Three Fort Hood and Killeen-area representatives will sit on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s newly created Governor’s Committee to Support the Military after an executive order signed Wednesday.

Keith Sledd, of Gatesville, executive director of the Heart of Texas Defense Alliance, and Sean Payton, of Killeen, pastor of Guided Truth Global Ministries, were appointed to the 22-member committee tasked with actively looking for ways to maintain and enhance military value at installations within the state.

Sledd will act as chair for the committee, according to a news release.

“The State of Texas strongly supports the mission of the U.S. military and actively looks for ways to maintain and enhance our military installations,” Abbott said in a news release. “Texas is home to many veterans with unique knowledge and experience that the Governor’s Committee to Support the Military can utilize. I look forward to the great work of this Committee, and I thank the members for their service.”

Also on the appointment list was Todd Fox, of Belton, executive vice president at Fort Hood National Bank. According to a release, Fox served in the Army for 24 years, retiring as chief of staff of III Corps in 2018.

Sledd served in the Army for 34 years until his retirement in 2017.

Payton serves as a chaplain for the Texas State Guard and is a member of the Killeen Planning and Zoning Commission and the Killeen Arts Commission.

By the governor’s orders, the committee will make a written report of its findings, activities and recommendations — including legislative recommendations — to the governor’s office and the Legislature.

The first report is due Dec. 1 and will contain recommendations for legislative action during the 2019 legislative session.

Other duties include:

Study and make recommendations on how best to make Texas a more attractive destination for additional military missions.

Collaborate with local governments and chambers of commerce to explore surrounding civilian infrastructure and identify competing and complementary needs between private development, the rights of private landowners, and military necessities.

Examine the 2005 criteria used by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission and identify strategies to avoid future base closures.

Coordinate with the Texas Military Preparedness Commission and Texas Military Values Task Force. Since January 2018, the Texas Military Value Task Force has met with each Texas installation commander and staff along with the local communities to identify new missions or mission growth opportunities.

Other appointees to the committee come from Helotes, Cibolo, San Antonio, El Paso, Maud, Corpus Christi, Kingsville, Arlington, Burkburnett, Christoval, Del Rio, Missouri City, Abilene, Austin, Paris and Fort Worth. | 254-501-7567

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