By Lindsay Marchello, Bayonet & Saber /
Senior leaders and their spouses had the opportunity to learn about the many different components of Fort Benning during the Maneuver Senior Leader and Spouses Orientation Course Aug. 15 in Fenty Classroom.
The course covered some of the departments under the Maneuver Center of Excellence, including the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate and the Foreign Liaison Officers.
Richard Gordon, the chief of Administrative and Civil Law with the OSJA, outlined some of the legal issues they cover on post. This included filing claims for damages to vehicles caused by falling tree branches and damages caused by flooding.
Lt. Col. David Heatley, the Australian Army Liaison Officer, discussed the Foreign Liaison Officers and their role on Fort Benning.
Heatley said there are nine countries represented at Fort Benning, including Great Britain, Australia and Germany.
“Fort Benning owns the second largest contingent of Foreign Liaison Officers,” said Heatley.
Heatley explained that the Foreign Liaison Officers are the conduits for passing formal and informal information between the U.S. Army and their respective Army.
The Garrison command was also covered, including the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, as well as the Child, Youth and School Services.
Col. Andy Hilmes, the Garrison commander, discussed the role of the Garrison commander and the staff on post.
“Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Floyd and I synchronize and integrate all installation services for Fort Benning,” Hilmes said.
Hilmes discussed the roles of the Public Affairs Office, the Directorate of Emergency Services and the Directorate of Public Works.
“The Garrison staff works very closely with the city of Columbus, as well as Phenix City,” Hilmes said. “We try to keep each other informed of major plans and initiatives that we have going on, and even sometimes better each others services to gain efficiencies.”
Maj. Gen. Eric Wesley, commanding general of the MCoE, emphasized the importance of community outreach and posed a question about the relationship between Fort Benning and the city of Columbus.
“How can you enable us and how can we enable you?” Wesley asked.
Wesley explained that Fort Benning’s reach has extended beyond the local community to Atlanta.
“We need to think about the future,” Wesley said.