Fort Benning: 71 jobs to be impacted by latest moves

benw@ledger-enquirer.comApril 5, 2013 

At least 71 jobs will be impacted at Fort Benning as the post discontinues a basic training unit on Monday and reorganizes another in June as the Army plans to reduce its force by fiscal 2020.

None of the 44 soldiers and 27 civilian employees will lose their jobs in the restructuring, said Gary A. Jones, director of public affairs at Fort Benning. Four of the civilian jobs are already vacant.

The changes are expected to save an estimated $1.6 million in fiscal 2014, although some of the restructuring is occurring this fiscal year. Fiscal 2014 starts Oct. 1.

During a ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday, the 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 192nd Infantry Brigade will case its colors at Pomeroy Field on Sand Hill.

In June, the 1st Battalion, 46th Infantry Regiment, 192nd Infantry Brigade will be reorganized under the 194th Armor Brigade. The 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment also will reorganize under the armor brigade. The 30th Adjutant General Battalion, known as the soldiers reception area, also will move under the 194th Armor Brigade.

Jones said all of the changes stem from a 23 percent reduction in the number of soldiers trained at Fort Benning. Since 2010, the post has seen training numbers drop from a high of 120,000 per year to 96,609 projected this fiscal year, reducing the need for more staff.

"The pipe line started slowing down," Jones said. "It's now down to 96,609 soldiers. That is an estimate. We don't know for sure until they get here."

During the year, some trainees may change their minds or not take training at Fort Benning.

The decision to reduce training staff came from the Training and Doctrine Command, at Fort Eustis, Va. TRADOC oversees 32 Army schools, including the armor and infantry schools at Fort Benning.

Affected civilians employees were told about the changes in a meeting this week, Jones said. Employees won't lose any pay if they end up doing a different job.

"They will be put in vacant positions elsewhere at Fort Benning," Jones said. "None of the civilians employees will lose one penny, even if they have to go to a job lesser in pay grade. They will get the same pay. This is not an adverse action. They didn't do anything wrong."

Employees also will have the opportunity to take advantage of Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and Voluntary Separation Incentive Programs.

None of the cuts are related to across-the-board cuts or sequestration that went into effect March 1.

Retired Lt. Gen. R.L. "Sam" Wetzel, a former commander at Fort Benning and a veteran of Korea and Vietnam wars, said the post is cutting back on the number of people to be trained.

"They are doing a little bit of reshuffling," Wetzel said. "They will be cutting back on people, too."

With the end of the war in Iraq and reducing troops in Afghanistan, Wetzel said something was coming.

"It's here," he said. "That was predictable, frankly, unfortunately. If we have any big war, we are going to have to ramp up again."

Ledger-Enquirer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service