Army plans 40k troop cuts; Ky. Congressmen brace for state cuts
07/09/2015 10:29 AM
Updated: Fort Knox will add 67 troops over the next two-years as the Army draws back their service members nationally, according to multiple media outlets.
Fort Campbell will cut 350 troops over the next two-years, as worst case scenarios could have been as high as 16,000 troops.
The U.S. Army is planning to announce a 40,000 troop draw back over the next two years, in Kentucky that has congressmen bracing for cuts to the state’s largest military outposts at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell.
The cuts come in part as an expected troop decline after major conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have officially ended. A portion of the cuts also come as budget constraints are placed on the armed forces.
It’s also expected that 17,000 civilian employees of the Army could be slashed in the troop cuts.
Time Warner Cable News’ Geoff Bennett reported on the planned cuts this week from Washington D.C.
In Kentucky the extent of the cuts are not yet known, but at least one Congressman is worried about the impact the cuts will have on the fight in the middle east and the possible economic ramifications at home.
Kentucky’s 2nd District U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green, told Pure Politics the cuts are concerning given threats from the Islamic State.
“ISIL is proving they are stronger than ever, and just this past Monday President Obama said that destroying ISIL would be a generational effort,” Guthrie said. “The president’s comment comes mere weeks after admitting that he doesn’t have a complete strategy for defeating this enemy.
“We need to ensure we maintain the best and bravest military in the world and that our servicemen and women are well-trained and equipped – goals that will be difficult to achieve if the president plans to cut tens of thousands of the men and women in uniform who stand ready to respond to the call of duty, along with thousands of civilian staff who support our active duty soldiers.”
Guthrie’s district encompasses the Fort Knox Army base which covers more than 100 acres through three counties.
“As more information becomes available, I will continue to work with officials at Fort Knox to maintain the facility’s critical role in training and serving our nation’s soldiers,” he said.
According to 2013 statistics Kentucky is home to 40,728 active duty Army personnel and more than 9,000 Army civilians.
The state is also home to Fort Campbell which covers more than 100 acres across Kentucky and Tennessee. The base is home to the 101st Airborne Division, and has room for 45,198 enlisted personnel and 2,422 military officers.
The Kentucky portion of the base is located in the 1st Congressional District represented by U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Hopkinsville. At this time Whitfield has not issued a comment on the proposed cuts.
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