Fort Drum Studies Worst Case Scenario Under Cutbacks

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Fort Drum announced Monday that it's looking at the worst possible scenario under proposed cuts to the military, which translates to a loss of up to 16,000 soldiers and civilians.

The Pentagon has asked the Army to study the what would happen in the event of another budget sequester.

If sequestration happens, the Army would be forced to reduce the number of soldiers to 420,000.

Fort Drum is being assessed on a loss of up to 16,000 soldiers and civilians, which includes the inactivation of the 3rd Brigade.

Because the inactivation was already announced, the local post is actually looking at a reduction of approximately 14,500 additional soldiers and civilians.

"We believe that they'll do some sorting and shifting and reorganizing and that the loss won't be anything like 16,000, but that's to be worked out yet," said Carl McLaughlin of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization.  "It's very, very important that we all rally in support, show our support for what we currently enjoy.

Fort Drum points out that the overall numbers are not final - it's an assessment of the potential socio-economic and environmental impacts of losing a potential number of civilian and military positions at an installation.

The Army will consider effects on military communities when making force structure realignment decisions.

The final force structure and its geographic distribution will be based on the proper balance of combat forces and combat support elements.

"The Secretary of Defense stated that the Army is transitioning to a force that is more capable of rapid deployment. Well that is exactly what the 10th Mountain Division is - a very light, very mobile unit; that's why the 10th was created - to deploy rapidly. In that regard, I think we are in good shape," said Brigadier General Michael Howard, Acting Senior Commander, Fort Drum the 10th Mountain Division.

"In the coming months, as senior leaders across the Army and DoD go through the decision making process about force size changes, they have made clear that input from local and state leaders is welcome and will be considered.
They look forward to hearing from you," Howard said in a news release.

Once the study is complete and approved by Army leadership, the Army will post its findings.

After that, there will be a comment period and a public "listening session".

There is no timeline for these yet but they are expected sometime after June.

Monday, July 28, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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