Roll Tide! Above the Best! Fly Army!

By Brittany Trumbull, Fort Novosel Public AffairsMarch 20, 2024

Mr. Robert Doerer, Deputy to the USAACE Commanding General, and Dr. Stuart Bell, President of the University of Alabama, officially sign an IGSA inside the Army Aviation Museum on Fort Novosel on March 20, 2024.
Mr. Robert Doerer, Deputy to the USAACE Commanding General, and Dr. Stuart Bell, President of the University of Alabama, officially sign an IGSA inside the Army Aviation Museum on Fort Novosel on March 20, 2024. (Photo Credit: Brittany Trumbull) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT NOVOSEL, Ala.--The University of Alabama officially partnered with Fort Novosel for the installation’s first Intergovernmental Service Agreement (IGSA) on March 19 to perform curation support services of the archeological collection and records owned by Fort Novosel.

In 2013, Congress enacted new legislation creating the IGSA allowing the military services to form partnerships with local and state governments for the provision, receipt, or sharing of installation and community support services. Eleven years later, Fort Novosel officially joined the ranks of over 100 installations across the country building these official partnerships.

Many university leaders made the trip from Tuscaloosa to Fort Novosel to attend the IGSA signing ceremony at the Army Aviation Museum on March 19. Among those leaders was the President of the University of Alabama, Dr. Stuart Bell, who shared his commitment to the partnership.

Dr. Stuart Bell, President of the University of Alabama, speaks to a crowd during an official IGSA signing inside the Army Aviation Museum on Fort Novosel on March 20, 2024.
Dr. Stuart Bell, President of the University of Alabama, speaks to a crowd during an official IGSA signing inside the Army Aviation Museum on Fort Novosel on March 20, 2024. (Photo Credit: Brittany Trumbull) VIEW ORIGINAL

“The university is dedicated to ensuring that the treasures of our history are not just preserved but made accessible,” said Bell. “This commitment will undoubtedly enrich the lives of those present and future generations.”

Bell thanked installation leadership and the United States Army for their exemplary service, dedication to duty, and sacrifice to the nation. He ended his remarks with the iconic, “Roll Tide!”

In response to Bell’s commitment, Deputy to the USAACE Commanding General, Mr. Robert Doerer, expressed his appreciation to the University of Alabama. According to Doerer, this IGSA is about building bridges today that link people across generation lines.

Mr. Robert Doerer, Deputy to the USAACE Commanding General, speaks to a crowd during an official IGSA signing inside the Army Aviation Museum on Fort Novosel on March 20, 2024.
Mr. Robert Doerer, Deputy to the USAACE Commanding General, speaks to a crowd during an official IGSA signing inside the Army Aviation Museum on Fort Novosel on March 20, 2024. (Photo Credit: Brittany Trumbull) VIEW ORIGINAL

“In war or peace, Fort Novosel has taught warriors to soar like eagles and defend America’s freedom. On and beneath the land that we launch those aircraft from, lies generations of artifacts and remnants from before us. Even before the dream of flight became a reality,” stated Doerer. “A generation that ignores history has no past and no future. “

In accordance with federal laws, any time the Army begins a project on federal land, proper paperwork and procedures must be completed for anything that is found under that soil. With this IGSA in place, the archeological team from the university will take care of the documentation and storage needed by Fort Novosel. This is a mutually beneficial agreement according to Matt Gage, director of the Office of Archaeological Research at the University of Alabama.

“Before beginning a project, Fort Novosel needs to see if they will adversely affect any archeological sites such as historic properties, churches, cemeteries, or even the remnants of an early slave cabin,” said Gage. “If they are going to put in a new airfield they need to look and make sure they aren’t going to impact or damage any of these sites.”

Gage said that the University of Alabama has informally been aiding in preservation since 1966, but the IGSA addresses a much more formal arrangement between the university and Fort Novosel.

“This saves the Army a lot of space and gives us the opportunity to look at the materials for research and educational purposes.”

After the official signing of documents, the Alabama fight song and Army Aviation song echoed throughout the museum symbolizing the unity of the agreement.

Sgt. 1st Class Jacob Durski concluded the ceremony by uniting the groups with, “Roll Tide! Above the Best! Fly Army!”

A crowd stands during the Army Aviation song during an IGSA signing inside the Army Aviation Museum on Fort Novosel on March 20, 2024.
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A crowd stands during the Army Aviation song during an IGSA signing inside the Army Aviation Museum on Fort Novosel on March 20, 2024. (Photo Credit: Brittany Trumbull) VIEW ORIGINAL
Leaders from the University of Alabama and Fort Novosel stand together during the playing of the Alabama Fight song “Yea, Alabama” after an official IGSA signing inside the Army Aviation Museum on Fort Novosel on March 20, 2024.
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Leaders from the University of Alabama and Fort Novosel stand together during the playing of the Alabama Fight song “Yea, Alabama” after an official IGSA signing inside the Army Aviation Museum on Fort Novosel on March 20, 2024. (Photo Credit: Brittany Trumbull) VIEW ORIGINAL
Lucy Arnold Sikes, assistant vice president for external affairs, thanks Fort Novosel Leadership during exchange of coins between the University of Alabama and Fort Novosel before the official IGSA signing inside the Army Aviation Museum on Fort Novosel on March 20, 2024.
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Lucy Arnold Sikes, assistant vice president for external affairs, thanks Fort Novosel Leadership during exchange of coins between the University of Alabama and Fort Novosel before the official IGSA signing inside the Army Aviation Museum on Fort Novosel on March 20, 2024. (Photo Credit: Brittany Trumbull) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fort Novosel and the University of Alabama leaders stand together before the official IGSA signing inside the Army Aviation Museum on Fort Novosel on March 20, 2024.
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Fort Novosel and the University of Alabama leaders stand together before the official IGSA signing inside the Army Aviation Museum on Fort Novosel on March 20, 2024. (Photo Credit: Leslie Herlick) VIEW ORIGINAL

For more photos of the ceremony head to our FLICKR link IGSA signing with Alabama | Flickr