• June 5, 2024
  • BY Radius Indiana
  • Blog

Southern Indiana communities respond to NSA Crane

The annual State of the Community Address to Naval Support Activity (NSA) Crane takes place each February as a direct response to the installation’s yearly report to the White River Military Coordination Alliance. Alliance Chair Brianne Jerrels along with representatives from Daviess, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, and Sullivan counties and towns, delivered the briefing to NSA Crane Commanding Officer Luis G. Martinez and additional Team Crane delegates.

Input for the presentation is provided by members from the five counties and nine incorporated towns that formed the Alliance in 2017. The briefing creates a forum for the communities to share accomplishments and initiatives in mutual interest areas between them and NSA Crane such as housing availability and development, infrastructure improvement and resiliency, and quality of life initiatives.

This year, the address focused on how communities surrounding the installation and NSA Crane can increase collaboration to make an impact in the following areas:

  • Advocacy for infrastructure resources: One of the most popular topics, specifically surrounding the WestGate Tech Park and the base, was infrastructure improvement and sustainability. The communities recognized and understood the Team Crane message that in order to grow and develop at the pace desired, surrounding infrastructure – including water, sewer, and other utilities – is a vital piece of the puzzle. Six community leaders identified innovative local initiatives to address these strategic issues via state and federal grants and partnerships with utility providers. Additionally, the community updated their efforts to focus on identifying the resiliency of community supplied utilities that Team Crane depends on.
  • Community Initiatives: The Alliance prepared information that covered eight topics with principal focus on workforce and housing. Communities highlighted the significant strides that have been made region wide in workforce development affiliated with STEM and the untapped workforce recruiting and attraction incentives that are available to Team Crane. While housing is a lingering regional challenge, the communities highlighted the improvements that READI 1.0 has commenced, and a new initiative focused on rural housing.
  • Opportunities to build long-term relationships: The efforts of the Alliance have laid a foundation for strong partnerships with NSA Crane. This relationship is an element needed to move the needle on local initiatives. Several communities expressed their interest in furthering the relationship by establishing new public to public partnerships that might provide services directly to NSA Crane, coupled with growing and refining their partnership opportunities for emergency services and training.
  • Engagement in community events: As always communities encouraged Team Crane to participate in local events, celebrations, festivals and programs.
    It was also noted communities would like to explore opportunities to venture behind the gate for focused base tours and interactions with Team Crane leadership, including field trips to increase awareness with the K-12 population.

The address provides local communities a unique opportunity to share accomplishments, challenges and needs with their neighbors at NSA Crane. This year, perhaps more than ever before, community leaders and stakeholders feel the momentum and excitement surrounding collaboration both within the gates and throughout the region. The forum allows for open discussion surrounding these areas of mutual benefit, partnership, and development of the southern Indiana defense ecosystem.

As one of the largest employers in Southern Indiana, Crane plays an important role in the economies of our communities. Continued collaboration through these annual reports is key to building a strong relationship between community leaders and the public with those working inside the gates at Crane to make the most of opportunities that benefit our region.