Who We Are

Defense communities are the towns, cities, counties, regions and states that serve as home to our nation’s military missions, installations and industrial partners.  In some cases, there may be more than one jurisdiction that serves as the community for a base, mission or service members. While defense communities adjacent to major military installations are well known, there are hundreds of other communities that support smaller bases, missions, or serve as home to important DOD industrial base partners. What connects all defense communities is the importance of the local defense-related economy and their engagement in supporting our national security.

Fulfilling the mission of defense communities takes a network of organizations and people, although often times, one organization provides leadership for the community, region or state on defense issues. These organizations, commonly referred to as community-military partnering organizations, take different forms and sizes based on the needs of the community. Local governments or related organizations often serve this role, but they can also be managed by a local chamber or a standalone organization.

What We Do

Defense communities work to ensure our military missions are ready to meet the dynamic needs of our national defense through collaboration, advocacy and direct support. Building and sustaining partnerships that ensure coordination between base and community is a core function of defense communities, but their support is often more direct, including providing direct financial investment in infrastructure that supports the base. Defense communities also provide important services our military families depend upon, including schools, housing, healthcare and other social services that promote a high quality of life.

Tampa Bay celebrates their recognition as a Great American Defense Community at a Buccanneers NFL game in 2018.