From the office of Congressman Sanford Bishop
Today, the United States Army
released a final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) Army 2020 Force Structure Realignment, which reviews and analyzes the impact of an
anticipated force-wide restructuring plan. The Army has completed
this analysis in an effort to ensure that vital national defense capabilities
are maintained in a climate of budgetary constraints as U.S. missions in Iraq
and Afghanistan are coming to an end. Consequently, the Army is beginning a
process to reduce their
total active end-strength from 562,000 to 490,000 by 2020 as part of the
military's overall budget reduction.
As part of this drawdown, plans are
being laid to deactivate eight Army Brigade Combat Teams. The Army has announced
two of the deactivated brigades will come from units stationed in Europe, while
six will come from twenty-one U.S. installations home to Brigade Combat Teams,
possibly including Fort Benning, Georgia
Domestic sites being considered for force reduction also include: Fort Bliss, TX; Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Campbell, KY; Fort Carson, CO; Fort Drum, NY; Fort Gordon, GA; Fort Hood, TX; Fort Irwin, CA; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA; Fort Knox, KY; Fort Lee, VA; Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Fort Polk, LA; Fort Riley, KS; Fort Sill, OK; Fort Stewart, GA; U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii; and U.S. Army Garrison Fort Wainwright, AK.
In making a final determination, the
Army will consider environmental issues; socioeconomic impact (reduced
employment, income, regional population, and sales); as well as operational
(military value); cost,
strategy and geographic distribution; investment and regeneration; and soldier
and family quality of life.
"It cannot be understated how important Fort Benning, its service members, and support staff are to the community and economy of the greater Columbus region," said Congressman Bishop. "Given the potential impact of the PEA on Fort Benning and the surrounding area, I would urge anyone concerned about the potential loss of a brigade to submit a public comment. It is vital that the details of the PEA are accurate, and we must continue to do all that we can to support our soldiers."
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