By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana
The Indiana State Legislature began its 2022 legislative session in January and the Indiana Defense Caucus had the opportunity to hear from the Crane members of the Indiana Commanders Roundtable. These roundtable conversations with the military commanders have proven to be valuable communications between military leaders and the State of Indiana.
Historically, these sessions have provided the defense community the chance to share information and explore opportunities to strengthen the partnership and appreciate the roles that each installation serves in our nation’s security as well as the economic impact they have on our state.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation Office for Defense Development hosted this unique event to provide the commanders of Indiana’s military assets the opportunity to update the 2022 Defense Caucus on current mission activities and the potential impacts to Indiana.
For the first time, the Indiana Defense Task Force was invited to participate in the session in order to develop ideas on how the state and local communities can support the commander’s missions.
CDR James Smith, Commanding Officer, Naval Support Activity Crane, highlighted the installation’s ongoing efforts to engage with the community and state on collaborative initiatives, including energy resiliency, natural resource conservation, and encroachment protections. Other topics included infrastructure modernization and the potential of intergovernmental support agreements to reduce shared costs between state governmental agencies and the Department of Defense.
In addition, leadership from Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane (NSWC Crane) and Crane Army Ammunition Activity (CAAA) visited Indianapolis. NSWC Crane’s Director of Congressional and Public Affairs Dr. Sandy Zehr debriefed Indiana’s State Legislature’s Defense Caucus on their work directly with warfighters to create comprehensive, innovative solutions at the speed of relevance as a National Technical Leader.
CAAA Commander Col. Santee Vasquez visited the Indiana Statehouse to speak with state legislators on CAAA’s capabilities, how it provides munitions readiness to the U.S. Department of Defense, how it is modernizing its capabilities to meet the needs of the U.S. Army, and to outline current workforce initiatives and industry and academic partnerships. The event was open to all the military commanders from all the services at bases and activities in Indiana.
Team Crane has an unprecedented opportunity to further foster and grow as a Center of Excellence for testing and munitions. We applaud their efforts and participation in the 2022 legislative session and look forward to seeing the progress that will be made as a result of their input.