ST. MARYS, Ga. — A constant turnover in leadership positions at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay and in Camden County makes it a challenge to maintain close working relationships.
And that's always a concern when it comes to dealing with the many mutual issues that impact the county and the Navy base -- by far the county's largest employer.
For the past five years, the Camden Partnership has worked to keep the communication strong between the two by hosting an annual meet and greet at the St. Marys Submarine Museum.
Camden Partnership Chair Sheila McNeill said every command at Kings Bay will be represented in the next annual meeting, set for Jan. 30. She said elected city and county officials, from judges and county commissioners to city council members, have been invited to the event.
"There are always new folks on the base and in the community," she said. "It's a constant turnover for one or another. This puts them all together in one room."
The event fills both floors of the museum each year.
Often, the military and elected officials do much more than talk shop or issues of mutual concern, McNeill said.
"You see them at formal occasions," she said. "This gives them a chance to get to know each other on a personal level.
"It has been one of the more successful things we've put together."
There is another advantage to bringing everyone to the submarine museum. It's also a way to showcase the facility to those who have never seen the collection of memorabilia on display that shows the history of submarine service, both domestic and abroad.