Military News

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

SMC strengthens community relations

by Maj. Hamilton B. Underwood
Space and Missile Systems Public Affairs

1/13/2016 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE - EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Mayor Suzanne Fuentes of El Segundo recently met with Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Space and Missile Systems Center commander and Air Force program executive officer for space, Maj. Gen. Robert McMurry, SMC vice commander, Mr. Thomas Fitzgerald, acting executive director, Col. Donna Turner, 61st Air Base Group commander and Chief Master Sgt. Craig Hall, SMC Command Chief as part of SMC's continuing community outreach effort.

The Air Force and the city have a long-standing relationship of cooperation as SMC resides within the city limits of El Segundo. The meeting was an opportunity to strengthen that relationship and discuss emerging issues.

"Close relations with our community partners is key to being a good neighbor," said Greaves. "These meetings provide the opportunity to explain the SMC mission and develop the personal relationship that are essential in coordinating efforts across a spectrum of shared interests."

El Segundo is one of 17 cities in the South Bay area of Southern California, all of which have close ties to the base. Incorporated in 1917, the city has grown with SMC which began as the Western Development Division 37 years afterwards. From farming to aircraft manufacturing and now a technology hub for space, El Segundo has changed as the world and the Air Force have changed as well.

"I was honored to meet with Lt. Gen. Greaves and discuss the collaborative, respectful relationship between Los Angeles Air Force Base and the City of El Segundo," said Fuentes. "Our city is committed to supporting the men, women and the mission of Los Angeles Air Force Base, home of the Space and Missile Systems Center. Our productive talk resulted in several exciting ideas for increased collaboration."

"The meeting we had today with Mayor Fuentes was the first in a series of engagements we will have on a continuing basis with the leaders of our local communities. These meetings are important for us to get out the AF story and SMC mission to the communities we live in," said Fitzgerald. "We discussed mutual activities that would help cement our relationships like STEM outreach and recruiting for employment at SMC and throughout the Air Force."

Col. Turner, who works particularly close with the South Bay civic leaders, was likewise excited about the meeting, "We had a terrific opportunity today to discuss new partnership initiatives with Mayor Fuentes," said Turner, "and continue to foster our excellent relationship."

General Greaves' meeting with Mayor Fuentes is among several held with local mayors in an to effort to strengthen the vital relationship between Los Angeles Air Force Base and the surrounding communities.

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