|Fort Cambpell, home to the|
Army's famed 101st Airborne
Division, will be spared from
deep cuts in personnel numbers
announced earlier today.
According to The Leaf-Chronicle in Clarksville, Tenn., the sprawling Army based shared by Kentucky and Tennessee will lose only 353 troops over the next two years as part of the branch's reduction and realignment plan. The worst-case scenario, the newspaper reports, would have seen the base's strength cut by more than half, 16,000 troops.
The six installations hit hardest by the announced troop reductions, according to the Army's official website, Army.mil, will lose a combined 13,000 troops. These locations include 3,402 soldiers at Fort Benning, Ga.; 3,350 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas; 2,631 soldiers at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; 1,251 soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; 1,214 soldiers at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; and 1,219 soldiers at Fort Bliss, Texas.
“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,” U.S. Sen. Paul said in a news release issued earlier today.
Fort Cambpell's troop strength will fall to 26,500 by the end of this year following the previously-announced deactivation of the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade.
Fort Knox, also in Kentucky, will actually gain 67 soldiers, according to The Courier-Journal. A worst-case scenario saw 4,100 soldiers exiting the base. The base will now be home to 9,867 troops and 10,700 civilians and contractors.
In the past year, both of Kentucky's Republican senators, Paul and Mitch McConnell, have issued two letters to the Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel voicing their concerns with the proposed Army cuts.
By the end of Fiscal Year 2018, the Army will be downsized to 450,000 personnel.