Local leaders and elected officials express concerns over potent - WRBL

Local leaders and elected officials express concerns over potential cut backs at Fort Benning

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Fort Benning was host to a Community Listening Session on Wednesday. The session was part of an Army-wide strategy that to allow the public a chance to voice their concerns about possible troop reduction and re-organization on post.

The potential cut backs stem from the 2011 Budget Control Act. the act outlines projected changes for military posts across the country, including at Fort Benning.

"The in-strength has to come down from 570,000 to about 490,000 by 2017 or there abouts," explained, Garrison Commander, Colonel Jeffrey Fletcher.

Colonel Fletcher explained that on the potential chopping block is the 3rd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, or Sledgehammer Brigade.

"These are tough decision that the Army has to make. I think it's a great initiative on the Army's part to get out and hear first hand from the people who could be potentially impacted," added Colonel Fletcher.

During the meeting, Major General H. R. McMaster, the Commanding General of the Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, presented a short power point, explaining the reasoning behind the potential cuts. Afterwards, city leaders and elected officials each had the chance to voice their individual concerns, regarding the loss of troops.

Across the board, the group agreed that cuts would have a devastating impact on the local economy.

However, Army officials said that this session was more of a listening session, and answers will come as decisions are made.

Colonel Fletcher said he expects a decision by the end of the 2013 fiscal year, which ends in September.

Army officials added that they will take the information they learned at the session back to the Army's senior leaders for consideration.

Liz Buckthorpe

Liz joins the WRBL news team from all the way from New England. More>>

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