Special to the Journal
COLUMBUS, GA – Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (GA-02), Ranking Member of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies, submitted comments to the United States Army’s listening session at Fort Benning regarding the Army’s 2020 Force Structure Realignment. After the listening session, community feedback will be considered by Army Senior Leaders prior to any final decisions on base drawdown.
“For the past seventy years, Columbus and Phenix City have supported Fort Benning’s mission to train and prepare our service members for the call to duty. Providing services, community, and opportunity, we are as intricately woven into the lineage of Fort Benning’s support to our military as any tank, battalion, or maneuver center has ever been,” said Congressman Bishop. “Certainly, I can personally attest to the pride we hold in our ability and willingness to serve our armed forces in this capacity, and these communities look forward to many more years of united service to the nation.”
To view Congressman Bishop’s letter to Army Leadership, please click here.
In January 2013, the United States Army released a final Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) Army 2020 Force Structure Realignment, which reviews and analyzes the impact of an anticipated force-wide restructuring plan. The Army has completed this analysis in an effort to ensure that vital national defense capabilities are maintained in a climate of budgetary constraints as U.S. missions in Iraq and Afghanistan are coming to an end. Consequently, the Army is beginning a process to reduce their total active end-strength from 562,000 to 490,000 by 2020 as part of the military’s overall budget reduction.
As part of this drawdown, plans are being laid to deactivate eight Army Brigade Combat Teams. The Army has announced two of the deactivated brigades will come from units stationed in Europe, while the remaining six will come from twenty-one U.S. installations home to Brigade Combat Teams, possibly including Fort Benning, Georgia.
Domestic sites being considered for force reduction also include: Fort Bliss, TX; Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Campbell, KY; Fort Carson, CO; Fort Drum, NY; Fort Gordon, GA; Fort Hood, TX; Fort Irwin, CA; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA; Fort Knox, KY; Fort Lee, VA; Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Fort Polk, LA; Fort Riley, KS; Fort Sill, OK; Fort Stewart, GA; U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii; and U.S. Army Garrison Fort Wainwright, AK.
To view Congressman Bishop’s actions regarding the extension of the PEA and urging the public to comment, please click here.
Prior to the close of the PEA’s public comment period, Congressman Bishop submitted his own comments in a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Army Katherine Hammack echoing many of the concerns that have been raised and urging the Army to continue to support a strong Fort Benning. To view the letter sent to the Army, please click here.