Marine Corps Base Quantico Va. --
The Military Affairs Council, Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, presented their 2013 Report to the Community at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center at the University of Mary Washington on Nov. 25.
The presentation featured commanders from Marine Corps Base Quantico, Naval Support Activity South Potomac and Fort A.P. Hill, as well as, the keynote speaker, Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, commander of the Joint Forces Headquarters National Capital Region, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.
“We are very fortunate to live in the Fredericksburg area, because everyone is touched by our military,” said Stephen Kingsley, senior vice president, PNC Bank. “We get to see the high quality men and women who work tirelessly for our country and we are really fortunate to see them here today.”
The commanders addressed the missions their installations strive to uphold.
“First and foremost, we serve as the regional collective center that is responsible for training the joint forces on their wartime mission,” said Army Lt. Col. Peter E. Dargle, base commander, Fort A.P. Hill. “We support across every service and across every component.”
Col. David W. Maxwell, base commander, Marine Corps Base Quantico, said, “Quantico and the Marine Corps is all about continuing to make Marines and win our nation’s battle. We are still, and will continue to be, focused on being America’s expeditionary force in readiness and 9/11 force.”
The presentation finished with a few comments from Navy Capt. Peter R. Nette, commanding officer of Naval Support Activity South Potomac, about some of the community services affected by the sequestration and government furloughs.
According to Nette, although services such as the commissary have suffered from the sequestration, other services such as child development and emergency services remain untouched.
After dinner, Buchannan spoke about how grateful he was to be invited to the event and what a fantastic job the community and military are doing for each other.
“I would like to commend everyone and their families for the tremendous amount of support they have showed us,” said Buchanan.
Buchanan talked about his friend, Maj. Garrett Derby, who was his executive officer while in Iraq. Derby had a saying that he got from their commanding general, “there is no such thing as free chicken.”
Buchanan thought he knew what this phrase meant, but it was not until the loss of his friend in February 2009, that he understood what it truly meant.
“There are not many days that I don’t think of Garrett,” said Buchanan. “What a great friend he was and what great leader he was.”