really changed our culture into one of constant communication and constant cooperation,” Aydt said. “It’s about valuing each other and caring about our community enough to build a strong region from strong partnerships for a strong future.”
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 September 2017 )