FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – October 15, 2015 – Army Gen. Frank. J. Grass, the 27th Chief of the National Guard Bureau and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came away from a recent multi-day visit to the Pennsylvania National Guard and their top flight training facility, Fort Indiantown Gap, impressed and optimistic for the future.
“I wish people could see the outstanding work the men and women of the Pennsylvania National Guard are doing each day,” Grass said. “They are making a difference on the battlefield, protecting their state, and building strong partnerships at home and abroad.”
Maj. Gen. James R. Joseph, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general, said it was an honor to host Grass for three days (Oct. 7-10) as he visited with Guard members at Fort Indiantown Gap, the only live-fire, maneuver military training facility in the state.
“Gen. Grass was able to witness first-hand the tremendous work done daily across the state by our outstanding Soldiers, Airmen, and civilians,” Joseph said. “Fort Indiantown Gap is a true keystone to sustaining our readiness and conducting day-to-day operations. Having him here really showed the importance of this installation to Pennsylvania and the nation.”
The CNGB visited Pennsylvania’s Unit Training Equipment Site, Army Aviation Support Facility at Muir Army Airfield, Bollen Air-to-Ground Weapons Range, Eastern Army Aviation Training Site, Regional Equipment Operators Training Site, Lightning Force Academy, weapons ranges, Medical Battalion Training Site, Northeast Counterdrug Training Center, 166th Regional Training Institute and emergency response teams.
Grass also held a town hall to a packed house of Pennsylvania Guard members where he provided an update on the National Guard and fielded a variety of questions.
“This was a great opportunity to showcase the great things the Pennsylvania National Guard accomplishes here on a daily basis,” said Lt. Col. Robert F. Hepner Jr., garrison commander. “Fort Indiantown Gap is an integral part of keeping the Pennsylvania National Guard, as well as many other components of the National Guard, always ready and always there.”
Grass and Joseph also traveled to the state capitol in Harrisburg to meet with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. The two generals also met with the Pennsylvania House and Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committees during that visit.
The CNGB was accompanied by his wife, Patricia Grass, who made visits to the Pennsylvania National Guard Military Museum and with members of the Pennsylvania National Guard’s Service Members and Family Support Program.
On his final day, Grass attended the March for the Fallen event honoring fallen warriors. He was also the keynote speaker at the Pennsylvania Department of Military of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Symposium & Expo.
Fort Indiantown Gap, located in south central Pennsylvania, serves as the headquarters to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and Pennsylvania National Guard. It contains more than 17,000 acres and 140 training areas and facilities for year-round training for 19,000 Pennsylvania National Guard personnel and more than 130,000 other states’ Guard members, military, law enforcement, and civilian personnel annually.