Fort Benning faces another 10,000 job cuts - WRBL

Fort Benning faces another 10,000 job cuts

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Fort Benning faces more than 10,000 new job cuts, as recently announced by the Department of Defense.

Last year the Army wanted to cut 7,100 jobs at Fort Benning in the first downsizing phase. With the help of the public, Fort Benning was able to keep the 3rd Brigade.

The new Programmatic Environmental Assessment released Thursday doesn't specify which jobs are under the microscope now, but the combined solider and civilian projection is 10,767. 

Combined with the family members of these employees, there would be more than 27,000 people leaving the area.

Chamber of Commerce CEO Mike Gaymon says cuts like that would be crippling to our local economy. "
There will be no business that won't be affected," he says. "Obviously it will affect your tax base, it'll affect every business. Every business directly or indirectly is impacted by the military, one way or the other."

In fact, the impact of these cuts would be more than $1 billion a year in income, sales and taxes to our area.

Total, this assessment aims to reduce the army by 70,000 troops between 2015 and 2020. Last year public feedback helped curb those proposed cuts.

"You have to be proactive," says Gaymon. "The Army spent $3.5 billion to bring Armor here and do the other things they needed to do, but we were able to show that this region, this state, both states, and the city, etc. have invested over $3.2 billion themselves."

The Chamber's Executive Vice President of Military Affairs, Gary Jones, says, "We, this community, this Valley Partnership, this Chamber, must become the voice for Fort Benning as it communicates itself to the future about what this area will be."

The last time Fort Benning and the Army faced these kinds of cuts was after the Vietnam War. Jones, a veteran, says just because we aren't fighting now, doesn't mean we won't be in the future. "It's going to be a very difficult time because tremendously talented men and women will be leaving our service at a time when our service needs them," says Jones.


You can send letters and emails to the Army to explain why you think Fort Benning should keep these jobs.

Public comments on the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Army 2020 Force Realignment may be submitted by mail or e-mail to:
U. S. Army Environmental Command
             ATTN: SPEA Public Comments
2450 Connell Road (Bldg 2264)
Joint Base San-Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas 78234-7664


usarmy.jbsa.aec.nepa@mail.mil

The comment period is now open but closes on August 25, 2014.

Find the full assessment, click here: http://aec.army.mil/Portals/3/nepa/Army2020SPEA-2.pdf

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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