State of Fort Sill address
Col. Michael Barefield, chief of Staff, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill, speaks to a more than 100 attendees at the State of Fort Sill address at the Hilton Convention Center Nov. 3, 2023. Attendees included the Lawton Chamber of Commerce members, local business members, city employees from the surrounding area, and local mayors. (Photo Credit: Monica Wood) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT SILL, Okla. (Nov. 8, 2023) — In his State of Fort Sill address to community members, Col. Michael Barefield, chief of staff, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill, highlighted the symbiotic relationship between the post and its neighboring communities Nov. 3, at the Hilton Convention Center in Lawton.

Barefield emphasized that the past, present, and future of Fort Sill are intricately interlinked with the well-being and prosperity of the people residing in Lawton and its surroundings.

Attendees included the Lawton Chamber of Commerce members, local business members, city employees from the surrounding area, and local mayors. Barefield highlighted why Team Lawton/Fort Sill is so important.

“Fort Sill has 9,171 Soldiers assigned (78% of those live in the local communities), we have 6,771 civilian employees (100% live off post), 29,257 family members that work, eat, shop, and go to school in the surrounding communities and 100% of our school aged children in grades 6-12 attend the local schools,” he said.

Barefield emphasized the importance of adapting to evolving threats and maintaining a constant state of preparedness. Fort Sill remains steadfast in its mission to prepare Soldiers for the challenges of modern warfare.

"Fort Sill plays a crucial role in training our Soldiers and ensuring they are prepared for any situation they might face," he said. "Our Soldiers undergo rigorous training that hones their skills and instills discipline, enabling them to defend our nation effectively."

Barefield also expressed gratitude for the dedication and hard work of the military personnel and staff at Fort Sill.

"Our success is a testament to the dedication of our Soldiers and the support of our community," he said.

He commended the collaborative efforts of everyone involved in ensuring Fort Sill's continued success.

During his speech, Barefield outlined the post’s ongoing initiatives aimed at enhancing training programs and modernizing facilities.

"We are committed to providing our Soldiers with the best resources and training opportunities available," he stated. “These initiatives reflect Fort Sill's proactive approach to maintaining its status as a premier military training facility.”

In closing, Barefield reiterated Fort Sill's dedication to its mission.

"We will continue to prioritize the training and preparedness of our Soldiers, ensuring they are equipped to face the challenges of today's complex world," he said.

The speech highlighted the vital partnership between Fort Sill and the local population. As the community continues to thrive, the steadfast commitment of Fort Sill and its personnel to the betterment of Team Lawton/Fort Sill remains unwavering.

See all the photos from the event at https://www.flickr.com/photos/fortsillcannoneer/albums/72177720312413700.