Military officials don’t expect President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to affect Kansas installations, Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers said last week during an interview with The Mercury.
The declaration allows the president to divert billions from military construction projects and other entities to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. However, Rogers said the state received assurances about Kansas not being affected during a Governor’s Military Council meeting.
“They said a number of states were going to lose some projects ... and I believe they said there were no projects that were going to be delayed in Kansas, so that was going to stay the same,” Rogers said.
Rogers also said troops from the Air National Guard from Forbes Field in Topeka will be coming to Fort Riley over the next few weeks, but overall, there will not be major changes in troop levels.
Gov. Laura Kelly recently reconstituted the Governor’s Military Council with an executive order March 20.
The council aims to support military troops in Kansas, promote the military’s role in the state, maintain and grow its presence and advocate for military members.
Kelly and Rogers, who serve as chair and vice chair respectively, met with the council the following day, keeping many of its former members, including Lt. Gen. Perry Wiggins as its executive director.
In a ceremony before the meeting, Kelly signed a proclamation on March 21 declaring the day as Armed Forces Appreciation Day, as well as declared March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Appreciation Day.
Area members of the council include State Rep. Lonnie Clark, R-Junction City, chair of the Veterans and Military Committee; Art DeGroat, director of military affairs at K-State; Katrina Lewison, director of professional services at CivicPlus; Lt. Col. Jeremy O’Donnell, liaison for Fort Riley; and Susan Peterson, director of governmental relations at K-State. The nearly 30-member council also has representatives from the military, state universities and the congressional delegation.
The council is scheduled to operate until May 2021.