Members of the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce heard Fort Stewart Garrison Commander Col. Townley Hedrick talk about the installation at the May Progress through People Luncheon Thursday at Connection Church.
He talked about soldiers’ missions and the support the community offers to them and their families.
The luncheon was sponsored by GeoVista Credit Union and the food was provided by the Shell House Seafood Restaurant.
Fort Stewart has an economic impact of $4.9 billion, according to Hedrick.
"And so that’s important to realize and that’s important to know and you guys took that great trip up to D.C. to say, ‘Listen, this is a really important part of coastal Georgia,’ so you know that we are," he said. "And we love being that."
The garrison commander talked about the local support for Fort Stewart, and how it rivaled that of the Fort Campbell, Kentucky, community, which is known for its strong support.
"And I’ve been at several other posts throughout my 24 years, and I really thought nothing would ever really match Fort Campbell. And then I got here for the first time," he said. "And I will tell you that Hinesville is so welcoming and so embracing of your installation, of your soldiers and their families that I tell people I feel more welcomed than Fort Campbell was, and that’s something to say," Hedrick said to applause.
Hedrick also discussed the current overseas regionally aligned forces missions of 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team and 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, where they training with armies in Europe and Africa.
"But you will see that from now through most of 2017, we will be out and back. So you’ll have anywhere from 3,000 and 6,000 soldiers deployed in those rotations," Hedrick said.
For upcoming events on Fort Stewart, Hedrick invited the community to Cottrell Field July 4 for the annual Independence Day Celebration and fireworks show. The event will start at 8:30 pm.