The Daily Transcript held a round table with Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, mayors and members of the Chamber of Commerce from the surrounding communities at the Marine Memorial Golf Course here Aug. 20.
"Round tables are a regular feature at the transcript, and they are an opportunity for us to sit down and interview people that are specifically involved in various industries," said George Chamberlin, the executive editor for the Daily Transcript. "They are on the record conversations about what is going on in those industries."
The event was held to discuss the economic impact of the base on its surrounding communities.
"As a guy who has lived in North County for almost 40 years it has been fascinating to see this region go through changes," said Chamberlin. "A vibrant part of our community is Camp Pendleton."
One of the topics discussed during the round table was energy and how Camp Pendleton has worked to reduce its use here.
"Camp Pendleton spends a lot of time on Energy," said Coglianese, the commanding general and regional authority for five Marine Corps installations in the southwestern United States. "We have a lot of initiatives and mandates on the subject, and I personally would love to have all our bases energy independent so that we could generate combat power or assist the civilian authorities."
The participants also spoke about the military downsizing and the effect that will have on neighboring communities.
"The military expects forces to be reduced after a major conflict, but we have to make sure that those of us not in the military are also prepared," said Tony Nufer, president of the San Diego Military Advisory Council.
Members of the round table continued to explain that a large portion of the apartment renters in just outside the base are service members and many of the tourists staying in their hotels are family members visiting people in the military.
Another topic of discussion was the men and women leaving the Marine Corps and how that will affect the community.
"The men and women who serve on this base and serve our country everywhere are very young and many of them are going through a transition back to civilian life. There is always going to be a challenge there," said George Chamberlin, the executive editor for the Daily Transcript. "What is being done on the base to assist Marines in their transition?"
Coglianese responded by explaining that the Marine Corps has a new Transition Readiness Seminar.
"Young Marines come and go. Most serve four years and leave, and there are only a few of us that make it a career," said Coglianese. "We have really revamped the transition program and are trying to get the men and women to start their transition a year out. Actually, we are starting to get them thinking about what they are going to do when you get out as they come in, because we all get out and we need to have a plan."
Chamberlin ended the event by showing his appreciation for everyone who attended the round table.
"This has been a very great and educational opportunity for us," he said. "I really appreciate you all for taking the time to be here, and I hope that we can build on this. I think there are things we can do to go to the next level and make sure that North County, as a region, is well represented."