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Home : News
NEWS | Nov. 18, 2013

Army Chief of Staff Odierno visits Massachusetts to discuss defense initiatives

By Sgt. 1st Class James C. Lally Massachusetts National Guard

NATICK, Mass. - Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, 38th chief of staff for the U.S. Army, visited Massachusetts to tour the U.S. Army Natick Soldier System Center.

During his Nov. 15 visit, Ordierno met with Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, adjutant general, Massachusetts National Guard, and members of the Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force.

On the agenda: Discussing how Massachusetts' competitive business, innovation, education and workforce advantages support Soldiers and provide peerless technologies to defend our nation and commonwealth.

Speaking about preparing Soldiers for the future, Odierno said, "The keystone of our Army has always been our Soldiers, and that will never change. We're focused on how to help Soldiers become more capable and efficient, so the work done here is very important because it supports that."

Gov. Deval Patrick and U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas, both co-chairs of the Massachusetts Asset and Security Strategy Task Force, participated in the event. "We appreciate Gen. Odierno's visit to Massachusetts as we work in partnership with Army leadership to strengthen and invest in Natick Soldier Systems Center, Fort Devens, and the Massachusetts National Guard's sites," Patrick said. "Our military bases offer incredible assets, fuel our economy and are an important piece of our national security," he said.

"Massachusetts continues investing in and marshaling some of the best minds and resources in the world, which provides unmatched benefits to our Armed Forces," said Tsongas. "Combined with the highly skilled workforce, strong military tradition and top-tier educational institutions unique to this region, we are positioned to continue growing as a hub of innovation."

The Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force engages state and federal agencies to work directly with stakeholders to develop and implement actions that will support military bases, veterans, military families andnbsp; to foster innovation and economic development across the commonwealth.

"The Massachusetts National Guard is honored to provide an effective operational force for over 377 years within the Reserve Component of the total force of Active, Guard and Reserve," Rice said. "Our participation in the Massachusetts Military Asset Security and Strategy Task Force is vital in supporting and growing its mission of fueling innovation for a better future for our Commonwealth, particularly at Natick Soldiers Systems Center with the Army."