Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri – March 21, 2017 – The Sustainable Ozarks Partnership (SOP) was pleased to share with its 400 members and many stakeholders the U.S. Army’s announcement that approximately 4,500 additional Soldiers will attend basic combat training on Fort Leonard Wood in Fiscal Year 17.
“We are excited to see the Army take advantage of the capabilities and capacity that exist at Fort Leonard Wood to accommodate the increased BCT training load. It is great to know that over each of the next six months an average of 750 additional Soldiers will be welcomed into the Army at Fort Leonard Wood,” said SOP Executive Director Kent Thomas.
As recognized last year by the Association of Defense Communities, the Fort Leonard Wood Region is a “Great American Defense Community” that welcomes the opportunity to increase its stake in the national defense of our country by supporting service men and women who work and train at Fort Leonard Wood along with their families.
As part of its strategy, the SOP works to strengthen the region in support of Fort Leonard Wood and strives to build on the strength of the Army’s premier training post, and its potential to be an enduring installation, with opportunities to grow through expanded or new missions
Over the past several years, the SOP has led many initiatives aimed at fostering the region’s continued commitment to national defense and advocating for regional development, as well as FLW sustainment and growth. There have been many collective and important successes to include work with the region’s Congressional Delegation toward retention and growth of FLW missions; improvements in K12 Education programs; advocacy for improvements in regional healthcare; better transportation and access to the region through airport improvements; national recognition for the FLW region; enhanced quality of life for military members and veterans and great state legislative support of the military in Missouri.
The SOP is also focused on community partnerships with FLW and analyzing regional economic and workforce impacts associated with FLW.
In realizing the importance of community partnerships with FLW, the SOP along with 20 other elected leaders and regional stakeholders signed a partnership charter with the FLW Garrison Commander. The charter established a formal process for FLW and the communities to identify and pursue partnership agreements aimed at reducing overall Department of Defense operating costs at FLW.
The SOP is also currently conducting a comprehensive analysis of regional economic and workforce impacts of recent and potential future personnel reductions at Fort Leonard Wood on behalf of the cities of St. Robert and Waynesville. The SOP will be developing mitigation strategies that can be used as a tool for locally elected officials and regional stakeholders in guiding policy and strategy.
“The SOP believes that FLW is a vital national asset and that the region is an excellent place for people to live, work and play and for businesses to prosper. Our members and stakeholders remain committed to focusing regional, state and federal stakeholders on the long-term sustainability of FLW and the four-county region surrounding the installation,” said Thomas.
The Sustainable Ozarks Partnership is building on the Fort Leonard Wood Region’s strong past and preparing the region for a healthy, resilient future. We are a nonprofit organization working to bring all of the region’s stakeholders to the table to drive regional development and advocate for new or expanded military and federal missions, all as part of our efforts to strengthen the Fort Leonard Wood region.