More than 400 people representing businesses and local, state and federal government agencies from across the United States converged in San Antonio, Texas, Feb. 14-16 for the Association of Defense Communities' Winter Forum.

The purpose of the conference is to come together and discuss how all of these groups can partner and look for solutions as installations continue to look for efficiencies and innovations, said John Armbrust, ADC president and the executive director of the Kansas Governor's Military Council.

"We are well represented," added Armbrust. "It is not just the defense communities, but we also have the private sector and OSD (Office of the Secretary of Defense) ... it shows the value of coming together and talking and addressing the challenges we all face."

The conference included close to a hundred speakers to include Dr. Craig College, deputy assistant chief of staff for installation management, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, and Joseph Calcara, deputy assistant secretary of the Army (installations and housing), the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment.

"This morning was all about partnerships and how we can get more services for less cost," said College.

He explained the Feb. 15 afternoon session focused more on the anticipated budget reductions and how partnerships can help address the shortfalls.

"Here is the challenge: how can we maintain the Army and take care of Soldiers while meeting budget reduction requirements," said College. "The difficulties we (the U.S. Army) are facing are the same difficulties cities and counties have been facing."

Stan Scott, Military Projects Manager, Virginia National Defense Industrial Authority, Richmond, Va., stated that installations and communities need to be collaborating closely for long-term planning.

"The key thing has to be a much, much closer planning process," Scott added.

ADC is an organization that serves defense communities across the nation. It has 1,200 members and serves as a voice for communities and states with military presences. For more information about ADC, visit www.defensecommunities.org.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16