A recent Army assessment calls for cutting almost 11,000 military and civilian jobs around Fort Benning by 2020--that brings the total job loss to just under 14,000. The report comes from the U.S. Department of the Army’s Environmental Command at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas. The branch stressed this number is merely a prediction and that many, if not all, bases in the country will be affected in some way by recent budget cuts.
Right now, there are 31,342 soldiers assigned to Fort Benning with 4,216 federal civil servants and 2,044 defense contractors, combining for a total of 37,602 jobs. There are also nearly 10,000 other soldiers who train on the base every day. The cut represents a major economic blow to the base and the surrounding region, causing public outcry from residents fearing a downturn.
With the potential widespread job loss in mind, the cuts would also mean nearly 30,000 residents would have to leave, including soldiers’ family members and civilians. This means there would be hundreds of homes soldiers cannot sell, leading to 2,000 to 3,000 homes on the rental market and seriously increasing the fear of a foreclosure crisis.
The dollar amounts are even more stunning. The Army report also estimates that if all of the cuts were to become a reality, there would be a loss of $627 million in income and $727.9 million in business sales, leading to a total impact of $1.36 billion.
Outside of Fort Benning, the assessment includes posts Fort Stewart and Fort Gordon in Georgia. There are currently 30 U.S. Army installations in the downsizing review.
The Army is inviting public comment until August 25. Comments should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via mail to: U. S. Army Environmental Command, Attn: SPEA Public Comments, 2450 Connell Road (Bldg. 2264), Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, 78234-7664.
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Image Copyright: Ashley Cross / US Army