Sen. Isakson expresses concern about soldier cuts during Ft. Benning visit

Sen. Isakson expresses concern about soldier cuts during Ft. Benning visit

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) - Demanding answers from the Department of Defense, Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson visited Fort Benning on Thursday following the announcement earlier this year of massive cutbacks in the military.

He was joined by some members of the Georgia Congressional delegation.

Senator Isakson confirms that some soldiers in the 3rd Brigade Combat Team at Fort Benning will be affected by the cuts starting in the months of September, although he could not give an exact date. The cuts will continue for the next nine months at Fort Benning.

This stop was part of a two-day tour of four military bases throughout Georgia. He wants to make sure the decision from the Department of Defense is valid when cutting troops in Georgia.

As Fort Benning is preparing for a reduction in soldiers, Isakson and other Georgia representatives are fighting for some answers and looking for solutions to this issue.

"We came here to show the flag for Columbus, show the flag for the 3rd ID and make sure the Army knows that we want to know the justification for making the recommendations they made in terms of reducing  the number of troops at Fort Benning." said U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Marietta.

According to the Department of Defense, the Army plans to cut 40,000 soldiers nationwide with Texas and Georgia taking the biggest cut.

"That cut is going to affect 8,100 people that live in Muscogoee County and the Columbus area, 2,600 of them being soldiers. 80 percent of them who live in the area," said Isakson.

Representative Austin Scott of Tifton say less troops is a concern when it comes to threats against the country.

"I think it's premature this reduction in our fore-structure. Unfortunately it's being driven by budget decisions instead of national security," said Scott.

Isakson says he wants a detailed analysis behind the Department of Defense's decision. He says if something isn't done more soldiers could be cut in the future.

"The military could go down to 420,000, it's going to 450,000 now. We need to stop the bleeding and make a re-investment in the national defense of our country to see that doesn't happen," said Isakson.

Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Ga. will lose 950 soldiers. Plans to reduce soldiers nationwide should be complete by the end of 2017.

Isakson will tour Fort Gordon in Augusta and Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta on Friday.

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