FORT BUCHANAN, Puerto Rico –
Omar Marrero, Puerto Rico's Secretary of State, visited the installation and met with Col. Charles N. Moulton, Fort Buchanan Commander, Command Sgt. Maj. Roderick Hendricks, Fort Buchanan Command Sergeant Major, and members of the staff, at the headquarters building, on Oct. 10, as part of the command's community outreach efforts.
"Since my Boy Scout days, Fort Buchanan has always been a good neighbor for Puerto Rico," said Marrero as he and his staff entered the commander's office.
During the encounter, Moulton briefed Marrero, who also performs as a Lt. Gov. of the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, about Fort Buchanan's relevance.
"As the Department of Army's center of gravity in the region, Fort Buchanan, an Army Reserve installation, serves a diverse military community comprising approximately 15,000 active duty, Reserve, and National Guard Soldiers, Air Force, Marine Corps Reserve, and the Navy's Operational Support Center members," said Moulton.
The Fort Buchanan commander also described the importance of the Army Reserve and the National Guard forces, the two major tenants on the installation.
"As Fort Buchanan's commander, I see the Guard and Reserves as a critical component of our total force – a vital operational reserve that brings to bear the experience and skills of our citizen-warriors, wherever and whenever they're needed to confront the challenges of a complex world," said Moulton.
Meanwhile, Hendricks highlighted Fort Buchanan's role as a community.
"Fort Buchanan is a vibrant and adaptable community, resourced and secure, that has embraced innovation and growth to enable warfighters," added Hendricks while describing the many services that enable readiness on post.
"We have child care, spouse employment services, and the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program, among many others, right here on post," added Hendricks.
During the meeting, the leaders also discussed the Installation Command's mission and vision and its core competencies, such as providing Soldier and family services, managing infrastructure, supporting warfighter readiness and deployability, and providing & integrating base operations services.
As part of the visit, Marrero had the opportunity to stop by the Fort Buchanan Training Support Center, where he experienced some of the training service members undergo. There, Marrero tested the Engagement Skills Trainer II, firing targets using an M9 pistol, and an M-4 rifle.
"This is an excellent training tool for our Soldiers. Very realistic, challenging but also very fun," said Marrero.
At the end of the visit, Marrero led a sworn-in ceremony for the newly appointed Department of the Army Civilians in Puerto Rico.
"Welcome to the U.S. Army," said an enthusiastic Marrero.
The encounter between the Puerto Rico Secretary of state and the Fort Buchanan commander established the basis for further collaboration between the only U.S. Army installation in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico state authorities, understanding that the support and contributions from local communities would enable the installation’s ability to provide servicemembers and Families the support they need to accomplish their mission.