Listening session on Army cuts set for April 24 at Fort Benning

benw@ledger-enquirer.comApril 18, 2013 

Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster, commander of the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, will host a Community Listening Session on the Army’s plan to reduce its force and cut spending by 2020.

As part of the Programmatic Environmental Assessment released on Jan. 18, the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division is among units on 21 installations that may lose six brigades to reduce a total of eight brigades from the Army. The other two brigades would be cut from Europe.

Open to the public, the session will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 24 in Marshall Auditorium at McGinnis-Wickam Hall, the headquarters of the Maneuver Center. It gives residents, elected officials and local community leaders the opportunity to comment on factors the Army should consider before making a decision on cuts. The listening session follows an extended comment period that ended on March 21.

“Fort Benning was one of the installations identified as being looked at when restructuring of forces takes place,” said Monica Manganaro, a post public affairs spokeswoman. “This is a follow on to that.”

Installations with brigade combat teams were evaluated for economic and environmental impacts in the assessment. Losing the brigade alone could impact a total of 7,100 soldier and civilian jobs on post.

“Those installation are receiving these follow-on visits by the Department of the Army to listen to community members and hear first hand what concerns or additional concerns may be before final decisions are made in terms of restructuring,” Manganaro said.

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