Coastal Georgia was recently named a Great American Defense Community for 2021. The honor is bestowed by the Association of Defense Communities.
The recognition celebrates communities with an exceptional commitment to improving the lives of service members, veterans and their families, according to the ADC.
“We are extremely honored to be selected as a 2021 Great American Defense Community,” said Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown, chair of the Coastal Georgia Military Affairs Committee. “The whole region works tirelessly through programs, initiatives and partnerships to improve the quality of life and mission effectiveness for over 56,645 military professionals, civilians and family members and the 19,214 retirees who make up coastal Georgia’s military family.”
Partnerships and initiatives are core functions of defense communities. They provided direct financial investment in infrastructure that supports the base. Defense communities also provide important services our military families depend upon, including schools, housing, healthcare and other social services that promote a high quality of life.
“The strength of our military starts at home, in America’s defense communities,” ADC President Joe Driskill said. “We selected Coastal Georgia to be part of the 2021 class because they are a region that consistently goes above and beyond to support service members, veterans, and military families living in their community.”
The mission of the ADC is to build resilient communities that support America’s military.
“We are the connection point for leaders from communities, states, the military and industry on community-military issues by enhancing knowledge, information sharing, and best practices,” according to the ADC. “With nearly 300 communities, states, regions, and affiliated industry organizations, ADC represents every major defense community/state in the nation.”
Coastal Georgia is home to Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield and is one of five communities across the country named to the 2021 Class of Great American Defense Communities. The other are Altus, Oklahoma; Everett, Washington; Great Falls, Montana; and the NAS Pensacola & NAS Whiting Field Community. Coastal Georgia is the only Army presence recognized, said Fort Stewart Garrison Commander Bryan Logan.
“It is humbling to be the only Army installation recognized this year as a Great American Defense Community,” Logan said. “Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield would not be a seven-time Army Community of Excellence without the existing partnerships we have established throughout Coastal Georgia. This recognition reinforces our outstanding relationship with our communities outside the gate and we look forward to continuing to build upon those relationships at every opportunity.”
The installation and the neighboring communities are woven together, said Leah Poole, CEO Liberty County Chamber/CVB. The recognition as an ADC proves those bonds.