LAWTON, OK (RNN Texoma) - Local business and military leaders now have better insight into what is going on at Fort Sill after Thursday’s State of Fort Sill Luncheon.
In his special address, the Commanding General talked about the current operational status of Fort Sill as well as where we will see the installation go in the next few years.
The President and CEO of the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce says the annual luncheon allows members of the community to gain a better understanding about what's happening on the installation.
“This gives us a chance to align our priorities and our focus and it’s important for each of us to know what we’re working on and where we’re going,” said Brenda Spencer-Ragland, President and CEO, Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce.
That was the goal of Thursday’s State of Fort Sill address where the Commanding General spoke to an audience of over 100 city and military officials, military and business leaders, as well as representatives from the non-profit community and the board of realtors.
“We have the education representative here,” said Spencer-Ragland. “So, all segments of society, which is important to all our residents, is represented at this luncheon. So, we’re all hearing the same message and moving forward together.”
During Major General Shoffner’s address, he touched on roughly a dozen topics but he says the Army’s current number one priority is recruiting.
“Army wide we were short by 6,900, last year,” said Maj. Gen. Shoffner. “We did not meet the mission in Oklahoma. In fact, in Oklahoma we didn’t do very well comparatively. I don’t know why that is, but I need your help. I need your help to figure it out and how to get after that.”
He then moved on to discuss the transition of the Reynolds Army Health Clinic to a defense health agency. That was followed by the impact of the legalization of medical marijuana in Oklahoma. “Any use or possession of medical marijuana on a federal installation, to include Fort Sill, remains illegal under federal law,” said Maj. Gen. Shoffner. “We haven’t really had any significant issues with that, but we are cognizant of that. We want to make sure that we are providing a safe and secure environment.”
And you may sleep a little better knowing that the sounds of freedom from Fort Sill will continue to ring through the night.
“You’ve probably heard a lot of artillery lately. That’s going to continue,” said Maj. Gen. Shoffner. “When it’s cold and clear the sound really carries at night. We’re sitting on our porch the other day and we heard the artillery and Carron says, ‘You know, that sounds really good.’ Thanks Carron. I have no idea whether they’re hitting the target but they sure are making a lot of racket.”
Major General Shoffner says they want to hear what’s on your mind and if you have any questions regarding Fort Sill you can join them the first Tuesday of every month at 10:00 a.m. for the Fort Sill Facts Town Hall. To make it more interactive, they now live stream it on Facebook.