Fort Drum Official: 2013 Deployments Won't Create 'Ghost Town'
Fort Drum's garrison commander says that although an estimated 83 percent of the 10th Mountain Division is expected to be deployed at once in 2013, it doesn't mean the post will become a "ghost town".
Col. Noel Nicolle said all three brigades are due back in 2012, but will be deployed the following year, essentially emptying out the local post.
Nicolle says that "empty nest" will last for 60 to 90 days and the post's population will be down to roughly 17 percent.
He emphasized that while the soldiers will be gone, it's likely the families will stay.
"What we have seen again and again is that when there is housing available for their soldiers, families tend to remain where they are," he said.
He said that based on models used by other services, such as the Marine Corps, "you look at the statistics for them and their families always tend to stay and remain."
He said the post is scheduled to be at full strength again in 2014.
Nicolle also wants people to know that unlike other deployments - where almost the entire division moves out overnight and the soldiers are gone for twelve months - this deployment will be spread out over an entire year.
Friday, August 1, 2014, Watertown, NY
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