Thursday, July 9, 2015

UPDATE: Only 365 troops cut from Fort Carson

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2015 at 10:52 AM

click to enlarge A helicopter is on display at an entrance to Fort Carson. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • A helicopter is on display at an entrance to Fort Carson.
UPDATE:  Mayor John Suthers has issued a statement regarding the cuts at Fort Carson

"The Pentagon’s announcement this morning regarding minimal troop reductions at Ft. Carson is good news for Colorado Springs and is an indication of the importance of Ft. Carson in the overall defense mission. It also reflects positively on the case Colorado Springs has made on behalf of Ft. Carson," he says in the statement.

"However, we have to remain vigilant as there will likely be another round of proposed reductions next year and we must continue to make the case for maintaining troops levels here in the future."

Here's the outline of cuts and gains by Fort Carson in the force reduction maneuver of the Department of Defense.


———————————————ORIGINAL POST 10:52 a.m. WED., JULY 9, 2015———————————————————

There might not be dancing in the streets, but you can be assured some are celebrating an announcement on military force reduction that will result in Fort Carson losing only 365 troops.

It's almost too good to be true, considering the cut could have eliminated up to 16,000 troops, or about two-thirds of those stationed at the Mountain Post.
 
Andy Merritt, with the Regional Business Alliance, says those cuts come in small units, and some of those will be offset by gains in others.

"We are very happy," he says in an interview. He adds the cut might not be the smallest across the country, with some bases losing 200 soldiers, but it could be the smallest percentage loss.

Considering some bases are losing entire brigade combat teams of 2,000 to 3,000 troops, "We've come out very, very well," Merritt says. "It's a strong statement of the value of Fort Carson and the support this community gives."

Merritt estimated the economic impact of the loss of 365 soldiers at about $25 million. "So it's not a large number," he says. "Obviously, every job counts. But it's over a two-year period. Our economy has the ability to absorb this."

Merritt says he hasn't seen any job loss numbers for civilian positions but thinks Carson will fare well on that as well.

Sen. Michael Bennet issued this release this morning in reaction to the cutback announcement:
We don’t want any cuts to Fort Carson. However, in light of the scope of today’s announcement, it is clear the Pentagon recognizes the strategic importance of Fort Carson and its missions, the critical role troops stationed there serve in protecting our national security, and all that Colorado offers our service members and their families. We commend the state and local communities for working together during this process to successfully emphasize those points to the Department of Defense.

Our office will continue to support efforts in Colorado Springs and throughout the state to further enhance the vital relationship between Colorado and our armed services. We will also continue to fight to replace the sequester, which is bad policy that could make these reductions worse and result in indiscriminate cuts to the Department of Defense and throughout the federal government.

As reductions are made, the Pentagon should provide service members with any resources needed for transition. Colorado’s communities stand ready to provide support for service members and their families.




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