JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. –
Members of the Learn, Explore, Absorb and Disseminate (LEAD) Peninsula program visited Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, May 4, 2022, to learn about the role JBLE plays within the Virginia Peninsula community.
LEAD Peninsula describe themselves as a community immersion program, which opens up opportunities to experience and understand the mosaic that is the Peninsula community.
“The Federal Impact Program Day of LEAD Peninsula focuses on the economic impact of the Military sector on the Peninsula,” said Bob McKenna, Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce president. “Most of the participants are obviously aware of the local military installations, but they have never had the opportunity to take a behind the scenes look at what actually goes on behind the gates.”
Formally known as the Leadership Institute of the Virginia Peninsula, LEAD Peninsula has been introducing its class members to the major facets of the greater Peninsula community through an intensive ten-month program since 1984.
The visit to JBLE started at the U.S. Army Transportation Museum at JBLE-Eustis where the group was briefed on the economic impact the installation has on the community.
The group gained hands-on experience at the Engagement Skills Trainer’s indoor simulation range and the U.S. Army Transportation School’s Simulation Training Center. They concluded the tour of Fort Eustis with an outing to the 3rd Port led by the harbor master, and a view of the Advanced Individual Training that happens at the 128th Aviation Brigade.
“The visit is a real eye opener to the diverse activities that happen right here on the Peninsula and the participants come away with an even greater respect and understanding of what our military community contributes to our great nation's defense and our regional economy on a daily basis,” McKenna said. “This day is always one of the most popular program days and it helps to create a strong bridge between our military and business communities.”
After receiving the Army experience, the tour continued at JBLE-Langley.
U.S. Air Force Col. Allen Herritage, 633rd Mission Support Group commander, met the group for a luncheon where he expounded on the positive impact community relations have on the Department of Defense.
At JBLE-Langley, LEAD members attended 1st Operation Group Aerospace Physiology, Airfield Management, Weather Operations, and Air Traffic Control briefings to gain insight into some of the elements that comprise the JBLE-Langley mission.
To wrap up their visit, members of the 633rd Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance gave the LEAD members a presentation of the different weapons JBLE’s defenders can be equipped with to protect the various assets the group observed throughout the installation.
“At Joint Base Langley-Eustis, we greatly value our partnerships within the Hampton Roads community,” Herritage said. “Meeting with this year’s LEAD class gives us the opportunity to show community leaders what we do here, and how their partnerships can help support our mission and our service members.”