News>N.C. governor and governor-elect visit 4th FW
Base and community leaders greet Gov. Bev Perdue, North Carolina governor, and Governor-elect Pat McCrory, upon their arrival Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., Dec. 14, 2012. The group came together to discuss the economic impact and contributions the military has on the state. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)
U.S. Air Force Col. Jeannie Leavitt, 4th Fighter Wing commander, presents a memento to Gov. Bev Perdue, North Carolina governor, on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., Dec. 14, 2012. The governor and governor-elect are visiting military bases across North Carolina to continue building relationships and discuss the economic impact the military has on the state. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho/Released)
by 2nd Lt. Keavy Rake
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
12/17/2012 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. -- North Carolina Governor Bev Purdue and Governor-elect Pat McCrory visited the 4th Fighter Wing Dec. 14 on a tour of military installations across the state in a continuing effort to build and maintain strong community relations.
Purdue and McCrory met with base and community leaders to discuss the significant impact Seymour Johnson AFB has in North Carolina.
"The men and women here are part and parcel of Goldsboro, Wayne County and the state," Purdue said. " You are invaluable. There are no words and no dollar amounts that can reflect how important you are to our state."
U.S. Air Force Col. Jeannie Leavitt, 4th FW commander, briefed the 4th FW mission highlighting Total Force Integration as vital to mission success, and the constant support of the 4th FW in overseas contingency operations since 1990.
"Seymour Johnson AFB is absolutely critical to the economy and to the Nation's defense," Purdue agreed. "For the last 30 years I have seen this base be part of every major deployment around the world, when planes are put into action there is somebody from Seymour Johnson involved."
Military Affairs Committee president, Ben Seegars, recapped a recent visit to 9th Air Force headquarters for a Civic Leaders' Forum where North Carolina was recognized as "the most military friendly state in the nation" and how the local Goldsboro and Wayne County community are dedicated to continuous support of Team Seymour and their families.
"The fact is that we have tried to make this state continue to be known as the most military friendly state in America," Purdue said. "The relationship has really grown because of the community advisory committees that we've worked so hard with, and the work of the Military Affairs Committee."
Purdue spoke of partnership with schools, Pre-K programs and touched on the importance of healthcare programs; particularly the social services needs of families and service members who have been deployed off-and-on for the past 15 years.
"We have tried to be a good neighbor and a good partner and to make people understand that Seymour Johnson is not just behind the walls of the base," Purdue said. "These are the men and women we call 'neighbor' and 'friend'."
Purdue has strived to make North Carolina a great place to work and live for Airmen and families already stationed here and for those that may be stationed here in the future.
"We will do anything that's legal to change some laws to make sure the educational and economic workforce opportunities for spouses and retiring military personnel are fully engaged in our state," Purdue said. "We want you to live here and work here as you serve; and then we want you to stay here, to live here, and be a North Carolina citizen as well."
McCrory revealed three main goals for his upcoming tenure as governor to build and maintain the strong community ties between the state and military installations.
"I want their (military personnel) incredible leadership and technical experience to bring new businesses and industry to North Carolina," McCrory said. "My major emphasize is maintaining and growing the existing investments in the military, in North Carolina."
McCrory stated his second objective is to help the cities around military installations with their infrastructure needs to continue the presence, and increase growth of, existing bases. He stressed military-family support and educational needs as his final and most important objective.
"I want to support the families, especially as people come home from overseas, and help them integrate into the community." McCrory said. "We support the military families as a unit, and I want to help with their educational needs."