Fort Gordon to hold 'listening session' on possible budget cuts

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 2:58 PM
Last updated Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:03 PM
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Fort Gordon has been tapped as one of 29 Army posts that will hold listening sessions in April to hear what communities think about the military’s reorganization plans as it tries to reduce troop levels.

Army officials have scheduled Fort Gordon’s meeting from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 25, in the installation’s dinner theater.

The session is intended to give area residents, elected officials and leaders the opportunity to voice their opinions on how the military’s force reductions and restructuring would affect the area.

The personnel cuts are not related to sequestration but are part of a plan by the Army to draw down its active-duty force from 570,000 to 490,000 by the end of 2017, as detailed in the Budget Control Act of 2011.

“These listening sessions are designed to enable community members to provide their concerns and unique perspectives on topics regarding their communities,” said Lt. Col. Peggy Kageleiry, Army spokeswoman. “The Army values community input to make the best decisions and to mitigate, as much as possible, local impact.”

Fort Gordon’s meeting will be led by Maj. Gen. La­Warren Patterson, the commanding general of the post and the U.S. Army Signal Cen­ter. Officials from the Department of the Army also will attend.

Patterson said in a letter last week that although the Army is “analyzing all available options,” he expects that “most Army posts will be affected in some way” by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

Early reports suggest the Army could downsize its active component force structure from 45 brigade combat teams to 32.

Force reductions began in fiscal year 2012 and focused initially on overseas formations.

More are set to come in 2014, with additional cuts possible after the effects of sequestration are assessed.

Kageleiry said that Army leaders will consider the communities’ concerns before final decisions are made and that the service will ensure that it still is able to respond to future, unforeseen demands.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Listening session on how force reductions will affect Fort Gordon

WHEN: Noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 25

WHERE: Dinner theater, Third Avenue, Building 32100, Fort Gordon


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