ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- Thirty-three Delaware leadership fellows gained insights into how the Army is transforming the region into a center for science and technology March 12 during a visit to Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Delaware Leadership, Inc. is a leadership program offering a series of issue-oriented forums and experiences, "based on the belief that knowledge is a key element and prime motivator of leadership," according to the organizations Web site.

The participants met with Army officials, learned about Aberdeen Proving Ground operations and toured the installation.

"From a policy leadership perspective, I'm overwhelmed by how aggressive the Army is being in the transformation process," said Andrew W. Staton, Delaware businessman and leadership fellow. "Obviously they are using both resources and dollars, and integrating them to make the mission a little bit more efficient ... I'm sort of impressed that the Army has thought a lot about that."

The leadership fellows listened to various briefings and asked questions. The visit to the Army installation is just one event during their 10-month program. Leadership Delaware, Inc. recruits and mentors people who have the "capacity, desire and the courage to seek and excel at community, non-profit, political, professional and corporate leadership," officials said.

Staton said his participation in Leadership Delaware, Inc. is a great experience. "It's a segment of folks who hope to have a significant impact on a variety of levels in Delaware including business, non-profits, policy, potentially politically and leadership opportunities."

Most of the group's Aberdeen Proving Ground orientation focused on the future of the region and how the installation is transforming the area into a science and technology powerhouse.

"More than 70 APG organizations are involved in research and development in support of our national interests," explained Col. Orlando Ortiz, U.S. Army Garrison-Aberdeen Proving Ground commander.

Ortiz said the Base Realignment and Closure process is bringing more than 8,000 high-tech jobs to the region. "The government is investing more than $1 billion in construction to support the transformation."

In January, the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command partnered with the University of Delaware to further science and technology goals for both organizations. "It's all about an exchange of ideas and innovation," said Robert DiMichele, RDECOM spokesperson.

DiMichele detailed how Army transformation is turning the installation into the center for science and technology. "All the members of our team are focused on making our Soldiers strong and America safe."