T ULLAHOMA WAS recently named as one of five 2022 Great American Defense Communities across the country during the Defense Communities National Summit, held last month in Washington, D.C.
According to the program’s website, the program highlights communities and regions in the U.S. that show unparalleled support to service members, veterans, and military families.
The city received the honor due to being the home of Arnold Air Force Base (Arnold AFB). Stretching over 40,000 acres, the base is the only active-duty Air Force base in the state. More than 5,500 active duty service members, members of the National Guard, reservists, retirees, veterans, and their families bring their wealth of knowledge and experience to the Tullahoma area.
This year’s program included a special focus on community recovery, resilience, and racial equality.
“For 70 years the City of Tullahoma has supported Arnold AFB,” stated Tullahoma’s mayor, Ray Knowis. “Arnold is the best kept secret in the Air Force and the only active-duty Air Force base in the state. Nestled among 40,000 acres in Middle Tennessee, the work accomplished by Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC) at Arnold AFB has contributed to the development of practically every one of the nation’s top priority aerospace programs. The current National Defense Strategy has multiple objectives that require the support of AEDC ranges, test facilities, and a skilled workforce knowledgeable in hypersonic flight, directed energy, and the needs of next generation aircraft.”
Knowis also added that the city has partnered with Arnold AFB and other community organizations who are committed to improving the lives of the airmen and families, veterans, guard, and reserve members, as well as AEDC complex employees.
“From community events celebrating our veterans and our contributions to national defense, as well as efforts to maintain high-caliber schools, STEM initiatives and the Hands-On Science Center, the Tullahoma area considers our military and aerospace heritage an important part of the fabric of our community,” he said.
Along with Tullahoma, other towns recognized included Antelope Valley, CA; Florida’s Space Coast; Northern Virginia; and West Valley Partners, AZ. For more information on The Great American Defense Communities program, visit defensecommunities.org/gadc. -GN