When the Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission meets later this month, a McAlester resident has a seat at the table.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed new legislation into law Wednesday extending the Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission for another five years.
He also recently appointed Jessica Gregg, who is executive director of McAlester Defense Support Services, to serve as a member of the commission. With each of the state's military bases having a representative on the commission, Gregg represents McAlester in regard to the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant.
She plans to meet with other OSMPC members later this month at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City.
"I feel honored to have an opportunity to serve in that capacity," Gregg said.
"With the MDSS, I get to advocate on the federal level," Gregg noted. Now, through serving on the Oklahoma Strategic Military Planning Commission, she can coordinate the community's goals regarding McAAP with the state's goals regarding all the military bases in the state, she said.
Gregg, who has already met with the commission, said Oklahoma Secretary of Military and Veterans Affairs Ben Robinson, who is a retired Air Force Brigadier General, is very interested in the needs and goals regarding McAAP, as is OSMPC Chairman Randy McEntire.
"It's great to have that kind of support at the state," Gregg said.
OSMPC's functions include helping ensure military bases in Oklahoma remain viable to the nation's defense.
Gregg and the others appointed by the governor are charged with representing the interests of communities that would be affected by the realignment and closure of military bases in Oklahoma.
Along with McAAP, the federal military bases in Oklahoma include Fort Sill, in Lawton; Altus Air Force Base in Altus; Vance Air Force Base in Enid and Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City.
The idea is to make sure the bases continue as strong members of the state military infrastructure, especially should there be another round of base closings ordered by Base Realignment and Closure Commission, also knows as BRAC.
Gregg said the role of OSMPC is about BRAC prevention. "It's also about increasing our military value."
To help in those efforts, OSMPC has issued several grants to McAlester and the city has applied for another this year.
Gregg serves on the commission in the position previously held by Mark Jordan, who served as a member for several years.
"I'm honored to be appointed," Gregg said. She's looking forward to doing what she can to ensure the ongoing viability of McAAP, as well as the other military bases across the state.
"A win for any one of us is a win for all of us, for our nation and for Oklahoma," said Gregg.
Contact James Beaty at email@example.com.