The Director of the Governor’s Military Council, Perry Wiggins, wants to see development of defense industry in the region.
As part of his duties Wiggins works to support Fort Leavenworth, McConnell Air Base and Fort Riley, but he told a Military Affairs Council meeting in Junction City that about 65-70 percent of his effort is focused on Fort Riley because the post has the largest contingent of military. The biggest issue from an economic impact standpoint for the region is the stress created by deployments.
He wants to see defense industry in this area, “a third leg here, particularly in this region. We have a division unit and installation here and we don’t have a whole lot of footprint with regards to defense industry. It’s an opportunity for us to take a look, try to target some of those organizations and get them here on the ground.”
Wiggins added it would provide stability equilibrium in the region, so it is not so impacted by deployments or force structure changes.
Wiggins knows it will take some time to bring in defense industry. “I think it’s going to take some time because it’s not easy.” He called it a horizon. “It’s not a 10-meter target. It should be probably a 50 to 100-meter target. And we should do this methodically so that it makes sense for the community. “He also looked at the issue from a broader view. But more importantly it makes sense overall and collectively as we have Soldiers departing the installation, for example, separating or retiring and they can join that particular type of workforce because they’re very familiar with defense.”