FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Aug. 15, 2013) -- Sustainability, efficiency and partnership were the main focus of Fort Leonard Wood's commanding general before an audience of more than 130 civic leaders of the four-county region (Laclede, Phelps, Pulaski and Texas) surrounding Fort Leonard Wood.

Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, provided his perspective during the Sustainable Ozarks Partnership 2013 Conference Aug. 1, at the Waynesville Career Center in Waynesville.

"When I heard about the Sustainable Ozarks Partnership, I knew that this was a great idea. I wanted to support it," said Smith, who commands the Army's oldest of eight Training and Doctrine Command centers of excellence.

During a time of Army budget constraints, the conference included regional strategies to sustain the region and Fort Leonard Wood.

"Bottom line is that we know that resources are going to be dwindling over time," said Smith. "So we have to figure out, how do we as a community, become more effective and efficient."

Smith cited examples of Fort Leonard Wood's established practices to achieve sustainability, reduce energy consumption, increase energy efficiency and research use of renewable energy sources.

Practices include use of training simulators, eliminating temporary barracks, automatic computer shut down, lighting retrofits, climate system updates, use of solar and geothermal technology and upgrading the wastewater treatment plant.

He said over the last eight years, the installation has achieved cost savings in some areas, but the work to find better ways of managing resources is not over.

"We've really got to figure out how to become more efficient," Smith said. "We have to think about better ways to use wind, solar [power], water, which we have a lot of."

"We've made a lot of progress, but we know there are going to be challenges because we know over time there will be less money," said Smith. "So that's where the community comes in. We need your help as a community to figure out those solutions so we can predict - what we call in the Army, 'lead up' - what needs to happen and get ahead of it."

In addition to change, Smith said we will need to go beyond our installation, region and state to show the unique differentiators that Fort Leonard Wood brings to the table to meet the needs of the nation.

"If you didn't know, we have one-of-a-kind capabilities that exist here, that no other place has, not only in the U.S., but the world," he said. "We have to make sure we leverage those one-of-a-kind capabilities and show people what we do."

Some of those capabilities include: Special Victims Unit training, the Maj. Gen. Paul Timmerberg Forensic Science Training Facility, the Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith Counter Explosives Hazard Center, the E.F. Bullene Chemical Defense Training Facility, and the Lt. Joseph Terry Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Responder Facility, Smith said.

Smith expressed the need for continued support to ensure an excellent quality of life for the Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, civilians and Families who serve our nation.

"We as a community are responsible for each other," he said. "I am invested not only in you, but in your kids, and in turn your kids' kids. Because if we have invested in them, that means the community is better--that means the nation is better by doing that."

The Sustainable Ozarks Partnership is a result of the Army's Integrated Strategic Sustainability Plan to ensure that Soldiers have the land, water and air resources needed to train; a healthy environment; adaptable facilities; and the support of local communities, government officials and the American people.

Page last updated Sun August 18th, 2013 at 00:00