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Gate at Fort Benning

Background

The relocation of the U.S. Army Armor Center and School from Fort Knox, Kentucky to Fort Benning, Georgia/Alabama transforms Fort Benning into the Maneuver Center of Excellence (MCoE), becoming the installation that trains more soldiers than any other installation in the U.S. Army. More than half of all initial entry training in the U.S. Army will take place at Fort Benning. With the establishment of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, Fort Benning is one of the Army's major initial entry training installations, training all infantry, armor, and cavalry soldiers in basic and advanced combat skills, as well as airborne soldiers and rangers.

All things related to preparing and equipping the ground‐gaining forces -including weapons, equipment, vehicles, tactics, research, and training simulations- will either be defined or approved through Fort Benning's MCoE organization. The mission of Fort Benning is to provide trained, agile, adaptive, and ready soldiers and leaders for an Army at war, while developing future requirements for the individual soldier and maneuver force, in the process of providing a world-class quality of life for soldiers and Army families. Fort Benning has the mission to study, test, and develop future infantry and armor doctrine, weapon systems, ground combat vehicles, robotics, tactics, techniques, and procedures. In addition, Fort Benning supports the training of deployable units stationed at Fort Benning from the U.S. Army Forces Command and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. Fort Benning comprises 181,275 acres.

Several combined defense actions have resulted in mission growth at Fort Benning. As a result of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), Global Defense Posture Realignment (GDPR), Overseas Contingency Operations support, and Grow the Army (GTA) actions, Fort Benning’s installation population expanded by approximately 4,250 active duty and civilian personnel as of August 12, 2011. Mission growth also has resulted in 4,800 defense contractor positions located at the installation. The indirect impact of Fort Benning’s mission growth is estimated to add more than 22,000 people to the region’s current population.

Community Response

The Valley Partnership Joint Development Authority (VPJDA) is the growth management organization coordinating the regional response to Fort Benning’s growth. A key to the VPJDA's success coordinating the regional response has been its ability to organize participation from all affected jurisdictions, including all of the 10 member counties and two states (Georgia and Alabama) that define the Fort Benning mission growth impact area. In April 2009, the VPJDA's regional growth management plan (RGMP) was completed, describing steps each of the regional partners may take both to adjust to Fort Benning's growth impacts and to take advantage of the economic opportunities that growth brings.

The VPJDA continues to implement recommendations from its RGMP. This implementation activity is facilitated in three primary ways: communication and coordination between VPJDA jurisdictions and Fort Benning on all civilian-military issues, targeted urban and rural development technical assistance to VPJDA jurisdictions by the VPJDA’s Regional Planner, and through continual, robust outreach to VPJDA jurisdictions.

To view the community's 2009 Mission Growth Profile, click here.

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