Outgoing North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue and Governor-elect Pat McCrory visited Fort Bragg Friday on their first stop in a whirlwind tour of the military installations in North Carolina to meet and greet posts’  leaders.

“North Carolina’s military presence is critically important, not just to the general welfare and the economy of this state, but to global security,” said Perdue. “As I leave office and a new governor takes office, I believe it’s really important for the current and the future administration to understand the value and the importance of the military enterprise. That’s what (our visit) today all about.”

While serving as lieutenant governor and as governor, Perdue put military bases and the defense industry at the forefront of her administration’s agenda. As she closes out this chapter of her life, Perdue said she looks back with great satisfaction at the success she’s had working hand-in-hand with those who chose a life in the military.

“The growth of the military community, the work that we’ve done around education for the military Families, the partnership for land use protection and the sustained support of our citizens here (at Fort Bragg) during at least 15 years of constant deployment … These kinds of relationships are what make all of us understand the military doesn’t just live behind a gate. They are part and parcel of every community and every Family in North Carolina,” said Perdue.

As McCrory moves closer to being sworn in and assuming the duties as governor, he said he looks forward to the challenge and opportunity of working with the military and continuing the growth Soldiers and their Families bring to North Carolina.

“I see opportunities,” said McCrory. “First, we have the immediate challenge for us to keep, sustain and even expand our military presence here in North Carolina, especially with all the political negotiations in (Washington, D.C.).

“The second is working with infrastructure needs to keep and sustain the presence here in North Carolina and to meet the needs of the military and getting materials and your forces in and out of Fort Bragg.

“We need to have a great integration with our transportation infrastructure more than anything else,” McCrory said.

Adding that today’s meeting helped crystallize the need to continue to support Soldiers and their Families and give them all the tools necessary to remain resilient and successful in their mission of keeping our nation safe.