The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce on May 4 announced the launch of the Texas Coalition of Defense Communities initiative.

Chamber officials said the initiative is a collective approach to advocating for policies, legislation and objectives that help protect all types of military missions statewide.

A news release states Texas’ military installations, infrastructure and personnel generate more than $136.6 billion to the state’s economy and make invaluable contributions to national security.

“I thank the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce for launching the Texas Coalition of Defense Communities to support military installations in Texas and our nation's security,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. "This coalition and its partners will play an important role in helping attract more military missions to Texas, ensure our brave men and women in uniform can benefit from the best economic opportunities, and bring together community and business leaders in military communities at the state and federal level."

TCDC partners include civic and business leadership of Texas’ military-connected communities and organizations, the release said. Partners include 19 other chambers of commerce and other organizations around Texas.

Representatives for the coalition said the TCDC partners will work to avoid reductions in infrastructure, personnel and funding as well as seek to attract new missions and increase defense-related employment.

“This new and innovative coalition will work to coordinate and promote collaboration across public and private partners, and ensure the needs of our military missions and service members are a priority,” said Katie Harvey, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce board chair, in a statement.

As the end of Texas' 88th legislative session approaches, the TCDC will continue advocacy efforts at the federal level and keep the state’s military communities connected, the release states.

“Texas will certainly benefit from a forward-thinking approach to protecting military missions, ensuring installation resiliency, and actively engaging in discussions around any closing, realigning or restructuring that would impact military installations in the state,” said Dave Petersen, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce interim CEO and president, in a statement.