ATLANTA, GA – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today held his second annual Strategic Military Advisory Group meeting. Senator Perdue was joined by former Secretary of the Navy William L. Ball, III, Major General Arnold Punaro, former Staff Director of the Senate Armed Services Committee under then-Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA), and leaders from each of Georgia’s military communities.

“Georgia’s role in our national defense cannot be overstated,” said Senator Perdue. “Today, we brought together community leaders from each of our nine military installations for our second annual Strategic Military Advisory Group meeting. We discussed how each base is innovating to meet the needs of our 21st century warfighters and combat global threats, as well as ways to further Georgia’s critical role in our national defense. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and former member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I value this feedback. I appreciate these community leaders taking the time to share their thoughts and ideas, and for all they do to support our women and men in uniform and their families.”

Governor’s Defense Initiative: “It is very timely for Senator Perdue to convene a roundtable with local leaders and officials from Georgia’s defense communities. He has become a key member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which has recently completed action on the National Defense Authorization Act for next year and which bolsters defense spending across each of the services significantly. He also has been closely advising the Secretary of Defense and the White House on national security issues. It was very helpful for all of us to gain the benefit of his perspectives on issues and future plans impacting the men and women who serve in Georgia, and who deploy around the world from installations and major commands operating in our state.” –William L. Ball, III, Director, Governor’s Defense Initiative and former Secretary of the Navy

Major General Arnold Punaro: “Georgia’s military ties and contributions have been, are now, and will be in the future essential to a strong national security. This event and Senator Perdue’s priorities clearly show that he understands the vital link to Georgia bases’ long-term viability. Georgia only lost bases in one of the five previous BRAC rounds, and even then we walked away with a net increase of 5,200 jobs. This is a testament to the vital role Georgia plays in our national security, as well as to the hard work of local and state leaders advocating for their communities. It is also a testament to the importance of continually assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each of Georgia’s bases, as Senator Perdue has brought us together to do.” –Major General Arnold Punaro (USMC, Retired), former Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee under then-Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA)

21st Century Partnership: “Robins Air Force Base and Georgia’s eight other military organizations are a bedrock of Georgia’s economic success and more importantly, the lynch pin to our nation’s defense strategy. We are sincerely grateful to Senator Perdue, and our entire congressional delegation, for their tireless efforts in preserving and enhancing our installations and the overall defense of this great nation. The missions we have here in Georgia represent the best of our country and the workforce they produce strengthens all industries in Georgia. This event is a wonderful opportunity to move Georgia forward by strengthening our cutting-edge missions and the communities that support them. We are honored to have been invited and enjoyed a fruitful discussion with our counterparts on how we can expand the national defense impact both inside and outside the installations.” –Chrissy Miner, President & CEO, 21st Century Partnership 

Albany Area Chamber of Commerce and Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission: “Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany is vital to the readiness of the U.S. Marine Corps, and critical to the economy of Albany and Southwest Georgia. We appreciate Senator Perdue’s partnership in strengthening Georgia’s military communities.” –Bárbara Rivera Holmes, President & CEO, Albany Area Chamber of Commerce and Justin Strickland, President, Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission 

Cobb Chamber of Commerce: “I want to thank Senator Perdue and his staff for their continued focus and dedication to support Georgia’s military bases and for hosting this important Strategic Military Advisory Group meeting. While we in Cobb are most focused on supporting the mission of Dobbins ARB, the Atlanta region’s only U.S. military installation, we always appreciate the opportunity to work with and learn from our fellow military community partners around our state. Georgia’s bases are huge economic development assets and the Cobb Chamber thanks Senator Perdue for the active role he has taken to support and protect Dobbins ARB and all of Georgia’s military installations.” –Sharon Mason, President and CEO, Cobb Chamber of Commerce

CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon: “Georgia and the entire Fort Gordon Cyber District region is blessed to have such a strong military presence. We want to thank Senator Perdue for always being a strong advocate for Georgia’s military installations. The Alliance for Fort Gordon is blessed to advocate for Fort Gordon. Fort Gordon is a globally-engaged, multi-mission, multi-service military installation providing support across the wide spectrum of training, operational, and sustainment missions.  The installation is home to the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, a single Army institution responsible for the full Doctrine, Organizational, Training, Material, Leader & Professional Development, and Facilities (DOTMLPF) across the Army’s Cyber, Signal, and Electronic Warfare career fields, the National Security Agency–Georgia, and future home of U.S. Army Cyber Command Headquarters (Summer 2020). Thank you, Senator Perdue, and thank you to the outstanding men and women of our military!” –Dr. Tom Clark, Executive Director, CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon

Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce: “The Department of Defense impacts Georgia in excess of $20 billion a year. In the Columbus Region, Fort Benning provides an annual financial impact of some $4.8 billion. While this is important, the way our community embraces service members and their families is even more important. Like he did last year, Senator Perdue has provided an opportunity for various defense partners to discuss lessons learned, successes, and best practice strategies on a number of topics, such as teaming, contracting instruments, BRAC preparation, drawdowns, and mission growth. Today’s meeting provided a venue to exchange ideas about how we, in concert with our local, regional, and national leadership, can better collaborate and positively impact Georgia’s role in our national defense.” –Brian Anderson, President and CEO, Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce

Southeast Georgia Friends of Fort Stewart and Hunter: “Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield is touted as the Army’s Premier Power Projection Platform on the East Coast. This Army Community of Excellence Award Winner will continue to provide unmatched service to the nation. The Southeast Georgia Friends of Fort Stewart and Hunter organization greatly appreciates all the assistance Senator Perdue, his staff, and the other members of the Georgia delegation garner from the federal government to assist the base and the local communities. We are always happy to sit down and discuss with the delegation and our counterparts at other installations ways to make things better.” –Paul Andreshak, Executive Director, Southeast Georgia Friends of Fort Stewart and Hunter

The Camden Partnership: “I can’t express my gratitude to Senator Perdue enough for bringing together all the individuals who advocate for the military installations across Georgia. It is so important to talk with one another and ensure that each of us are doing the best we can to support our bases. The mission at Kings Bay is a top issue for the Defense Department. We need to do all we can to support that mission. In Camden County, Kings Bay is by far, the largest employer. An economic impact study done just a couple of years ago showed that the base brings in $1.142 billion in total economic output. That same study tells us that 20% of Camden County’s population is linked to a military retiree. Having Kings Bay in our community has made us all more aware that our freedom comes only from the courage and resilience of our military. We must, as a state, do everything we can to support them.” –Sheila McNeill, President, The Camden Partnership