Miami — In the face of looming defense budget cuts and the possibility of one or more base closure rounds, states and communities attempting to support their local installations can employ of variety of strategies to minimize adverse impacts while potentially positioning themselves to gain additional missions.

The most critical step a community can take is to form a “trusting relationship” with base officials, Michael Hayes, managing director of Maryland’s Office of Military and Federal Affairs, said during a session of the 2012 ADC Winter Forum. Community leaders need to understand the installation’s specific missions and, equally importantly, how they fit into the particular service’s larger objectives.