Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber welcomes 7ID CG to Military Affairs Forum
January 28, 2013
Spc. Glen Shackley
7th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
JOINT BASE LEWIS MCCHORD, Wash. - Maj. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division, met with nearly 70 members of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce at a Military Affairs Forum, Jan. 16, in downtown Tacoma. The chamber invited Lanza to represent the 7th Infantry Division as a guest speaker for the event.
Lanza discussed how I Corps and 7th Inf. Div. will play roles in rebalancing military focus to the Pacific; the strategic importance of Joint Base Lewis-McChord; and how 7th Inf. Div. soldiers are staying connected with surrounding communities.
In support of the president's new military strategy, I Corps will shift focus to the Pacific Rim in order to strengthen capability and build the capacity of Pacific allies and partners.
The command realignment of five brigades formally under I Corps control, consisting of more than 18,000 soldiers, "frees up" I Corps to shift to the Pacific, said Lanza, while allowing the division to provide trained, ready, and disciplined brigades prepared for deployment in support of combatant commanders.
Lanza stressed the importance of continued, strong military and community connections, which have proven beneficial for all.
To date, Joint Base Lewis McChord is home to more than 46,000 service members and contributes more than $6 billion per year in economic impact. Connecting soldiers to the community is crucial to the success of JBLM and the South Sound Community, emphasized Lanza. It is important that resources and information are readily available to, both, the soldier and the surrounding community.
Lanza noted that approximately 45 percent of off-base and 25 percent of on-base personnel would like to stay in South Sound after transitioning out of the Army.
"We want to participate in your PTAs, coach your youth sports teams, and add value to the communities we live in," he added.
Quoting Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Raymond Odierno, Lanza thanked the members for their support of the JBLM community, saying "the strength of our Nation is our Army, the strength of our Army is our soldiers, the strength of our soldiers is our families, and the strength of our families is the community they live in."