Aug 26, 2010 9:14 PM by Matt Stafford

Looking for partners to handle a big year

Fort Carson's population is growing and deployment cycles look to be continuing. That's what Fort Carson's Commanding General, Major General David Perkins, told a packed room at the Antlers Hilton in downtown Colorado Springs Thursday evening.

Col. Robert McLaughlin, garrison commander for Fort Carson, says 2010 will see the largest deployment of Fort Carson soldiers since the Vietnam War.

In Fort Carson's Community Partnership Forum, hosted by the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, locals had a chance to hear what missions from Fort Carson are scheduled to look like, and how the base will operate in the near future.  It was information Fort Carson leaders want the public to have.  They say community support will be, and always has been, important.

Maj. Gen. Perkins told the room that they (Fort Carson) want to be good neighbors, but they're also responsible for having soldiers ready for combat. Maj. Gen. Perkins acknowledged that balance isn't always an easy one to maintain.

Among those attending, News First 5 spoke with several people who were local service providers -- behavioral health, child care and real estate among others fields represented. Many of them want to know how to work with soldiers and their families on the Mountain Post.

Along with formal presentations, as well as a question and answer session, the forum factored in time at the end to continue some of the conversations with military leaders.

The forum's format worked well for Suzi Arnold, who was at the meeting on the behalf of local Girl Scout groups. She was wants to find more ways for the Girl Scouts to collaborate with the Post. Before the program began, Arnold was thinking about asking a question to the panel.

"Regardless of what topic you're speaking on, you feel that somebody who in a decision making capacity, or has the ear of someone in a decision making capacity, has heard what you've said," Arnold says. That gives her the feeling that she's getting through.

Information discussed in Thursday's forum can be found by clicking here.


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