News: Regional mayors visit Fort Bragg
Story by Spc. Paul Holston
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Regional mayors from across North Carolina cities visited Fort Bragg Wednesday for a Leadership Fort Bragg visit.
Throughout the day, senior leaders from the XVIII Airborne Corps visited with the mayors as they toured various locations across the installation. The visit included interacting with Soldiers at the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade dining facility, demonstrations of training lanes from the Medical Simulation Training Center and hands-on interaction with shooting M2 machine gun simulators and a tactical convoy at the Virtual Training Facility.
The purpose of the Leadership Fort Bragg visit was to introduce regional mayors to Fort Bragg, its Soldiers and families, the mission and operations across the post, how they can better support servicemembers and their families and gain an understanding of present and future economic impact, said Maj. Gen. Clarence K.K. Chinn, commander, Task Force Bragg.
“We wanted to be good neighbors. Some of these mayors have lived in North Carolina their whole lives and have never been to Fort Bragg,” said Chinn. “We wanted to give them an opportunity to see their Soldiers, see how great they are and the sacrifices that they make.”
Honorable Chris V. Rey, mayor of Spring Lake, N.C., said the visit was great, not only for individuals like himself who’ve spent some time in the military, but it reminds him of just how integrated Fort Bragg’s service members are within the community.
“It really was good for my fellow mayors who are familiar with the military, but have not fully understood the grasp of how far reaching the military can be and the impact it can have on the community,” said Rey.
“I’m honored to be here today, and it will be a great story to be told in our community,” said the Honorable John Byrne, mayor of Fuquay Varina, N.C.
“We will have a military appreciation day soon in our city,” he said.
“It gives us leaders a better appreciation for the military and the impact it gives to the economy,” added Rey. “We, as mayors, have got to do more to make sure that we work with the military to make a better community, not only for the Soldiers, but for the Soldier’s families.”
Guests left with a new-found sense of understanding and appreciation of what all servicemembers on Fort Bragg do to help better their communities as well as around the world.
Byrne said there are a lot of tremendous improvements that have been made in the last five years on Fort Bragg and it’s good to know that the military is taking advantage of all of the latest technology to help train, save lives and rehabilitate people.
Guests included Ronald Autry, on behalf of the mayor for the city of Dunn, Honorable William “Bill” Bayless, mayor of Hamlet, Tommy Bolton, the civilian assistant to the Secretary of the Army for N.C., Honorable John Byrne, mayor of Fuquay Varina, Edwin Deaver, board of commissioners for Hope Mills, Honorable Robert A. Farrell, mayor of Aberdeen, Honorable Nancy R. Fiorillo, mayor of Pinehurst, Honorable T. Chet Mann, mayor of Sanford, Honorable Glenn McFadden, mayor of Lillington, Honorable Nancy McFarlene, mayor of Raleigh, Honorable Lee McGraw, mayor of Carthage, David McNeill, Duke Energy district manager, Honorable John K. McNeill, mayor of Raeford, Honorable Steve Morris, mayor of Rockingham, Steven Neuschafer, assistant city manager of the city of Dunn, Honorable Thomas W. Parker III, mayor of Laurinburg, Honorable Chris V. Rey, mayor of the town of Spring Lake, Honorable Nat Roberson, mayor of Fayetteville, Honorable Harold Weinbrecht, mayor of Cary and Honorable Bob Zschoche, mayor of Whispering Pines.