Report: Fort Drum Could Lose Thousands Of Soldiers & Jobs

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Fort Drum could lose 8,000 soldiers and civilian workers over the next seven years. 

It's laid out in an Army report suggesting ways to trim Army strength by 72,000 soldiers.

"We're concerned. We want to preserve the soldier strength that we have," said Carl McLaughlin of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization.

The report puts Fort Drum among 21 installations, some of which could  lose one of their brigade combat teams. 

It says this would cost the local  economy close to $400 million a year.

But Fort Drum also shows up on another list in the report.

It's a list of installations which could end up with more soldiers than they have now.

Under "Alternative Two," the Army could cut brigades at other posts and bulk up the ones at Fort Drum and 11 other installations.

"We have the capacity here at Fort Drum to take on more mission. That would be a really good outcome for us," said McLaughlin.

And, there's there's the possibility nothing could change at all.

"They may choose to say that all things will stay steady at this post or that particular post," said McLaughlin.

As Fort Drum prepares to weather another test, local support remains strong.

"We're united, we're here and we want to make sure that his base stays as prosperous as it has been," said Lynn Pietroski, executive director of the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce.

Local leaders have until February 19 to tell the Army how they feel.

Saturday, October 25, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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