Army cuts to affect Fort Campbell - WPSD Local 6: Your news, weather, and sports authority

Army cuts to affect Fort Campbell

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Courtesy: Spc. Karen Kozub CC BY 2.0 Courtesy: Spc. Karen Kozub CC BY 2.0
FORT CAMPBELL, KY -

There will be a major cut in the number of men and women who serve to protect us.

The U.S. Army says it will cut 40,000 troops over the next two years and 17,000 civilian employees from payroll.

That leaves a total of 450,000  troops by 2017.

Right now, there are 490,000 troops, a drop from 570,000 from 2008 at the peak of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

At Fort Campbell, the cuts mean the lose of about 360 military positions, or 1% of its population. No word of any civilian reductions right now.

General Gary Volesky said, "These decisions are based on an 18 month Department of Army analysis of mission requirements and installation capabilities. Participation in our community listening session played a critical role in helping to inform army leadership of the importance of Fort Campbell not only to the Army's mission, but to the Kentucky and Tennessee communities as well."

Republican Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator of Kentucky Rand Paul released a statement on the cuts saying, "Kentucky has absorbed a disproportionate amount of troop cuts in the past and, while I am disappointed to see any more from Fort Campbell, it is reassuring to know the Army recognizes the value of our bases and backed away from its earlier plans for devastating new cuts."

In the past year, Paul and Mitch McConnell sent two letters to the Pentagon voicing concerns with the cuts.

There are also concerns that these cuts may not be the end of it. There has been discussion inside the Pentagon leadership that the cuts could grow even deeper if there are additional mandatory budget cuts from Congress.

"Unless the provisions of the Budget Control Act are changed or reversed, the Army will have to cut an additional 30,000 soldiers by 2019," said U.S. Army Brigade General Randy George.

The Army cuts come as the Obama administration debates its next move against the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria. Right now, there are about 3,500 U.S. troops in Iraq.

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