The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Council (MAC) continues to actively engage in topics vital to ensuring success of our military missions here in San Antonio. An important partner in the state in these discussions is the Governor’s office, and specifically the Texas Military Preparedness Commission (TMPC). Last Thursday, Lori Stinson, Vice President of Military Affairs and Leadership Development, attended TMPC’s second annual Texas Military Summit. Under Governor Abbott’s lead, the event brings together defense community members, military installation commanders, community leaders and local elected officials to discuss ways that communities can support their local installations. This event also serves to share best practices and projects with other communities to increase public-private partnerships and bring in new missions and jobs to communities.
This year’s agenda included welcoming remarks by Kevin Pottinger, Maj Gen (Ret) USAFR, TMPC Chairman, followed by the keynote speaker, Rear Admiral James Bynum, Chief of Naval Air Training. RADM Bynum talked about preserving combat capabilities by thinking differently, encouraging partnerships, and enhancing the awareness of our mission requirements and value. “Taking the message of what we do inside the gates is vital to increasing the awareness of our (military) value to the community, the state, and to the nation,” said RADM Bynum. Critical for the defense of the nation, the 15 major military installations in Texas add $136.6 billion to the state’s economy and support, directly and indirectly, more than 800,000 jobs in communities across Texas.
Other speakers at the Summit included Josh Martin, Chief of Staff for Chairman Mac Thornberry, who relayed messages from the U.S. House of Representatives related to military spending and BRAC plans, highlighting the importance of knowing the difference in the Armed Forces today and in year’s past. The best practice panel, moderated by Steve Bonner, CEO SONRI Corp, included leaders from throughout the state, specifically our very own AACOG Executive Director, Diane Rath, who discussed the relationships that AACOG, JBSA, and other community leaders have established to promote and complete P4 projects, implementation of Joint Land Use Studies, and grants secured to ensure the success of our mission partners throughout the Alamo Area.
Brig Gen Heather Pringle, JBSA and 502d ABW Commander, leads the Texas Commander’s Council, which is made up of the commanding officers of Texas’ military installations. Their mission is to foster cooperation, collaboration, and coordination among the Texas Military installations, as well as work with the State to promote sustainment of military training operations, ranges and airspace. She highlighted the recent DEAAG “wins” for JBSA, as well as relayed other DEAAG benefits for the entire state, a collective $30M cooperative effort in 2016-2017 between the state, local governments, and the installations. Brig Gen Pringle relayed her priorities of creating partnerships and harnessing the creativity of the community and the city’s workforce to find solutions to military needs.
The TMPC is part of the Governor’s Office and advises the Governor and the Legislature on defense and military issues and ways to strengthen the position of Texas military installations in preparation for a potential BRAC and other defense-related issues. The commission is composed of 13 members serving 6-year staggered terms, typically representing an installation in their community.