By Dottie White
USASMDC/ARSTRAT Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The Colorado Thirty Group visited U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command’s headquarters here Oct. 27.
The Colorado Thirty Group received a USASMDC/ARSTRAT overview briefing, 1st Space Brigade and 100th Missile Defense Brigade overviews, a Forces Tracking briefing and a demonstration on space kits.
The organization works closely with Colorado-area commanders to assist them in fulfilling their missions and roles by creating better understanding and education between military and civilian leadership throughout Colorado through frequent meetings, briefings and visits.
“Our mission at the Thirty Group is to educate and inform our participants so that we can be better advocates to the citizenry on what our military is doing,” said Don Addy, Colorado Thirty Group chairman. “The other part of our mission is to show support to our military, so that if they have needs that pop up, we can help fill them or we can facilitate solutions. Those two parts of our mission are being fulfilled by this visit.
“We visit all of the commands located in the state every couple of years, so we stay current,” he added. “We haven’t been here since 2013, so we were really eager to get back and hear more about the latest developments. There are a lot of activities going on here that we weren’t aware of, but we are now. That’s why we do what we do.”
Addy said the Colorado Thirty Group is a statewide organization and their visits around the state enhances the pride the group has for all of the facilities in the state.
“This was a great opportunity to share with a group of local citizens the terrific things the Soldiers of the 1st Space Brigade do for the nation,” said Col. Thomas L. James, 1st Space Brigade commander. “It’s a story that I think many in Colorado Springs don’t fully appreciate. To have members of the Thirty Group dedicate time from their busy schedules to visit with the command means a lot to the Soldiers of the brigade.”
The Colorado Thirty Group was established in 1978 with approximately 30 participants. Today there are 167 participants from across the state of Colorado. Participants include representatives from industry, leading area non-profits and civic leaders from communities around the state.
“It’s important that the public understands what their Army is doing in space and missile defense,” said Brig. Gen. Gregory S. Bowen, SMDC deputy commanding general for operations. “Hosting civic leaders like those from the Colorado Thirty Group is a great way for us to get the message out about the Army’s contributions to these two critical mission areas.”
The mission of the non-profit organization is “to educate, inform and foster understanding and cooperation between the civilian community, the government of the United States and the U.S. Armed Forces.”
“We visit other locations,” Addy said. “For example, a group of us landed on an aircraft carrier in August. Back in March, we were in U.S. Central Command and Special Operations Command and then we went over to Cape Canaveral, Florida, and observed a missile launch. About a year ago, we spent a day at U.S. Southern Command, and then we visited with the Coast Guard.
“That’s the kind of thing we do to try to educate and inform our participants so that when they are having friends over or visiting with friends or colleagues or business associates, they are aware and can spread the word about all the great things our military is doing,” he added. “The benefit of being in the Thirty Group is that we know more about our Department of Defense, and that makes us proud of what we have.”