Story and photos by Pfc. Andrew Ingram
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
Maj. Gen. Joseph Anderson, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, hosted an event to bolster relationships between the leadership of Fort Carson and the Front Range community, March 20.
During the Leadership Fort Carson tour, local corporate and community leaders met with Fort Carson leaders and Soldiers, attended briefings and toured post facilities.
“We invited all of you out here so you could get to know all of us better,” Anderson told the guests during breakfast at the Elkhorn Conference Center. “Most of us on the command staff are new to this community, and a strong relationship with the people of Colorado Springs is very important for Fort Carson.”
During breakfast, guest speaker Kyle Hybl, trustee, senior vice president and general counsel to the El Pomar Foundation, encouraged the guests to build strong bonds between the businesses and people of Colorado Springs and Fort Carson.
“We all do better when we reach out and join together to achieve a common goal,” Hybl said. “This is what Maj. Gen. Anderson is trying to do with this program in bringing everyone out here to introduce everyone to each other and deepen the relationships he already has.”
Following breakfast, the local leaders traveled to the 4th Inf. Div. Headquarters where Anderson engaged them in a dialogue about the future of Fort Carson and its potentially positive impact on Colorado Springs.
The guests then traveled to the Fort Carson Training Support Center where they tested a few of the Army’s training aids.
At the TSC, the local leaders took a turn on a simulated firing range using the Engagement Skills Trainer 2000, watched a group of Soldiers undergo Humvee Egress Assistance Training and learned about Counter-Improvised Explosive Device tactics.
“One of the best parts of the day for me was the hands-on stuff we got to experience,” said Steven Dant, president and CEO of local television station, FOX 21. “I think we really got the flavor of a day in the life of a Soldier.”
Tom Gonzalez, CEO of the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross, said visiting Fort Carson Soldiers at the Robert C. Stack Dining Facility during lunch and Fort Carson Training Area Range 109 left the biggest impression on him.
Conducting a field training exercise in the Fort Carson Training Area, Soldiers from 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., afforded the leaders an opportunity to inspect a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, an M1A2 Abrams tank and up-armored Humvees.
“Meeting with some of the enlisted Soldiers was great,” Gonzalez said. “I loved hearing about their experiences and getting their impression of Colorado Springs and Colorado. It was nice to have the opportunity to get to know them.”
Giving local citizens the chance to learn about the military and experience what Soldiers do on a daily basis highlights the importance of the military to the local community, said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Norman, commander, 7th Sqdn., 10th Cav. Reg.
“We really appreciate these civic leaders demonstrating their interest in what we are doing, because it gives them a window into what their Army is doing, and gives the Soldiers an opportunity to see that the local leaders care about what they are doing,” Norman said. “It is really a concrete example of what we get from the local community.”
“These are very busy and important people, so for them to take time out of their day to see our Soldiers and see what the Army is doing at Fort Carson, is very much appreciated,” he said.
The day ended with tours of the Soldier and Family Assistance Center and Survivor Outreach Services before a ceremony at The Hub.
By inviting local leaders to Fort Carson, the post leadership began relationships that could be beneficial to both the military and civilian community in Colorado Springs, said Jan Martin, President Pro Tem, Colorado Springs City Council.
“I am a native of Colorado Springs, so my whole life I’ve known a lot about Fort Carson and its relationship with the community; but since I became an elected official about five years ago, I have become incredibly interested in Fort Carson,” Martin said. “It was a great opportunity for me to come out and build relationships, and have a chance to hear what the needs are for the Soldiers here. I am looking forward to using these relationships to help meet those needs.”