Government Relations
Community Advancement
Join Now
The Advocates
The Advocates: DC Fly-In Recap
The 2023 DC Fly-In was the perfect opportunity to showcase region-wide community support for military missions in the Charleston Region and to demonstrate a shared commitment to solving issues that inhibit mission success. This year’s delegation was made up of top business, government and nonprofit leaders from Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties.  

We kicked off Wednesday night with an impromptu dinner with Congresswoman Nancy Mace. Congresswoman Mace shared stories with the group about what was happening on Capitol Hill and listened to members feedback about how her work in DC could benefit the Lowcountry.
Thursday morning, half of the group headed to the Pentagon to express our support of Joint Base Charleston (JBC). The session included a tour of the 9/11 memorial, meetings with the Legislative Liaison’s Office and meetings with Energy, Installations and Environment.

Key takeaways include: Continuing Resolutions and government shutdowns make it difficult for our military to fully carry out their missions. 80% of JBC personnel live off-base, making attainable housing a number one priority. Encouragement of creative solutions to address problems like education, housing and childcare.Recruitment is a challenge across the military right now. As a community we can help by talking about the positive aspects of military service and how important the military is to our community. The other half of the group visited Coast Guard Headquarters to learn more about the expansion planned for Charleston.

Topics discussed include: Plans for supporting a growing Coast Guard presence in the Charleston area. Housing needs for Coast Guard members and their families. The importance of resiliency and sustainability in Charleston, especially on the peninsula with on-going plans for the Charleston Perimeter Protection Project. Supporting the livability of family members of the Coast Guard. Emphasis was also placed on the need for family members with pre-existing professional licenses and certifications to obtain jobs as they relocate, with less difficulty. The group met back at the hotel to hear from Stacey Brown, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. Ms. Brown is responsible for all matters related to the development and implementation of the Civil Works budget and the reimbursable international and inter-agency support activities for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She provided updates on the Charleston Perimeter Protection Project and additional details about the Army’s budget process.

For our last military meeting on Friday, we met with Admiral James Frank Caldwell Jr. and his staff at the Naval Reactors Headquarters. The Naval Nuclear Power Training School in Charleston is currently the only operating school of its kind in the U.S. The other school, located in New York, is currently undergoing renovations. They expressed their appreciation for the Charleston community’s support and their desire to continue to train students in our region.  

Over the course of the trip, we had a chance to talk with Congresswoman Mace, Congressman Clyburn and Senator Graham about the Chamber’s federal priorities, including the Chamber’s position on the proposed NOAA amendment to the North Atlantic Right Whale Vessel Strike Reduction Rule and the belief that it will create unsafe conditions, risk catastrophic environmental damage and threaten the flow of commerce. We received supportive feedback from all.

To learn more about this year’s DC Fly-In, check out the attendee packet. We hope to have you join us next year!

Upcoming Workshop
The Chamber will be hosting a special workshop regarding the Sumar Street Redevelopment project on May 23 at 11a.m. If you’re interested in learning more about this important project, please fill out information at this link. We hope to see you there!
Bailey Vincett, Director of Government Relations
Posted on
May 19th 2023
Written by
Justin Allen