Fort Drum in the running for more soldiers, civilian jobs
FORT DRUM, New York (WWNY) - Fort Drum could become the home to an additional 3,000 soldiers and gain “dozens” of additional civilian jobs.
That’s if it is selected as the home for one of the Army’s new Multi-Domain Task Force (MDTF) installations.
The task force is called a centerpiece for transforming the Army to combat ongoing threats posed by Russia and China and aims to enhance the Army’s ability to compete in modern combat, whether that’s on land, sea, space, or cyber.
It could mean as many as 3,000 new soldiers, dozens of new civilian jobs on post, and millions of dollars in investment in Fort Drum. There will be 5 of these task forces placed around the globe.
Three have been chosen; the last 2 will be selected based on military value, environmental impact, and community input.
Leaders of the pro-Fort Frum group Advocate Drum, say the local post is planned, proven, and positioned for more troops.
“In all, we have about 15,000 soldiers there now. We were up to 20,000 during the war on terror at the peak, so we know we can easily support those 3,000,” said Dave Zembiec, chairman, Advocate Drum. “Fort Drum has a lot of that capacity already, it’s already used for the joint training facility for the entire Northeast. In addition to the 15,000 soldiers that are stationed here, they train about 30,000 air and national guard from around the Northeast already, so this is kind of the future of the Army so certainly it bodes well if Fort Drum is selected for this...As the Army evolves into this sort of approach it’s good to have Fort Drum part of that evolution, be at the forefront, the tip of the spear, as the Army would say. "
Advocate Drum, also known as the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, is out with a letter to local groups and community leaders, encouraging them to write the Army in support of locating an MDTF here.
“Two MDTF stationing alternatives are being considered by the Army,” according to the letter. “The full MDTF investment will mean millions in additional infrastructure at Fort Drum, along with 3,000 additional soldiers, and dozens of additional civilian positions. The base MDTF would mean adding up to 400 Soldiers and Civilians, with a small investment.
“The investment will also enhance the long-term sustainability of Fort Drum, ensuring that the North Country remains the best place on earth to house and train Soldiers to ensure the Army retains its position as the globally dominant land power.”
The locations for three MDTFs have already been chosen, leaving two to be selected.
“The two remaining MDTF installations will be selected based on military value, environmental impact, and critically, host-community input,” according to the letter. “As community leaders, you are keenly aware of how rarely our region is given such good odds of attracting new jobs, federal investment, and economic growth of this scale. It is imperative that we do all we can to remind the Army that the North Country is the right place to invest for the future.”
The military has set July 19, next Tuesday, as the deadline for submitting letters of support.
A template for letters of support is below. Advocate Drum asks that letters be filled out and emailed to Nancy Datoush at email@example.com.
What is a Multi-Domain Task Force?
According to Advocate Drum, it’s the Army’s new response to “address the growing threat to U.S. national security posed by Russia and China.” The website “FedScoop” reports the first one was created in 2017. It appears that MDTFs are heavily oriented toward cyber-warfare.
Secretary of The Army Christine Wormuth described it this way (again, reported by ‘FedScoop’):
“It’s not just about the traditional warfighting domains of air, land and sea. You now have cyber, you have information operations,” she said. “The Multi-Domain Task Force...is designed to be able to bring together not just the traditional kinetic effects, but also to be able to leverage information, cyber and space.”
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