Lance P. Sijan News


Lance P. Sijan Air Force Association is asking for your support for two reasons: First, we need your participation and support at the Fort Carson Listening Session.  We need your support because the potential of force reductions at Fort Carson have an impact that will resonate throughout this community.  We will ALL be affected.

Secondly, we need volunteers to assist the Regional Business Alliance as they lead this critical effort for our community. This session is being organized by the Army to gauge the level of support expressed by the Colorado Springs community as the Army considers a force reduction at Fort Carson.  They are sending out teams to each location under consideration for troop reductions.  Andy Napoli, the assistant for BRAC (Army), is only personally visiting 2-3 locations this year and this is our opportunity to show Mr. Napoli we stand behind Fort Carson and we intend to fight any troop reductions.  He has extensive (negative) experience with Colorado from prior years’ Pinon Canyon expansion fights as he has been at the Pentagon since 2006.  He previously worked on Capitol Hill and for the 2005 BRAC commission.

Through the Defense Mission Task Force, we have been planning for this session for several weeks.  We have learned that the desire out of Army HQ’s is they see a strong demonstration of support from the state of Colorado, not just the Pikes Peak region.  They recognize that our local community has traditionally been a strong supporter of Fort Carson, but question the support of the rest of the state.  Additionally, it has been suggested that we should focus on the added value to the Army of being located here through areas such as unique training benefits and ways that the community and state addresses issues to the benefit, including without the expenditure of DOD money, of the Army.

Therefore we are planning on having a variety of speakers lined up to address those areas.  Invited speakers include the Governor and Adjutant General, members of the Colorado Congressional Delegation, state legislators, mayors from Colorado Springs, Monument, Fountain, Woodland Park, Trinidad, and representatives from higher education, local school districts, and many more.  Beyond speakers, it is our intention to highlight the broad variety of groups represented at the meeting so that the Army officials will see a truly united community and state in attendance.  As AFA members, our presence can have a big impact.

The room at Centennial Hall seats 299 people, so it will be critical that we also insure the room is filled with people who strongly support the Army presence here in Colorado.  These sessions in other locations have had hundreds of people in attendance and high level elected official participation, so a strong showing is necessary.

I urge your support.  It’s critical to the future of Fort Carson and the larger Colorado Springs community.

And if you are so inclined, we need volunteer assistance.  We will need volunteers to arrive at Centennial Hall by 2:30PM to brief them on messaging and responsibilities. Volunteers and public are welcome (ENCOURAGED!) to stay for the session. However, if you need to leave prior to 6PM, please feel free to do so. We ask only that volunteers be available at least until 4:30PM.

Areas of responsibility:

  • Crowd control (to overflow space) – this space is about a block away. We will need volunteers on the route, keeping everyone excited and in-route to
  • Greeting crowd (at Centennial Hall) – the greeting crew will be responsible for creating a positive vibe in the room, helping people to their seats, leading them to seats apart from Reserved Seating, and directing VIPs to the VIP Greeting Crew. No banners or signs will be allowed in Centennial Hall Auditorium.
  • VIP greeting (Crowd) – These spots are technically filled by Fort Carson Public Affairs Office, but if you believe you know most of the local and regional elected officials, please list this as one of your preferences
  • Misc./Runner/”Yes Man/Woman” – We will likely have other responsibilities that will come up the day of. These are our “back-up” volunteers. The following staff of the Business Alliance will be stationed and primary contacts.
o   Andy Merritt – Session/Campaign lead; stationed in front of auditorium; lead on VIP seating and
o   Gayle Divine – Volunteer questions and logistics questions
o   Brittany Harp – Social media/PowerPoint/logistics help; Media contact
o   Dave Rose – El Paso County’s logistics questions about space and back-up IT questions; Media contact
o   Rayetta Lantzy, Steve Kearney and Carly Hoff will all be available on February 3, each assigned to the volunteer groups above as the “lead” for messaging and logistics.

Also, volunteers are asked to WEAR GREEN, and keep the crowd in positive spirit around the event to create an atmosphere of excitement.

Please email your first two preferences in responsibilities to Brittany Harp of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance , ( and she will email all interested parties with their assignments on Monday, February 2.

Again – please plan on being at Centennial Hall, 200 S. Cascade Avenue, 80903 from at least 2:30PM-4:30PM.

Thank you for your consideration,

Don Kidd
President, Lance P. Sijan Chapter
Air Force Association


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