2021 Great American Defense Communities
Altus, Oklahoma is the home of Altus Air Force Base. Altus serves over 6,000 active duty, retirees, and military families. Altus Air Force Base’s primary mission is to provide quality training to future airmen, ensuring that they are combat-ready. The City of Altus, partnered with Altus Air Force base, is committed to improving the lives of airmen and families through a number of initiatives, such as establishing a common workspace for military dependents to provide an opportunity to work, network, and build skills away from their homes.
The City of Everett, Washington is home to Naval Air Station Everett, located 25 miles north of Seattle on the beautiful Puget Sound. Naval Air Station Everett has played a crucial role in military readiness in the Pacific Northwest and in the revitalization of the region. Over 12,000 active duty and retirees call the City of Everett home.
Coastal Georgia is home to the largest military installation east of the Mississippi River – Fort Stewart Hunter-Army Airfield. The fort is known as the Army’s premier power projection platform on the East Coast. Coastal Georgia is home to over 75,000 military professionals, civilians, families, and retirees. Fort Stewart is known as the go-to place for the local employers seeking new employees, providing airmen and dependents employment and training beyond the service. An example of this is the local fire department recruiting new firefighters on base through the Basic Firefighter Program.
Great Falls, Montana
Great Falls, Montana, is home to Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard. Known for its scenic views and natural wonders, Great Falls hosts approximately 5,000 military personnel and families. Great Falls hosts a number of programs aimed at connecting military with civilians, suchas an annual ball, and a “Golferoo”, where a military personnel and civilian team up for a round of golf. This creates a welcoming and strong community for both active duty and civilian residents.
NAS Pensacola & NAS Whiting Field, Florida
The Pensacola region of Florida is lucky to be called home for not one, but two Naval Air Stations, NAS Pensacola, and NAS Whiting Field. Together, the bases and surrounding communities serve nearly 30,000 active-duty personnel, retirees, and family members. NAS Pensacola is known for being the first established Naval Aviation command during WWI and NAS Whiting Field has become the backbone of the Navy’s flight program.
About the Program
Every day America’s defense communities are working to create welcoming and supportive spaces for service members and their families to live and thrive. As the home to our military, these communities recognize the unique challenges and hard work needed to ensure military families are made to feel valued.
The Great American Defense Communities program shines a light on the regions and individuals that are making a difference. The program was designed to recognize and celebrate communities with an exceptional commitment to improving the lives of service members, veterans and their families. The Great American Defense Communities is made possible through ADC’s partnership with USAA.
This year our program will include a special focus on community recovery, resilience and racial equality.
To learn more about past Great American Defense Communities, watch their stories on ADC’s GADC YouTube channel.
Sailors return home to Pensacola, FL following a deployment to assist with COVID-19 response efforts. Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Brannon Deugan, Naval Hospital Pensacola