Community Support and Interaction
We actively support our Senior Leaders' and workforce's participation in local boards, committees, and civic organizations, and serving in elected governmental positions as a means of strengthen our relationships with the local communities.
We contribute to improving these communities by strengthening emergency services/preparedness, addressing environmental concerns, supporting local schools, participating in joint planning and the resulting projects, sharing recreational facilities, opening entertainment events to the general public, supporting and/or participating in local community events, partnering with community hospitals, and contributing to charities, and providing speakers for various programs.
We share the potential for contingencies, for example. A fuel spill is as much a concern for the surrounding community as it is for us. We maintain a Spill Contingency Team to ensure any spills are contained. The Garrison maintains safe-haven facilities and service teams in the event of a hurricane. We have mutual fire protection agreements with the Georgia Forestry Commission, the City of Richmond Hill, and Chatham, Evans, Liberty, Long, Tattnall, and Wayne counties.
We also share the environmental concerns of our neighboring communities. HAAF air controllers limit military aircraft right-of-way noise to a minimum, and our recycling center processes recyclable materials from surrounding municipal and industrial sources and local citizens.
We support local schools and communities. Our Adopt-A-School program links Army units with local schools to provide assistance and foster understanding. The Adopt-A-Community program provides the same linkage to local communities.
We provide motivational speakers for Liberty County and Chatham County as part of the Partners in Education program, and share speakers with Bulloch and Glynn Counties in Leadership Development programs.
The PAO also arranges for the 3d Infantry Division Band, various unit color guards, static displays of military equipment, Military Police K-9 dog demonstrations, and culinary arts teams for support of local community events, and TAIR support of local Army recruiting battalions.
We have a formal Joint-Use partnership with Liberty County to share our Wright Army Airfield (WAAF) facilities with the overall intent being to provide efficient and practical airspace procedure to military and civilian aircraft operators at WAAF without compromising Fort Stewart's mission.
Other examples are the partnership between FS/HAAF and the University System of Georgia to offer college programs via local colleges and universities; the Winn Army Hospital partnership with Liberty Regional Medical Hospital in Hinesville and St. Joseph/Candler Hospital in Savannah; our support of the nearest VA hospital, Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin, GA; the new FS Education Center, a joint partnership of FS, Hinesville, and Liberty County, completed in 2004; and the FS Water Sewage Treatment Facility, one of our longest running partnerships involving Hinesville and Liberty County.
Community involvement extends to sharing our recreational assets with local residents. HAAF's Lotts Island Recreation facility was opened to the general public in June 2001 under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the City of Savannah. This partnership allows the public access to recreational areas, deep-water, and a marina. Additionally, two golf courses and three bowling facilities are open to the public. Our golf courses host approximately 50,000 rounds a year and 50 tournaments a year. The Golf Club Professionals conduct free lessons, and have active youth summer programs.
Fort Stewart/HAAF, a sportsman's Mecca, has fishing ponds, river landings, and hunting areas that make it one of the finest outdoor recreational areas in the state. Fort Stewart's Fish and Wildlife Division conducts an annual children's fishing derby that draws children from all over the area.
We also open to the public entertainment activities such as golf tournaments, carnivals, concerts, community marathons and open houses. Such events are well attended. However, community involvement doesn't end with social and recreational partnering. Our commitment to the community is to be a good citizen. The Combined Federal Campaign generates charitable contributions to local organizations, and our Chaplains Office's Toys-4-Tots Christmas gift collection collects gifts for needy children in the local area. And we participate in the American Cancer Society's Liberty County Relay for Life; in 2003 and 2004, the event was held on Fort Stewart. Additionally, a cooperative agreement established in early 1940 regarding cemeteries existing before Fort Stewart was established is still ongoing. We continuously coordinate for individuals and family groups to host annual reunions and visits, place markers, research family records and genealogy.