(June 16, 2015) The National Commission on the Future of the Army visited two cities in North Carolina last week during its first series of meetings outside the Washington, D.C., area.
Commissioners met with military leaders at Fort Bragg June 9, and held an open meeting in Fayetteville, N.C., June 10. They then visited Raleigh, N.C., to hear from National Guard leaders. The panel was created by Congress to examine the right balance of active, Guard and Reserve forces in the nation's future Total Force.
In Fayetteville, city officials and area leaders touted the military instillation as an integral part of the community. Ted Vorhees, the Fayetteville city manager, told the panel that people "in Fayetteville get the Army."
"As you contemplate what size Guard and Reserve components ought to be, and where they ought to be, I can only suggest having Guard and Reserve units all around the country does help give attention and helps Americans understand the importance and be more inclined to support them," he said, according to the Fayetteville Observer.
Also on tap for the day was a discussion over the Army's Aviation Restructure Initiative, which would remove all combat aviation from the Army National Guard.
CW5 Rick Comer, a 30-year veteran of the North Carolina Guard, called the move a "huge risk," according to the paper.
The meeting at the Joint Force Headquarters in Raleigh, N.C., included Maj. Gen. Gregory Lusk, the adjutant general of North Carolina, Maj. Gen. Robert Livingston, the adjutant general of South Carolina, and Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis, the adjutant general of Louisiana.
"The purpose of this initial limited engagement opportunity is to educate and inform commission members that the National Guard is affordable, accessible, ready, and a leader in the homeland providing strategic depth as the combat reserve of the Army," said the North Carolina National Guard on its Facebook page, alongside two photos from the meeting.
The commission's next public meeting is June 18 in Arlington, Va.