Coast military bases present updates at annual meeting

Coast military bases present updates at annual meeting

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Commanders from the Naval Construction Battalion Center, the Combat Readiness Training Center, and Keesler Air Force Base all spoke about the latest happenings at Thursday morning's annual update, hosted by the Coast Centurion Association.

The consistent message from all three bases focused on an overwhelming amount of community support.

"Our Seabees are out in the community all the time and people probably see them and just don't realize what all they're doing to help the community," said Captain Cheryl Hanson, Commander of the Seabee Base in Gulfport.

The Seabees and the base itself in Gulfport are celebrating 75 years of service this year. Keesler Air Force Base also recently passed it's 75th anniversary.

Col. Michele Edmonson updated attendees on Keessler's most recent accomplishments, which include the installation of the only science on a sphere technology in the Department of Defense for its weather school and the first ever robotic surgery in an Air Force hospital.

"If we're not keeping up with the local industry and what's going on across the country, then we're not doing right by our medics," Edmonson said.

Another goal for the base is to get a new entry gate built on the east side. The City of Biloxi gifted the base with $5 million toward building the road that will lead to the new gate. A ground breaking ceremony is expected to happen soon.

While Keesler remains a leader in military training, so does the Air National Guard Combat Readiness Training Center in Gulfport.

"South Mississippi has a great history of supporting its military organizations up and down the coast," said Lt. Col. Jeff Kirby.

Kirby also gave an update on the center's potential increase of training sessions and readiness to help when the community needs. All of the base commanders stressed their appreciation of the coast's support of their facilities, and say the road ahead will continue to build on that partnership.

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