By Wendy ArevaloJune 26, 2019
FORT KNOX-Ky.- The commanding general of 1st Theater Sustainment Command (TSC) met with community leaders to discuss the command's mission and its impact on the community during a luncheon June 25, 2019 in Elizabethtown, Ky.
Maj. Gen. Flem B. "Donnie" Walker Jr. gave a presentation explaining what a theater sustainment command does, its impact on Army operations and how 1st TSC serves the local community.
The luncheon was organized by Knox Regional Development Alliance. The KRDA supports relations between Fort Knox and the community.
During the presentation, Walker presented a video, a slideshow, and took questions from the luncheon attendees.
He discussed the importance of a sustainment command's mission-from opening a theater of operations, to providing medical supplies, repair parts, food, water, ammunition and fuel-to providing human resources, healthcare, medical evacuation, financial management and the closing up of the theater.
Walker also emphasized one vital part of the mission-establishing and maintaining relationships with key leaders.
"I spend a lot of time engaging with ambassadors and key leaders in these countries-about 20 of them-throughout the Middle East," Walker said. "I leverage our partnerships so I can do things like move ships into their ports, move across their ground lines of communication, fly [aircraft] into their airports, and all those type of things," Walker said.
"You don't really think about it, but all that coordination has to be done before you can put forces on the ground in another country; before we can put engineer blades in the dirt to make a forward-operating base-we have to do all that coordination with their key leadership."
The general also discussed why it's important to form community partnerships at home.
"It's kind of a give-and-take relationship, and it's important that they understand what we do and that we appreciate them," Walker said.
Jim Iacocca, president/CEO of KRDA, said three or four times a year the KRDA invites a senior leader like Walker from Fort Knox to come and speak to community and business leaders.
"I think it's important for the community to know what happens on Fort Knox, and I think it's important for Fort Knox to know what a strong supportive community they have here in the greater Fort Knox region," Iacocca said.
One of the notable accomplishments for 1st TSC is earning the U.S. Army Central Volunteer of the Year award for three years in a row. The command has 62 regularly active volunteers completing over 9,287 volunteer hours in 2018.
In addition, the command has participated in 286 veteran funerals in four states, monthly highway clean-up, Habitat for Humanity and holiday food drives.