Fort Benning Commander addresses local leaders

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Maj. Gen. Eric Wesley, the Commander of the Maneuver Center at Fort Benning, was among those who addressed a meeting Wednesday night hosted by the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce.  Gen. Wesley calls the relationship between the community and Fort Benning indispensable.

“The key thing is a relationship with the local community enables readiness and to a certain degree the army’s economic vitality,” he said.

Fort Benning lost a brigade due to the Army’s downsizing, but Gen. Wesley says he expects the army to grow in the future.

“What we want to do is be postured for that.  We don’t want to wait until the army starts to grow to posture Fort Benning so, we’re doing things necessary now to task we have to get accomplished to enable the return of a brigade when the Army grows sometime in the future,” he explained.

He says China, North Korea, and Iran are some of the nation’s biggest threats.

“Russia right now.  I think the Chief of Staff of the Army is already stated that it’s our greatest existential threat that we have right now so, what we do is we identify that and we plan for it and we prepare for it and we build an army against it,” Gen. Wesley said.

He says Fort Benning needs the relationship with the local community to continue to through planning efforts for challenges on the horizon.

“We’ve got a long legacy of the relationship with the Chattahoochee Valley region.  What we want to do is build on it and enable that relationship to prepare us for what’s coming,” Gen. Wesley said.

He says he plans to be ready to welcome back an Armored Brigade Combat team by at least 2022 if the decision is made to expand.

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