Lauren Malek-
Sat, Jul 17, 2021

Georgia State Rep. Shaw Blackmon and State Senator Larry Walker attended the Georgia Joint Defense Commission meeting at the Museum of Aviation on Thursday, July 15. There, they heard several presentations from the leaders of Georgia military bases.

The presentations focused on strategic community partnerships and different bases working together to improve military operations.

78th Air Base Wing Commander Col. Lindsey Droz stated that out of the 23,405 total personnel on base, civilians make up 14,912 of the people who work to keep Robins AFB running smoothly. She stressed the importance of Robins AFB’s relationships with the community.

“Our impact is felt state-wide, we are incredibly proud of our ties with local communities and those relationships make Robins the absolute best place to live, work and play,” Droz stated. “We couldn’t be more thankful for our community partnerships that allow us to keep our mission to accelerate change and meet the demands of our nation.”

Commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex General Jennifer Hammerstedt echoed Col. Droz’s appreciation for the community partnerships. She explained the base’s educational partners who help develop the workforce that is needed in the Air Logistics Complex.

Programs like dual enrollment for high school students to learn technical skills, shared spaces with CGTC and internships are all utilized by Robins to keep an educated workforce on base.

Robin’s relationship with contractors outside of Georgia was something Sen. Larry Walker said he would be interested in changing..

“It was a very informative meeting. We were proud to host the commission here in Warner Robins, Houston County, and I think we generated a lot of good homework assignments for ourselves and things that we can look into to try and make Georgia a more military friendly state, although we’ve made great strides in the last five years to do that,” explained Walker. “We’ve passed 52 pieces of legislation to make Georgia more military friendly. There’s still more work to be done. Robins Air Force Base has over $6 billion in contract business and yet only about half a billion stays in Georgia, so that’s something I want to drill down on and see if we can’t attract more of those contracts here in middle Georgia and create more jobs here.”

“I think we continue to see at a local, state and federal level what our military means to our respective communities,” said Rep. Blackmon. “Obviously we want to be doing the best job we can do. It’s a national security issue. I think we want to know exactly, and sometimes specifically, what we can do to affect change.”

– HHJ News