Colorado Springs supports and facilitates nearly all constructive endeavors, which makes it the most successful military town in the United States. It is the perfect place for our Pentagon to prepare for the future.
Soldiers request assignments to Fort Carson more than any other post because they like Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak region and the military friendly atmosphere of a town that hosts seven major military bases. Here, we thank military personnel for their service. We often pick up the tab for uniformed personnel at tables in restaurants. We ask military brass how city, county, state and congressional servants can make their missions more successful.
Our military-friendly environment explains why so many veterans call this place home. Of 435 congressional districts in the United States, veterans choose to live in the Fifth — made up mostly of Colorado Springs — more than any of the other 434.
For those reasons and more, maintaining, upgrading, and growing military operations in and around Colorado Springs makes good sense. This community has the culture, climate, terrain, and economy needed to support our country's military community.
That's why local residents and politicians throughout Colorado welcome with open arms the Army's recent decision to re-equip Fort Carson's 2nd Brigade Combat Team with tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles.
Exchanging marching boots for armored vehicles prepares the 4,000-soldier unit for demands of the future. As our military withdraws from Middle East conflicts, it turns its focus to escalating tensions involving the heavily armored and sophisticated forces of Russia, China and North Korea. Peace through preparation and strength have long maintained America's sovereignty and freedom.
Gov. John Hickenlooper and members of Colorado's congressional delegation — Democrats and Republicans — sent a letter encouraging the Army to keep Fort Carson's 2nd Brigade Combat team in Colorado. Although the Army began studying options to move it, doing so would cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Insiders tell us the chances of a move are slim, at most, because Fort Carson has the infrastructure the armed brigade will need.
U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, wants the Army to complement the addition of armored vehicles by stationing an 800-soldier special-forces security assistance brigade in the district.
"Assistance brigades are a new kind of Army formation aimed at training allied troops and helping them in battle," explains a Gazette news article by senior military writer Tom Roeder.
We hope other public officials join Lamborn in this effort.
Pentagon officials should, first and foremost, make stationing decisions that maximize the military's ability to defend our country. In doing so, they should know the Army and other military branches have the full backing and support of state, regional and local officials when expanding personnel and/or operations in and around Colorado Springs.
They should also be assured our congressional delegation, with the governor's support, will fight for whatever federal capital they need to grow, maintain and support operations anywhere in our state.
Colorado Springs consistently ranks high on lists of top places to live and do business. Last week, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Springs second on a list of "Best Places to Live" in the United States. That's mostly because the political class, the business community, the educational establishment and the general public support people making the most of their abilities. That's why Colorado Springs is Olympic City USA, and the country's finest host of military personnel, operations and veterans.
The military plays a crucial role in making Colorado Springs a world-class city. The community gives thanks and stands ready to support our troops and their leaders in preparing for a future of peace through strength.