Holding down the fort

Amid military cuts, Fort Gordon preparing for, welcoming growth

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The U.S. military is in many ways like a business. There are periods of growth, and periods of contraction.

Citing fiscal woes and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, the Pentagon has announced plans to reduce the Army to 450,000 personnel – the smallest since before World War II.

Fortunately for Augusta, business at Fort Gordon has become more “recession-proof.”

Thanks to the relocation of the Army’s Cyber Command to Augusta, the region’s largest employer is expected to see an influx of more than 5,000 military, civilian and contractor personnel to work on what the Department of Defense calls a top national security priority – cyber warfare.

This growth comes at a time when Georgia’s other major Army bases are shedding military and civilian jobs, including Fort Stewart near Savannah, which is scheduled to lose 1,900 soldiers by next year when the 2nd Brigade is shuttered in a downsizing.

Columbus’ Fort Benning expects to move soldiers into jobs previously filled by civilians and possibly will eliminate some civilian jobs as the Army prepares to enlist fewer soldiers.

Fort Gordon already is home of the U.S. Army Signal Center, a National Security Agency complex and the Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center. Now it should be at the cutting edge of next-generation warfare for the foreseeable future when Cyber Command is expected to be fully operational by 2019.

Construction of the Cyber Command facilities, designed to help defend the United States from emerging Internet and computer-based threats, represents an investment that officials say could top $240 million.

Economic development officials call the project the best news for the regional economy since development of the Savannah River Site in the 1950s.

The jobs created during the next five years will be highly skilled positions in which noncommissioned officers earn $50,000 or more; government civilian employees make $70,000 and up; and upper-level commissioned officers earn $100,000 and beyond.

And with no new housing created on base, those employees and their families will rely on the local housing market for their needs – a boon to the area’s real-estate development market.

As for construction on the base, Army estimates show 202 jobs created next year to build and operate the 179,056-square-foot facility that will house the new command, with an associated 83 jobs that will arise because of the development, with a $13 million labor income impact.

By 2017, the numbers grow to 1,026, with a $62 million income impact.

Then in 2019, when Cyber Command is expanded to planned levels, the Army estimates 2,029 jobs, including more than 1,514 directly created jobs and 515 induced, with an annual income impact of $154 million, to continue “for the foreseeable future.”

The region should be thankful there will be steady demand for Fort Gordon’s services for a very long time. In a community that traditionally takes great pride in the U.S. military, the military’s reinvigorated investment in the Augusta area is a natural fit, poised to reap
tremendous benefits.

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Bodhisattva
6466
Points
Bodhisattva 02/25/14 - 07:05 am
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In other words: We're the biggest hypocrites you can find
Unpublished

We want all of the government jobs we can get, we just don't want to pay any taxes. Taxes are for all those loser states that pay more in to fed than they get back, not like us good conservative states that would shrivel up and die without the influx of money from the blue states. We'll write editorial after editorial crucifying Obama over the NSA, while they were "protectin' Uhmuricuh" under Bush, and we drool over the jobs. How about a law that says states get an equal amount to what they pay in back from the fed? Georgia and South Carolina will hurt like the dickens. NSA? A search of just "NSA" on the Chronicle search engine only brings up 7 editorial, all between 12/23/2005-10/12/2008, all pro-Bush, pro-spying, anti-Democrat, and making us safer breaking no laws. Add NSA+Obama and you get "Augusta Chronicle Editorial Staff" from 11/30/2013 and you get an editorial titled "A republic in name only?" with the following phrase, "3. a government that spies wantonly on its own citizens and even the media:This government not only has violated our privacy with NSA spying, but has angered other governments and leaders around the world." Same government, same NSA, same behavior, just a different administration. Hypocrisy. I hope they post a copy on the bulletin board at Fort Gordon so the workers can know what you really think of them and their activity. Evidently, like many foreign governments that house US bases, you hate them. You just like the green that come with their jobs. More hypocrisy. Just some other snippets from recent editorials, "Even when a government review panel warned recently, in unusually blunt terms, that the NSA spying is illegal and unconstitutional, the news seemed to melt like a wet snow on a spring morning" "Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked to the world not only the NSA’s mass surveillance of foreign nationals but the intrusive snooping into the phone and Internet records of ordinary U.S. citizens. Obama talked tough as a U.S. senator when he slammed domestic spying under the George W. Bush administration. But as recently as Dec. 20, he couldn’t answer a reporter’s question on whether the NSA’s call records program ever prevented a single terrorist attack". We knew eavedropping was taking place on US phones as far back as 2007, but it was all "making us safe". So Obama changed his mind on surveillance? What do you call the 180° the Chronicle made? It's even worse when you suck up to the jobs but trash what they do in print. The comments did a 180° as well. So, for the soldiers working at Fort Gordon at Cyber Command: You now know what the Chronicle and the community really think of you. They think you're un-American and are working against the Constitution(as of 1/20/2009) and only care about the money and jobs you bring into the community. Enjoy your stay.

deestafford
28721
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deestafford 02/25/14 - 08:46 am
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We are so fortunate to have Ft Gordon and its mission...

We are so fortunate to have Ft Gordon and its missions as the Obama administration takes the military down below pre-WWII levels. Actually, it's worse than than when one considers the pre-WWII population was around 130 million and we are now over double that.

The world is as dangerous now as anytime in recent years: China is flexing its muscle in the Pacific as well as expanding its influence in mineral rich countries around the world; Putin is trying to reassemble the Soviet Union; Islamic terrorism (which Obama and his irk refuse to admit exists) is expanding; Africa is at war; and South America is in socialist turmoil.

Any power vacuum in the world will be filled by some country. Do we want that vacuum that we are allowing to come about to be filled by China? Russia? Or should it continue to be the USA?

Granted, we have a very strong military but if we cannot project our power world wide we are a second rate power.

Those who have never been in the military don't understand how long it takes to train a soldier to be combat effective. It's even more difficult with today's technology.

The Sec of Defense says based on his proposals we can fight a war but we will not be able to occupy a country if we win. What a shameful admission on the part of the man who is responsible for the part of the government that is supposed to keep us safe.

Obama doesn't want to reduce the military budget to help the country's dismal financial situation but to transfer the money from a Constitutional mandated function to non-Constitutional handouts.

Yes, we are fundamentally transforming the country---from the world's number one power to that of a second rate influence of power militarily and economically.

deestafford
28721
Points
deestafford 02/25/14 - 08:56 am
8
3
Obama doesn't love America...

Obama doesn't love America.

You don't want to "fundamentally change" someone you love.

You don't take a trip around the world apologizing for the actions and past of someone you love.

You don't trash and criticize the background and history of someone you love.

When you represent the one you love you don't bow to the heads of state such as China and Saudi Arabia when you meet them as no president has ever done in history.

When you love someone you never say they are no more exceptional than anyone else.

When you love someone you don't bankrupt them.

When you love someone you don't put their survival at stake by decimating their protection.

When you love someone you don't try to cause its family members to hate each other through divisiveness.

You don't mock the one you love by saying they cling to their Constitutional rights of religion and owning guns.

Those are just a few things that show me Obama doesn't love America.

deestafford
28721
Points
deestafford 02/25/14 - 09:49 am
4
2
Never. Never in my life did I think I'd hear....

Never. Never in my life did I think I'd hear a top US official say as the US Secretary of Defense said yesterday, "We are entering an era where American dominance on the sea, in the skies and in space can no longer be taken for granted."

Even though these words came from Chuck Hagel ( who will be a mediocre SECDEF at best) they are directed from Obama.

The military budget is 18% of the total budget yet it is responsible for 50% of the administration's cuts.

What would happen if Obama proposed the same type of cuts to the federal workforce that he has planned for the military? I tell you what--there would be near riots. Cutting the primary Constitutional mission of the government yet expanding the budget for non-Constitutional programs and agencies is the hallmark of this socialistic cabal.

If there is any doubt as to Obama's desire to rip apart the fabric of America all one has to do is to sit back and look at ALL the actions of this administration as they pertain to the IRS, EPA, Attorney General, judicial rulings, executive orders, State Department protection of overseas embassies, NLRB rulings, et al.

Couple all of this with a spineless Republican leadership who acts more like a door mat than a door keeper one sees a dismal future.

deestafford
28721
Points
deestafford 02/25/14 - 09:58 am
5
1
During the rescue of hundreds of fleeing Viet Namese...

boat people a US Naval carrier saw a boat loaded with refugees braving the waters fleeing communist domination. It sent out a small boat to bring the people to the mother ship. As the boat pulled along side a child saw an American sailor and said, "Hello, American sailor. Hello Freedom Man."

Those days of America being the representative light of freedom seem to be diminishing as the socialist/Marxist in the White House dims that light in flavor establishing a moocher country of equality results for all...no matter one's effort or worth to society.

Jon Lester
2367
Points
Jon Lester 02/25/14 - 10:17 am
4
5
And the CSRA's dependence on federal funds will perpetuate,

even as the ACES and local activists humor "Tea Party" types and incessantly complain about runaway spending and government overreach.

harley_52
23959
Points
harley_52 02/25/14 - 10:18 am
6
3
To This Very Day....

I am still amazed that the American people were so ignorant as to have been duped (now twice) by this man who we elected President.

He is the epitome of everything brave American soldiers have fought and died to prevent.

We voted for our own demise......

itsanotherday1
45445
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itsanotherday1 02/25/14 - 10:55 am
2
0
It depends on how they cut

If it is a reduction in headcount in exchange for better technology, stealth, more highly trained special forces types instead of grunts; then it is the right direction for our high tech warfare world.

Somehow though, I can't believe that is Obama's end game...

deestafford
28721
Points
deestafford 02/25/14 - 11:16 am
2
1
Technology does not win the battles...

Technology does not win the battles. It assists and enables the soldiers. The only thing, the only thing that can take and hold ground is the Infantry soldier. Depending on the terrain some of today's technology that works in the openest of the Middle East will not work in other parts of the world.

Technology does make the soldier more deadly but it does not replace him. Obama is looking at technology as a replacement when the ground soldier cannot be replaced. He can be made more lethal by technology but not replaced.

Let's not forget the primary purpose of the government. The world is dangerous and getting more dangerous everyday. Our adverseries are expanding and we are contracting. We do not have the luxury of protracted expansion of readiness that we had before WWII. Look at how unprepared we were for Korea in just four years after WWII.

There are people in the world who want to dominate. There are only two types of countries in the world---those who dominate and those who are dominated. Which will we be? Will we become to the adverseries as the states are to the federal government--bootlicking cowtowers?

dichotomy
34472
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dichotomy 02/25/14 - 12:07 pm
4
0
I wouldn't crow too loud yet.

I wouldn't crow too loud yet. Anyone who has been around the Army when the cuts start coming knows that anything announced yesterday can be cut, scaled back, postponed, or canceled tomorrow.

Riverman1
86999
Points
Riverman1 02/25/14 - 01:46 pm
4
0
Dichotomy makes a good point.

Dichotomy makes a good point. You never know. But I believe as the Army gets away from the boots on the ground philosophy, the Cyber Command will be the beneficiary. Lucky CSRA.

burninater
9683
Points
burninater 02/25/14 - 03:56 pm
2
7
It should surprise me when

It should surprise me when the very voices that make stern pronouncements about the fallacy of government creating jobs --

(gov't wealth is not its own, public outlays take productive resources out of the private sector, reliance on gov't spending creates a culture of dependence)

-- do an about-face and crow about government creating jobs.

But then again, having seen pigs at the trough on many an occasion, I really shouldn't be surprised.

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 02/25/14 - 04:39 pm
2
2
"If there is any doubt as to
Unpublished

"If there is any doubt as to Obama's desire to rip apart the fabric of America all one has to do is to sit back and look at ALL the actions of this administration as they pertain to the IRS, EPA, Attorney General, judicial rulings, executive orders, State Department protection of overseas embassies, NLRB rulings, et al."
Well said!!

burninater
9683
Points
burninater 02/25/14 - 05:03 pm
2
3
"How could the DoD become

"How could the DoD become more efficient? First, it needs to rationally reduce its civilian workforce, which grew by 100,000 in the last decade, instead of resorting to hiring freezes and unpaid furloughs. Second, it must reduce pay and benefits costs for each soldier, which have risen from $70,000 to $110,000 per person in the last 10 years. Third, it should close unneeded military bases. By its own estimates, the DoD is operating with 21% excess capacity in all its facilities. (Source: Center for Strategy and Budgetary Assessments, Pay Will Swallow DoD Budget by 2024, April 8, 2013)"

Assessments of DoD overspending almost perfectly match budget hawk complaints of the causes of general gov't overspending: 1) poor workforce management; 2) overcompensation relative to private sector pay levels; and 3) gross inefficiencies created by duplicated resources (21% excess capacity!)

These cuts exist to address exactly the governmental inefficiencies that folks have been warning about for years. Suddenly they represent a conspiracy to destroy American influence? How do you rationally reconcile this knee-jerk response with the deliberate efforts of years to reduce wasteful gov't spending?

Why do people seek to sabotage the very type of intelligent budgeting that they claim they've been fighting for? Was the budget ever what anti-spending political movements were really about? Or has that just been a cover?

corgimom
34177
Points
corgimom 02/25/14 - 07:03 pm
1
3
Jon Lester, the AC is for

Jon Lester, the AC is for less government spending.

Except for when they aren't.

What they want is less government spending ELSEWHERE, but they want all they can possibly get in Augusta.

That has been noted by many.

corgimom
34177
Points
corgimom 02/25/14 - 07:08 pm
1
4
While I personally don't

While I personally don't agree, Obama was elected upon the premise that he would stop the wars that we were fighting and reduce the military. That's what many Americans desire.

This is the result of nearly 40 years of a all-volunteer military.

Whether many of us like it or not, more and more Americans have never served in the military, their parents never served, and they have no intention of ever joining, or having THEIR children join.

Don't bother blaming this on Obama. this is the way that many younger Americans feel.

We are about to go into a 3rd generation of volunteer military service, and that has had a profound impact on people's attitude towards the military.

Wake up, and stop blaming it on Obama, and understand that things aren't the way they used to be, and will never be that way again.

nocnoc
45042
Points
nocnoc 02/25/14 - 08:02 pm
2
0
May be it is time to have the best DEFENSE and not OFFENSE.

I remember reading in one our founding documents about
Shall not have a Large Standing Army.

Yep! it was the US Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clause 12 .

"The Congress shall have Power To ...raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years.... Article I, Section 8, Clause 12 " IF that is the case, the 4+ years of Continuing Funding Resolutions, instead of a voted on Budget, violate that clause.

Maybe this why our country has been at War or a "conflict" about 90%+/- of the time since its founding.

https://upworthy-production.s3.amazonaws.com/nugget/4f999561ef15e2000300...

America Need to quit being the Worlds policeman.

Besides the 2nd amendment has allowed the USA to have about
110 million armed civilian reservists with about 40 Million prior military and about 20 million have had Combat military training.

But come to think of it this Administration is actively working to buy up 10 years of Ammo, creating shortages and talking ownership bans to keep firearms out of Citizen hands.

Weaken the Military, reduce citizen ownership, dry up Ammo, collections of weapons in some cities.

UMMMMMM let me think about this some more....

Those nuts in Washington are on our side right?

deestafford
28721
Points
deestafford 02/25/14 - 10:31 pm
2
0
None of this should come as a surprise from Obama...

None of this should come as a surprise from Obama if one read his books and listen to what he said prior to his election in '08.

He has always believed the US should not be the number one superpower in the world and has felt embarrassed about that because of his hatred for the Founding of this country and his perception of its historical wrongs.

He does not want the US to be stronger than any other potential superpower and would not be unhappy if we were behind Russia and China as superpower ranking is concerned.

Some commenters have made an equivalence of conservatives distaste for big government with that of a strong military. Please do not confuse the two. The purpose of the military is to protect the country---the number one priority of the government. That is not the priority of the hundreds of thousands of government employees in the federal work force. Many, many of them could be cut if the federal government did those things enumerated to it in the Constitution.

Also, do not equate a soldier's job and pay with that of the private sector. Granted, there are some soldiers who have cushy jobs but for the most part military people serve not for the money but as a desire to protect the country.

There is no job, I mean no job, in the civilian work force that comes close to equating what I went through for 27 years as an Infantryman and especially an Infantryman in Viet Nam.

I don't know where this $100000 per soldier figure for pay and benefits comes from. It definitely does not come from any pay chart I've ever seen.

Many times over the years budget cutters have tried to equate the two jobs but those who have been there know there is no equating the two.

Obama is not cutting the military to save money. He is cutting it to raise expenditures for social programs and get more and more people loving Uncle Sugar and addicted to the "free" milk flowing from the government's teats.

Obama talks about "fairness". What is "fair" about the military getting 18% of the federal budget and taking 50% of the cuts?

teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 02/25/14 - 09:11 pm
1
0
'Don't bother blaming this on
Unpublished

'Don't bother blaming this on Obama. this is the way that many younger Americans feel.'
corgi, younger Americans are not running the gov't, the Marxists/communisst are running the gov't. The younger Americans have no clue but you keep defending the Marxist communist racist idiot that is in the WH. But then I am not surprised.

jimmymac
42941
Points
jimmymac 02/25/14 - 09:54 pm
0
0
CYBER
Unpublished

The cyber command center coming to Ft. Gordon is a boost for the whole CSRA. It will bring many badly needed jobs to the area infusing a lot of money into the economy. The trickle down will be felt throughout the area. These are high paying jobs that will boost the housing market and increase the tax base which is a great way to gain money without raising taxes. For the life of me I can't see anything negative about this scenario.

rebellious
21295
Points
rebellious 02/25/14 - 11:56 pm
2
0
On A Local Level

I really wish Augusta officials would remember there are two sides to Fort Gordon. One dumps personnel into Jimmy Dyess Pkwy and on to Evans, Harlem and Grovetown (not necessarily in that order). The other side exits to Tobacco Road, Windsor Spring and beautiful South Richmond County. As the saying goes "Opportunity misssed is Opportunity Lost".

Bodhisattva
6466
Points
Bodhisattva 02/26/14 - 08:47 am
0
1
You forget that the defense
Unpublished

You forget that the defense budget isn't the only national security funding. It doesn't include the VA, Homeland Security, nukes are under the DOE. Total national security spending is well over $1 trillion a year. W's 2 wars are going to end up costing between $4 and $6 trillion dollars. Slightly different than Iraq paying for itself. Thanks to the previous administration we have private soldiers who make big bucks, also known as mercenaries.

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