Defense team update

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The defense team arrived in Washington, D.C. with 25 members, the largest of the chamber’s five teams. The team included representation from our military bases and installations and community and county leaders. We spent two productive days in the Pentagon discussing issues with the Air Force, Army, Missile Defense Agency, the DoD Office of Economic Adjustment and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.

Issues ranged from Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), with particular emphasis on the growth of Fort Carson, current service missions, rate of deployment, force restructuring, housing privatization, today’s soldier, Tricare challenges and other issues.

Several key people addressed our team: the Air Force vice chief of staff, Gen. John Corley; the Under Secretary of the Air Force, the Hon. Ron Sega; BG Keith McNamara, deputy director, Missile Defense Agency (MDA); command sergeant Major Neil Ciotola, 3rd Corps; Geoffrey Prosch, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Army (installations and environment), Fred Kuhn, deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for Installations; Kathy Ferguson, deputy Air Force civil engineer; Patrick O’Brien, director, OEA.

We also had an opportunity to tour the Army Operations Center and visit the Memorial and Chapel in the Pentagon dedicated to those who died in the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon.

The day with the Legislature on Wednesday was exceptional. We found strong support from our congressional delegation for our military.

Brian A. Binn

President, Military Affairs

Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce