JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — What do you get when you load a group of Olympia City officials into a brand-new, fully modernized Stryker Combat Vehicle and give them a ride in the rain?
This is precisely what happened April 20, 2022, when Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby, City Manager Jay Burney, Port of Olympia Commissioner Bob Iyall along with Port Executive Director Sam Gibbony and Communications Director Jennie Folglia-Jones, and Olympia's military liaison Tom Jameson paid the Bayonet Division a visit to learn a little more about what we do and how we stay ready.
It was part of a day-long program that began with the 7th Infantry Division’s Volunteer Recognition ceremony, held quarterly to recognize the valuable contributions Families, Soldiers, and Spouses make to the Bayonet Division. The rest of the day was designed to orient 7ID’s community connectors to not only facets of the 7ID mission and purpose, but also the mission and purpose of 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade, Army Materiel Command Logistics Readiness Center modernization yard, and the Lewis Army Museum.
For all of the connectors it was a highly informative day, exposing most of them to aspects of JBLM they were previously unaware. These included 1-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team’s modernization process of trading their old HMMWVs for the new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), and exchanging their legacy Strykers for the new, third general DVHA1 (“Double-V Hull”) variant.
Modernization is essentially adapting how as an Army we fight, what we fight with, and who we are in preparation for future operational challenges. To achieve this, the 7ID and, in this case in particular, 1-2 SBCT is transforming by integrating next-generation technologies and warfighting concepts to enhance the Division’s ability to compete globally, deter adversaries and win on all-domain battlefields.
Discussions at 5th SFAB were facilitated by Deputy Commander Col. Andy Watson, and centered on their mission, which is to train and advise conventional military forces in order to build long lasting trust among like-minded professional military forces. Additionaly, Watson emphasized the point that SFABs like his exist to help establish the United States as the partner of choice in regions of the world that are vital to US strategy.
Wrapping up the day was a tour of the Fort Lewis Army Museum, where museum director Erik Flint, walked the group through the evolution of the U.S. Army’s presence in the Pacific Northwest region since the 19th Century.
By all accounts, the day was a success for the leaders from Olympia.
“Thank you to you and your team for your hospitality and for an amazing day,” said Burney. We had a great time and look forward to future events and an expanded partnership.”
Foglia-Jones also thanked the 7ID team for the experience. “We had a great time and look forward to our continued relationship building,” as did Gibboney who extended invite to Bayonet Division leaders to tour the Port of Olympia.
Jameson, a retired Army Lt. Col., also expressed his gratitude on behalf o the Olympia group.
“Your planning and execution impressed the group and truly helped to increase the understanding of division operations and responsibilities for the city and port leaders. Well done! We are all looking forward to increasing the connection between the division, port and city.”
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