By Lisa FerdinandoApril 2, 2013
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 2, 2013) -- The Army is holding listening sessions at installations throughout the U.S. in April to hear what communities think about the force reductions and restructuring that are likely to impact their areas.
The Army must cut its force by approximately 80,000 Soldiers by 2017 to meet the fiscal reductions in the Budget Control Act of 2011.
"These listening sessions are designed to enable community members to provide their concerns and unique perspectives on topics regarding their communities," said Army spokesman Lt. Col. Peggy Kageleiry.
She said no decision has been made yet on how to reduce Army strength to 490,000.
"The Army values community input to make the best decisions and to mitigate, as much as possible, the impact on local communities," she said.
Kageleiry said Army leadership will consider the communities' concerns before final decisions are made. She also said the Army will preserve quality of life for Soldiers and their families, while sustaining relationships with the communities.
The Army could downsize its active component force structure from 45 brigade combat teams to potentially as few as 32, she said.
The reductions are separate from sequestration.
Kageleiry said the Army will ensure that it still is able to respond to future, unforeseen demands.
The force reductions began in Fiscal Year 2012 and focused initially on overseas formations. Significant force reductions in the U.S. will begin in 2014, Kageleiry said.
She said additional reductions may be necessary after President Barack Obama's 2014 budget is released and the impacts of sequestration are assessed.
Listening sessions are scheduled this month at:
Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; Detroit Arsenal, Mich.; Fort Belvoir, Va.; Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Campbell, K.Y.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Gordon, Ga.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; National Training Center and Fort Irwin, Calif.; Fort Jackson, S.C.; Fort Knox, Ky.; Fort Lee, Va.; Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Fort Meade, Md.; Fort Polk, La.; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Sill, Okla.; Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield, Ga.; Fort Wainwright, Alaska; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Redstone Arsenal, Ala.; and Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.