The States’ Role in National Defense

Join us as we embark on an exciting new project to develop innovative solutions to pressing and emerging challenges of impact to defense communities across our states.

NGA’s homeland security, economic development, education, energy, and cyber experts will team with state and interagency partners to identify cross-sector policy connections that enhance the readiness and resilience of military installations and defense communities across the country.

  • Our guiding resource, the Defense Spending by State Report published by the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), details defense spending by each state, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 
  • Read More: Defense Spending By State Report: Federal Data To Support State Strategic Planning
  • Our advisory board includes a roster of distinguished experts on complex, emerging issues such as workforce development and supply chain risk management.

NGA Chair Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson on Reaching and Engaging our Defense Communities

  • Our external partners, Blue Star Families and Association of Defense Communities, are equally as dedicated to strengthening our defense communities, in small towns, megacities, and everything in between.
  • Our audience is as diverse as our resident, advisor, and partner expertise—Governors and key state policy staff on issues that connect to defense and veteran affairs.

Through a series of technical assistance opportunities, NGA will leverage evidence-based practices and the information presented in our guidance resource to support states in developing and executing strategic action plans to promote resilient national defense assets and economic vitality.  

Virtual Workshops

NGA will host a series of virtual workshops for state policy advisors on key issues designed to:  

  • Reach and Engage our Defense Communities;
  • Bolster the Resilience of Defense Installations;
  • Develop Our Defense Workforce; and
  • Sustain our Defense Industries.

Regional, In-Person Workshops

In 2021, NGA will convene a series of four regional workshops to bring together governor’s offices and senior state officials to help craft policy and programmatic actions, including but not limited to Executive Orders, administrative guidance, legislation, among others. Expect more details early in the new year! 


Building upon policy conversations from our workshop series, NGA will publish a series of reports that include case state studies and highlight promising practices identified by state and national subject matter experts. 

NGA is excited about this two-year initiative, which is made available in part through financial and technical support from Office of Economic Adjustment, Department of Defense. Our Association will routinely post updates on our combined efforts and that of individual states on this site. Such content reflects the views of our Association or the state and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment.