Montgomery named 2023 Great American Defense Community by national group

Steps in front of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church – Montgomery (Pat Byington/The Bama Buzz)

The Montgomery-River Region is one of five communities nationally named a “2023 Great American Defense Community” by the Association of  Defense Communities.

Now in its 8th year, the Great American Defense Communities program celebrates communities that are committed to improving the lives of service members, veterans and military families.

Montgomery was chosen amongst over 40 military communities that competed for the distinction.

$2.6 Billion Economic Impact

Court Square Fountain in Downtown Montgomery. (Pat Byington/The Bama Buzz)

According to Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, local military installations and missions provide more than $2.6 billion in annual economic impact and represent slightly more than 20% of the Montgomery-River Region’s gross domestic product.  

In return the community has provided the following noteworthy programs and accomplishments over the past few years:

  • Secured $50 million in Maxwell Air Force Base commercial vehicle inspection gate to maximize base security
  • Enhance quality of life for military families with Greenway Trail networks and the coming whitewater project
  • Passed bills to retain, safeguard and improve the military presence and investments in the region, securing $33.2 million to support the mission of Maxwell- Gunter Air Force Base and the Alabama Air National Guard
  • Launch programs to allow access to magnet schools
  • Worked to cut red tape to allow military spouses with out of state licenses to work in the state of Alabama. 
Montgomery Whitewater
The upcoming $50M Montgomery Whitewater Project. Rendering via Montgomery Whitewater Project

“These are just a few of the things that we’ve done from a policy standpoint to work to improve our relationship with all those who serve our nation,” Mayor Reed added.

He also credited the many partnerships that support the local military community 

“We work from the private sector to the public sector with other governmental entities, our local delegation, our school board, our county commission, our city council, as well as our congressional delegation to do the things that we can to be a strong community for our military. And we won’t stop here.” 

Montgomery is one of five other cities to be given the distinction. 

The other four 2023 cities receiving the distinction are:

  • Greater Omaha, Nebraska
  • Fort George G. Meade Region, Maryland
  • Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska 
  • El Paso, Texas

Sponsored by USAA, below is a video recognizing the five communities.

Visit Great American Defense Communities program  webpage to learn more about the five communities and how to further support military communities.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington
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