Army Expert Weighs In On Fort Drum General's Prediction

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The 10th Mountain Division is almost certain to lose one of its  brigades. 

That was the message this week from Fort Drum's commander. 

A local Army expert says that brigade is probably not the one at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

"I think the brigade that he was referring to, most likely, would be one of the three situated at Fort Drum," said Tony Keating, the civilian aide to the secretary of the Army.

The Army will announce a restructuring in just a few weeks. 

The plan is for fewer brigade combat teams. 

But Keating predicts the remaining brigades will be beefed up, so the loss at Fort Drum could be about 1,900 soldiers.

"Because the elements of that brigade, or at least 50 percent of the elements of that brigade, will filter into the other brigades that are there at Fort Drum," said Keating.

The general's speech this week seems to have dampened optimism that Fort Drum could end up with more soldiers.

"It looks like we'll be well to hold our current numbers," said Carl McLaughlin of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization. 

But, after Army downsizing has played out, which will be years from now.

"Fort Drum will still be just as vibrant, and I think, just as vital as it has been," said Keating.

There are some other wild cards that could affect Fort Drum - more automatic budget cuts and the possibility of another round of base closings.

See our earlier report

Monday, July 28, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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