Manhattan and the Flint Hills region play an integral role in the mission of Fort Riley to defend and serve our nation. As Mayor of Manhattan, I worked with the leadership of Fort Riley, Kansas State University, USD 383, Riley County, and the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce to build and strengthen our relationship with Fort Riley. In the past eight years, our community has put forth great commitment and effort in making Manhattan a military-inclusive city for the benefit of all.
As a result of recent changes to our National Security Strategy after fighting two wars, the Department of Defense is asked to reduce funding for its military force, operations and sustainment. This will impact Fort Riley. Consequently, the State of Kansas and our local leaders must demonstrate to key national military decision-makers our continued commitment and effort in working collaboratively. By doing so, we can increase the operational effectiveness and efficiencies needed in order to insure Fort Riley remains a premier installation. We must be innovative, willing to work together, share resources, and recognize our civic duty to help currently-serving soldiers and their families become part of our community, as well as assisting all veterans in the transition to civilian life.