FORT LEE, Va. -- About 30 area business leaders got the opportunity April 19 to learn firsthand about the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps' mission. Members of the Association of the United States Army, who participated in this inaugural community event for the Ordnance School, spoke with instructors and got a rare glimpse behind-the-scenes to see what it takes to develop Soldiers who are tactically and technically proficient in their military occupational specialties.

"America's Army is the strength of the nation, and the Ordnance Corps has dedicated itself to the mission of supporting the Army for 200 hundred years," said Col. Greg A. Mason, Ordnance School acting commandant. "By showcasing some of the training Soldiers receive and explaining the vital missions they perform, we hope to expand awareness and build new relationships with our communities."

Highlights of the event included an overview of the school and its missions and tours of several training areas. Participants had the opportunity to see Soldiers repairing vehicles in the maintenance bays, the metalworking facilities, and try their hand on a state-of-the-art virtual welder simulation trainer.

The outreach effort was designed to help sustain the Army's connection to the public through educational and informational programs. "We wanted them to better understand who we are, what we do and how important their support is to helping us achieve our mission," Mason said.

According to Mason, the tour was a great success and will help to further build relationships with the greater Fort Lee community. The school is planning to conduct another community outreach tour later this year.