City of Clarksville, Fort Campbell Leaders Launch ‘Operation Information Exchange’ Initiative

April 14, 2010

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn., April 14 /PRNewswire/ — When the 1st Brigade Combat Team at Fort Campbell sought advice for helping build new municipal governments in Afghanistan, its leaders turned to Clarksville Mayor John E. Piper and his staff. And as always, the city’s leader and department heads went above and beyond the call of duty.

On March 17, the City of Clarksville hosted around 50 Fort Campbell soldiers for an interactive dialogue on the ins and outs of government structure. Officers from the brigade’s 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment will be working closely with the local governments of Afghanistan when they are deployed later this spring.

But it wasn’t the seminar itself (similar to seminars that other military bases across the country have participated in) that was different. It was the open line of communication the mayor and his staff established with the officers that made this event — dubbed “Operation Information Exchange” — unique.

“They gave us their cell phone numbers, their office numbers, their e-mail addresses — any way for us to get a hold of them — to use while we’re in Afghanistan and have questions or need advice on the spot,” said Lt. Col. J.B. Vowell, the brigade’s deputy commander. “It’s going to be difficult enough for us as we’re there helping to establish municipal governments — sometimes from the ground up — in a hostile environment. Knowing that we have folks like Mayor Piper and his staff back home ready to help us is comforting and reassuring.”

During the seminar, City of Clarksville administrators took the time to educate the young officers on the processes and structure of various types of city government.

And even though it could have been a cold and matter-of-fact informational program, city administrators made sure to open the dialogue between themselves and the military officers.

“Fort Campbell is as much a part of the city of Clarksville as any business, any citizen,” explained Piper. “We take their duty very seriously, and when we’re called on by them to help them, we’ll do whatever is asked of us.”

Piper added, “We know they’ll be facing hazardous conditions while in Afghanistan. So whenever they need us, the city’s department heads and I are available 24/7. It’s the least we can do to support them.”

SOURCE City of Clarksville

Source: newswire

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