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We will broadcast special coverage of both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, starting with the RNC tonight at 8.

Nixon Announces Partnership To Protect And Enhance Military Presence In Missouri

A Missouri National Guard Black Hawk helicopter.
Mo. National Guard
A Missouri National Guard Black Hawk helicopter.

Gov. JayNixonhas issued an executive order designed to help prevent military bases in Missouri from being closed or downsized.

The order creates a partnership between state and local officials and business leaders. The goal is for those groups to examine ways to keep and expand the nation's military presence in Missouri.

"Missouri's military bases and service members are not only vital to this nation's safety and security, they put billions of dollars into the state's economy, create jobs, fuel local businesses and are essential parts of their local communities," Nixon told supporters Friday in St. Robert, near Ft. Leonard Wood. "Recognizing the crucial importance of military facilities to the future of Missouri, we will continue to work with local community leaders, businesses and our active and retired military families to retain and enhance the military footprint in the Show-Me State."

Nixon also chose fellow Democrat and state Treasurer ClintZweifel to lead the so-called "Missouri military partnership."

"If you think about this also through the lens of economic development (and) jobs, we're putting an emphasis on an area that we already have a tremendous investment in, that our nation's made a tremendous investment in," Zweifel said.

Zweifel cites a recent study showing that the Army's Fort Leonard Wood, Whiteman Air Force Base and the Missouri National Guard have a combined economic impact of more than $3 billion a year.  He's also ready to craft a report by the end of March, which he says will contain a "strategic pathway" to protect and enhance Missouri's military facilities.

"This is a way to make sure that we're doing everything that we can to mobilize resources here at home and advocate in our nation's capital to insure that we protect, support, and ultimately enhance our military installations and the roles that they play in the future of our military," Zweifel said.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:  @MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.