Fort Bragg played host to 21 regional community leaders, Oct. 26 as part of the Leadership Fort Bragg program.

The program connects civic leaders and military personnel stationed at Fort Bragg to foster community relations section, said Jackie Thomas, Fort Bragg Community Relations section public affairs specialist. The event gave community influencers the opportunity to learn about and discuss issues and operations at the installation, interact with Soldiers and observe unit training.

Leadership Fort Bragg serves as a mechanism between military and civilian leaders to discuss leadership philosophies and techniques, which will strengthen Fort Bragg’s partnership with the local community, Thomas said. The Fort Bragg COMREL section hosts the event about every six months.

Attendees were briefed by Fort Bragg and XVIII Airborne Corps leadership, toured the aircraft simulators, visited the jump tower, and more. The visit culminated with a graduation and social where the participants received certificates.

Tammy Everett, North Carolina Defense Business Association executive director attended to learn how companies and employees represented by her association can help the military.

From the briefing with leadership she said she learned there are still many gaps and needs to be conveyed within the military.

“We (business leaders) can be the (military leadership’s) voice we can continue to get in front of Congress, our congressional leaders, our senators, our state senators and continue to make sure that they know the devastation something like another sequestration and continuing resolution would have on our military,” she said.

Wayne Detwiler, Oak Grove Technologies Defense Operations vice president, attended the event to understand the military mission-sets better to help innovate and develop realistic training venues for the special operation community.

“To see and interact with the senior leadership of Fort Bragg is very important to understand the vernacular and the challenges facing Fort Bragg and XVIII Airborne Corps units and to work that into the training venue,” he said. “Personally, it’s rewarding to see Soldiers, especially these young guys and gals who are doing our nation’s work in preparing for whatever eventualities might happen.”

Detwiler said he will encourage others within his organization to attend future Leadership Fort Bragg events.

“It’s an invaluable opportunity for us to spend the day here at Fort Bragg,” he said.