Army Commits to Working with PiAfA+-on Canyon Communities
December 7, 2007
Secretary of the Army Pete Geren today reaffirmed the Army's commitment to working with southeastern Colorado communities to identify and address concerns about the Army's proposed purchase of land from private landowners adjacent to Fort Carson's PiAfA+-on Canyon Maneuver Site.
"We will use the 'time-out' period requested by Colorado's Congressional delegation to revisit the issues, listen to people in the local communities for additional ideas, and work constructively with them on how we can meet the Army's training needs as well as the needs of neighboring landowners, residents and local communities," stated Geren, who is responsible for all matters related to the Army.
After discussions with Sen. Ken Salazar, Sen. Wayne Allard and Rep. John Salazar, the Army agreed to a "cooling off" period before proceeding with the planned purchase of land to enhance Fort Carson's key training area, which is located 150 miles southeast of Colorado Springs. Over the coming weeks and months, the Army will reach out to stakeholders, discuss issues of mutual concern, answer questions, and assess where 'win-win' opportunities might be sought.
The Army is seeking to enhance its training capabilities at Fort Carson by purchasing up to 418,000 acres of land adjacent to the PiAfA+-on Canyon Maneuver Site. The reason for the planned purchases is to ensure troop readiness by having the proper space for training required by modern warfare. The current 235,896 acre training area is used for large-scale mechanized combat maneuvers and live-fire exercises in support of Army Soldiers from Fort Carson and other installations as well as National Guard and Army Reserve units from all service branches of the military.
"The expansion is vital to ensure that America's young men and women receive the very best training possible before we put them in harm's way," Geren said "It is not only about our country's defense needs today; but it is critical for enhancing the survivability of our Soldiers and protecting our nation in the missions of tomorrow."
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