Military Cuts And Fort Drum's Future

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The Pentagon wants to cut the active duty Army by 13 percent. 

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"It's hard to see this kind of reduction - a reduction of this magnitude not affecting literally every installation in the Army," said Tony Keating, civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army.

Fort Drum is already about to lose up to 2,000 soldiers under a plan approved last year. 

Its 3rd Brigade Combat Team will be inactivated and some of those soldiers will be reallocated to the 1st and 2nd Brigades.  

Keating says it would be easy enough for the Army to eliminate all of the 3rd BCT soldiers by simply adjusting the current plan.

"That hasn't been completed. It probably will get another review and perhaps will be adjusted. That would seem like a logical outcome," said Keating.

If Fort Drum is going to face a brand new threat, who will be its advocate in Congress?

It's Bill Owens for the next ten months only. 

If cutbacks persist past then, we can only hope the new member of Congress, like Owens, gets named to the House Armed Services Committee.

"I think it's going to be the case, no matter who is in that seat after this fall's election, that they'll be on that committee," said Dr. Ray Petersen, political science professor at Jefferson Community College.

For now, it is Congress that stands between the Pentagon and its Army cutback plan.
 

Friday, July 25, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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