Representatives from Fort Belvoir Garrison and some of its mission partners met last week at the O’ Club, for a quarterly update.
Programs and Partnerships
After a briefing from Col. Michael Greenberg, Garrison commander, Mike Coleman said the Commonwealth of Virginia is interested in growing the military mission in Virginia and maintaining existing programs. Coleman, the military liaison for the state’s veterans and defense affairs, said the state’s economic impact from defense dollars is more than $102 billion.
“Fairfax County gets more defense federal dollars than Florida does,” Coleman said.
Coleman suggested Belvoir partners enter into agreements collectively, which streamlines the process and can mutually benefit all agencies and programs involved.
“There are possible partnerships, not just for services, but for purchases, too,” he said, adding the commonwealth is willing to speak with Belvoir mission partners about requests and ideas.
Gates Close, Open
Frank Hentschel, the garrison’s director of emergency services, announced Walker Gate will close for bridge repair around the same time that Lieber Gate will open, which is tentatively scheduled for late spring/early summer.
Greenberg thanked the workforce for their patience during improvements, changes and increased random security measures at Belvoir’s gates.
“An inconvenience of 12-18 months will provide us an incredible, long-term benefit,” Greenberg said.
State VA and Schools
Another addition coming to Belvoir later this year is a dedicated veterans’ office on post. Norris Henderson, also with Virginia’s veterans and defense office, said the new facility on Belvoir will include expert information about health-care benefits; VA disability and pension; and survivor, education and home-buying benefits that are available. Belvoir is the location for the state’s 33rd veteran’s office.
George Dickson, MWR director, introduced the partners to school liaison officers, Wendy O’ Sullivan and Jamie Albers. He encouraged agencies to work together and engage with the school liaison officers to increase youth engagements and shape their futures via mentorships.