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St. Clair County named 'America's Great Defense Community'

  • Published
  • By Compiled report
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Washington, D.C. – St. Clair County, Ill., home to Scott Air Force Base, is one of five communities across the country named to the 2020 Class of Great American Defense Communities, a recognition program which is part of the Association of Defense Communities. 

“The strength of our military starts at home, in America’s defense communities,” said ADC President Joe Driskill. “We are proud to recognize St. Clair County as a community that stands out as supporting service members, veterans and their families.”
The communities recognized by the Great American Defense Communities program demonstrate exemplary work in improving the quality of life of military personnel and their families through programs, initiatives and partnerships in their regions. 

Mark Kern, St. Clair County Board Chairman, said, “More than 60,000 active duty, guardsmen, reservists, spouses, retirees, and their families bring their wealth of knowledge and experience to the area. Having military families mixed into neighborhoods throughout the county brings new cultures, the opportunity to be a part of diverse communities, and exposes our residents to new ideas and traditions. The region’s dedication to a joint partnership with Scott AFB has created a sense of community that extends far outside of the gates and has ensured local communities and businesses understand the quality of life, career opportunities, and personal satisfaction our service members, retirees, and their families are looking for.”  
The Great American Defense Communities program, now in its fifth year, was established to recognize the role that communities and regions with active installations in the U.S. play in supporting service members and military families. Communities are chosen through a competitive nomination process based on community building and integration, support and collaboration, and educational and employment opportunities, and family support. 

Col. J. Scot Heathman, Scott AFB Installation commander, added, "I am incredibly proud to call St. Clair County home and honored they were recognized for this prestigious award. The county is blessed to have so many residents who give back on a daily basis to our military members and their families. Having strong community support for any of our installation is a necessary ingredient for our overall mission success and all I can say is 'Thank You' for always being there for Team Scott over the last 100+ years.” 

The other communities also being recognized are Central Arkansas, Davis and Weber Counties, Utah, Greater Abilene, Texas, and Junction City, Kansas. 

ADC is the connection point for leaders from communities, states, the military and industry on community-military issues and installation management to enhance knowledge, information sharing and best practices. With nearly 300 communities, states, regions, and affiliated industry organization as members, ADC represents every major defense community/state in the nation. Visit  to learn more.