Department of Army Listening Session- February 18th 5-7PMbr>
Posted February 12, 2015
For immediate release Media Contact:
Department of Army Listening Session- February 18th 5-7PM
Columbus Georgia Convention and Trade Center
Public meeting scheduled for Columbus to discuss potential cuts at Fort Benning.
COLUMBUS, GA., FEBRUARY 12, 2015- On Wednesday, February 18th, the Department of Army Listening Team will be in Columbus to hear how the proposed Department of Defense budget cuts by the US Army will impact Fort Benning and our region. The event will be held at the Columbus Georgia Convention and Trade Center in the Foundry Room from 5-7PM.
In 2014, the Department of Defense released its recommendations for the realignment of the nation’s defenses in light of smaller budgets and changes to our war-fighting strategies. These proposed changes include massive reductions in the number of military personnel, including drastic cuts to the Army. Even more alarming was the potential impact to Fort Benning, which according to the Department of Army assessment would:
- Eliminate 13,858 military personnel, civilians, and contractors;
- Reduce the region’s population by some 27,000 individuals and families; and,
- Impact the region with the loss of $1.3 billion in total wages, retail sales, and tax collections.
Over the last decade, nearly $3.5 billion have been invested at Fort Benning in new missions, facilities and infrastructure. These investments include several that have made Fort Benning a leader in our nation’s defense facilities, like the $3 billion invested to establish the new Maneuver Center of Excellence and the $500 million spent for the new Martin Army Hospital.
As impressively, the private and public sectors in the Greater Columbus Georgia Region have invested another $3.6 billion to meet the on-going needs of Fort Benning outside the fence, including new infrastructure, housing and schools.
“The nation and our region have invested too much in Fort Benning to see it lose its leadership role in our nation’s defense. With world-class facilities and a history of successful mission growth, we believe Fort Benning is a smart choice for new integrated defense opportunities, “ noted Gary Jones, Executive Vice President for Military Affairs for the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
The community is encouraged to attend this important event and to make sure our message is heard. One of the best ways the community can demonstrate to the Department of Army and the men and women of Fort Benning that this issue is important to our community is by having a strong turnout at the event on Wednesday evening. Our nation’s defense requires a strong Army need; and a strong Army needs a strong Benning.
About the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce is an energetic and visionary organization in our region. We are committed to building a more prosperous community while preserving the democratic process. Our mission is to promote business success by being the leader in economic and community development in the region.
-- ad --
-- ad --