With the U.S. Army developing plans to cut 80,000 troops from its active-duty roster, one military expert says it will be nearly impossible for Georgia’s three major Army bases to avoid some reduction in personnel. The question is what those cuts will look like, said Gary Jones a retired Army colonel and now executive vice president for military affairs at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.
Fort Gordon in eastern Georgia will hold a listening session tomorrow/Thursday (Noon-2pm). Officials want to hear from the community on force reductions. J.C. Matthews, a spokesman for the Fort, says the Army plans to reduce its troops by 80 thousand worldwide.
Ft. Stewart officials say there's nothing they can do for hundreds of Savannah home-owners whose garage door openers aren't working. Base officials acknowledge new radio equipment is interfering with household devices around Hunter Army Airfield. Larry Jameson of Savannah Overhead Door says his phone has been ringing off the hook since last week.
A Fort Stewart spokesman says six soldiers based at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield have died this week in Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Rex L. Schad of Edmond, Okla., was killed Monday by small arms fire. Five others died in a helicopter crash.
While most federal spending cuts from the sequester could take time to work their way down to local school districts, communities with military bases are bracing for a more immediate impact. That's because many districts already have budgeted for a program called Impact Aid. The funds are used to offset property tax losses.
Middle Georgia officials have warned of an immediate $83 million impact around Robins Air Force base if automatic federal spending cuts take effect Friday. Retired Major General David Bockel talks more about the defense-related impacts of the federal sequester in Georgia.