The Association of Defense Communities (ADC) national summit provided an important opportunity to exchange information and hear directly from national defense leaders such as U.S. Sen. James Inhofe and Secretary of the Army Mark Esper. An audience member asked what the attendees could do for the Army and Secretary Esper responded to hire military spouses. The good news is that KRDA and Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs (KCMA) have been working on several programs to increase spouse employment around Fort Knox and across the Commonwealth. In fact, Kentucky is one of just a handful of states that do offer reciprocity of licensure for various skills for military spouses.
Additionally, the Secretary commented that when they look at resourcing various military posts they consider the quality of life for the whole family which consists of education, employment opportunities, medical care and housing – the Greater Fort Knox Region is in great shape on all these accounts and getting better. In fact, the Secretary sent a letter to Gov. Matt Bevin thanking him for the Commonwealth’s efforts in making the quality of life and spouse employment a priority and passing legislation to make improvements to these areas.
Another big concern about basing of forces is the impact of climate change. The region is very fortunate that Fort Knox is a leader in energy resilience. KRDA worked with our congressional delegation to be able to discuss Fort Knox’s energy resilience (this required the resolution of issues between the Department of Defense and the Department of the Interior). The Army publicly recognized Fort Knox during an open forum at an ADC conference. Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability (DASA, E&S) Jack Surash complimented Fort Knox on its program and former Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, Kathleen Hammock also discussed Fort Knox’s PEER (Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal) certification. KRDA President Brig. Gen. (Ret) Jim Iacocca had the opportunity to talk with both of them during the summit.