JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
In his first official visit to Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston as the 23rd Secretary of the Army, Dr. Mark T. Esper met with local senior Army commanders and Soldiers April 17 to discuss his priorities and share his vision for the future of the Army.
Esper started the day conducting physical training with Soldiers from the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade. Additionally, he talked with enlisted Soldiers over breakfast.
As the clock tower struck 9 a.m. at the historic Quadrangle, Lt. Gen. Jeffrey S. Buchanan, commander, U.S. Army North (Fifth Army), greeted Esper. Buchanan, along with other senior leaders, briefed him on ARNORTH functions and capabilities.
“We started the visit off at ARNORTH headquarters and I welcomed the opportunity to share with him about the ARNORTH missions of homeland defense, defense support of civil authorities, and theater security cooperation, along with my responsibilities as Senior Army Commander, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and JBSA-Camp Bullis,” said Buchanan.
ARNORTH has three mission pillars in addition to its role as the Army senior command in the San Antonio area. It prepares, plans and coordinates Army forces in defense of the United States; the unit focuses on the Defense Support of Civil Authorities.
ARNORTH is also responsible for enhancing interoperability through strengthening military partnerships with Mexico and working with Canada in the cooperative defense of North America.
Esper visited U.S. Army North and U. S. Army South, whose combined missions bear the responsibility for the defense of the entire western hemisphere for the U.S. Army. But those two major commands weren’t his only stop.
“Dr. Esper also visited U.S. Army South, Installation Management Command, the 232nd Medical Battalion and Brooke Army Medical Center, and it's evident the combined impact of these commands' truly have a global reach supporting our Army and our military,” Buchanan said.
Several Soldiers and spouses stationed at Fort Sam also had the opportunity to eat lunch with Esper at the Slagel Dining Facility here.
As Esper’s visit came to an end, he said, "It was just a wonderful experience to see all the different commands that are down here playing very unique and integral parts in regards to our national defense and for the Army. I was very impressed with everything that I saw and with all the people that I met.”