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Sill general highlights community partnership

Pictures speak louder than words, and that’s what Maj. Gen. Wilson Shoffner used Thursday to show that the partnership between Fort Sill and the civilian community that surrounds it is alive and well.

In his annual “State of Fort Sill” address to the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce, the commanding general of the Fires Center of Excellence (FCoE) and Fort Sill made his point by pulling together photos of Lawton Mayor Stan Booker at the launcher button of a Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), Lawton BancFirst President Mark Brace rappelling down Treadwell Tower during a Leadership Oklahoma trip to Fort Sill, 1,050 Sill soldiers participating in the Lawton Rangers Rodeo and the Fort Sill Artillery Half Section competing in a national cavalry competition at El Reno.

Mark Scott of Arvest Bank, incoming chairman of the chamber board, introduced the speaker as “a native Lawtonian, raised here in our community. Who better to advocate for the relationship and the importance of the relationship between Lawton and Fort Sill than a native Lawtonian? And we’re certainly proud to have him.”

Shoffner recognized by name the many uniformed leaders in the audience who were there to interface with civilian leaders.

He then opened his remarks with the two cross-functional teams (CFTs). Both are associated with artillery. The Army’s No. 1 modernization priority, long-range precision fires, has to do with field artillery (FA), while its No. 5 priority, air and missile defense, is all about the air defense artillery (ADA) branch. The two CFTs are collocated on Fort Sill.

To give listeners an idea of how important they are, Brig. Gen. Brian Gibson, director of the air and missile defense CFT, communicates directly with the Secretary of the Army and the Chief of Staff of the Army.

“That’s pretty powerful,” said Shoffner. “I don’t do that. I have to go through multiple levels of the chain of command.”

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