COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Fort Benning escaped troop cuts the last time around when reductions in force of 80,000 troops have now left very few military personnel cuts that would make sense. Even so, the Obama Administration will cut another 40,000 troops, and this time it will hit - and hurt - Fort Benning.
The reductions are part of the Defense department's plan to reduce the Army to 450,000 troops overall, by Sept. 30, 2017.
The Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce has once again led the fight to protect our local economy and the soldiers at Fort Benning and we stand strongly behind them.
We have already begun running spots advocating the vital importance of Fort Benning. Here's a portion of the message:
The strategy behind preserving the strength and manpower at Fort Benning is not simply a local economic one. The world faces numerous deadly threats: in Russia, the Ukraine, Africa and the Middle East. ISIS terrorists are on the march. And despite a focus on high tech weaponry, now is not the time to lower our forces or our readiness to respond to those dangers.
We urge you to join local business leaders and the Chamber's fight in what they are calling the Fort Benning Defense Alliance. A link to their website growbenning.com is on the WTVM.com homepage.
Get involved. Sign the petition. Write Congressman Sanford Bishop and Senator Johnny Isakson to show your support for their efforts to keep Fort Benning staffed up and ready to meet the military challenges as only the U.S. Army can.