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Grassroots Politics and Louisiana's Military (2014)

McLeod Lecture Series



Genre: Panel

Place Covered: Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2014-06-04

Duration: 00:56:04

Subjects: Filmed panel discussions | MCNEESE STATE UNIVERSITY | Military | Fort Polk (La.) | Barksdale Air Force Base (La.) | Kleckley, Chuck | Fort Polk Progress | Barksdale Forward, Inc. | United States. Army | Louisiana. National Guard


  • Courtney, Beth Moderator
  • Laudun, Tika Producer
  • Sanford, Shauna Reporter
  • Smith, John Interviewee
  • Armes, James Interviewee
  • LaCerte, David Interviewee
  • Alexander, Rodney Speaker
  • Reese, Michael D. Panelist
  • Viser, Murray Panelist
  • Kleckley, Chuck Panelist
  • Walters, Lee Panelist


This episode of the “McLeod Lecture Series” from June 4, 2014, features moderator Beth Courtney leading a discussion on the future of Louisiana’s military bases. The panelists are: Michael D. Reese, the chairman of Fort Polk Progress; Murray Viser, the president of Barksdale Forward; Speaker of the House Chuck Kleckley; and Colonel Lee Walters, the Chief of Staff for the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk. Prior to the discussion, Shauna Sanford presents a background report on the possible closure of three bases in Louisiana, Fort Polk, Barksdale Air Force Base, and the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse, by the federal Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC). The panelists then discuss: the role of Fort Polk Progress and Barksdale Forward in helping to save their respective bases; the value of these bases; the relationship between the bases and their local communities; the schools at Fort Polk; the Global Strike Command Center at Barksdale; the BRAC assessment; the impact of the assessment on the Louisiana National Guard; the drawdown of the Army; the challenges facing the Army; the role of the bases during a disaster; training for cyber-attacks at Fort Polk; and their hopes for the future. The McLeod Lecture Series event is a part of the McNeese State University Banners Series.