By Mollie Miller, 1st Infantry Division Public AffairsMay 12, 2011
FORT RILEY, Kan. - Fort Riley is well on its way to being the Army's premier division-level installation the post's senior commander said May 11 in an update to post and community leaders on the Fort Riley 2015 Campaign Plan.
"We are on the right path," said Maj. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley. "We have accomplished some great things in the past year."
Fort Riley's movement toward the distinction of being one of the Army's best installations comes as post and division officials are busy analyzing the successes of the first year since implementing the Fort Riley 2015 Campaign Plan. The campaign, which finds its focus in making the 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley "first" for Soldiers, Families, the Central Flint Hills Region and the nation, was launched by Brooks in November 2009 to outline the goals that would make the premier division-level installation title a reality.
The Fort Riley 2015 Campaign Plan lays out goals in four areas - resiliency, sustainability, community and Army Force Generation. During the past year, the division, the post and the community were able to realize successes in all four areas.
"We have had a tremendous amount of progress in many areas of the campaign plan and our progress has been faster than I anticipated," Brooks said. "We want to capitalize on the success of the past year and continue to advance the good work that has been done."
Some of the successes realized during the past year include Fort Riley's selection as a bronze Army Community of Excellence; increased training opportunities at the Great Plains Joint Training Center; the opening of a world-class resiliency campus; breaking ground on the new 55,000 square foot Irwin Army Community Hospital; and the sustainment of partnerships with surrounding communities in the Flint Hills Region.
While much has been accomplished in the past year, much remains to be accomplished in the year ahead. During the Wednesday afternoon meeting with post and community leaders, division plans officer Lt. Col. Chip Stewart outlined immediate campaign goals. Included in the goals was the advancement of the division's unmanned systems program; the expansion of the post's Resiliency Campus; the advancement of Net Zero strategies to improve environmental conditions; and the improvement of community relationships by expanding the capabilities of the Flint Hills Regional Council.
Brooks emphasized that none of the goals outlined in the campaign plan could be achieved without the strong support of the Flint Hills community.
"If we don't have the right connection to the community, we can't accomplish any of this," he said.
Geary County Commissioner Larry Hicks said he was pleased with the information he heard during the campaign update and is looking forward to strengthening the county's partnership with the post in the future.
"We want to make certain that we are taking advantage of everything that is happening out at Fort Riley," he said. "We want to serve as an effective partner for the post in the way ahead."
Brooks, who will transfer command of Fort Riley and the 1st Inf. Div. to Maj. Gen. William Mayville a May 25, said that while there will be new faces in the post's leadership positions, the campaign will continue to press forward toward the goals set forth in the plan.
"It is absolutely amazing what happens when people come together and begin moving forward (collectively)," Brooks said. "I am certain that the best is yet to be."