CONGRESSMAN BISHOP PRAISES ARMY DECISION TO KEEP BRIGADE AT FORT BENNING
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, praised the United States Army’s decision to keep Fort Benning untouched from the Army’s overall brigade reduction plan.
“The ties between Columbus and Fort Benning are as strong as ever, and today’s exciting announcement highlights the positive and mutually beneficial co-existence the two communities share. I am personally proud of Columbus’ lineage of services, support, and opportunity for Fort Benning, assets which shone brightly throughout the Army’s decision making process.”
“The possibility of losing a brigade from Fort Benning was real, and I thank the Columbus community, including the Chamber, on all its efforts in averting an adverse conclusion. I stood with the city in our advocacy for Columbus and now stand with the city in thanking Army Leadership for the particularly positive outcome of their decision. Today is a good day for Columbus and for Fort Benning, and I look forward to many more years of united service to the nation.”
The Army is continuing 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 the drawdown to 490,000, the Army is reducing its active component Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) from 45 to 33 BCTs by Fiscal Year 2017. In addition to BCT reduction, the Army will reorganize Infantry and Armor BCTs by adding a third maneuver battalion and increasing engineer and fires capability. The Army will reduce or reorganize numerous non-BCT units as part of the drawdown.
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.
As part of this drawdown, the Army is inactivating brigade combat teams at each of the following installations by Fiscal Year 2017: Fort Bliss, TX; Fort Bragg, NC; Fort Campbell, KY; Fort Carson, CO; Fort Drum, NY; Fort Hood, TX; Fort Knox, KY; Fort Riley, KS; Fort Stewart, GA; and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA. Two BCTs stationed at Baumholder and Grafenwoehr, Germany will complete their inactivation in Fiscal Year 2013, leaving two BCTs in Europe to fulfill strategic commitments.
Additional domestic sites considered for force reduction included: Fort Benning, GA; Fort Gordon, GA; Fort Irwin, CA; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA; Fort Lee, VA; Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Fort Polk, LA; Fort Sill, OK; 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.
Additionally, Congressman Bishop submitted comments to the United States Army’s listening session at Fort Benning regarding the Army's 2020 Force Structure Realignment. To view Congressman Bishop’s letter to Army Leadership, please click here.