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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Military Council director discusses challenges

  • As someone who works to grow military installations in Kansas, John Armbrust said what happens locally matters.
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  • As someone who works to grow military installations in Kansas, John Armbrust said what happens locally matters.
    "It's important what goes on here," said Armbrust, the executive director of the Governor's Military Council.
    He spoke this past week at a monthly meeting of the Leavenworth County Port Authority.
    He said what happens in the communities around the state's military installations is important because many of the uniformed personnel live in these communities.
    Armbrust said the Governor's Military Council works with five military sites in Kansas including Fort Leavenworth. He said the area of focus to which the council devotes most of its time is growing and protecting the installations.
    During Wednesday's Port Authority meeting, Armbrust discussed the challenges of the current environment of budget cuts. He said the Budget Control Act of 2011 calls for a $487 billion reduction from federal defense spending over 10 years. He said this is just a new base line and has nothing to do with sequestration.
    "Sequestration is added on top of that," he said, which could be about another $500 billion from defense.
    When discussing the prospect of the Army's Sergeants Major Academy being moved from Fort Bliss, Texas, to Fort Leavenworth, Armbrust said officials are in an environment in which they won't get something for free. He said officials here need to be willing to give up something that would be beneficial to officials in Texas.
    He said Fort Belvior, Va., benefited when the Army Management Staff College moved from there to Fort Leavenworth because the Virginia installation needed the space.
    During the discussion, Armbrust said the adjutant general for Missouri would like for the headquarters of the 35th Infantry Division to move to that state. The headquarters currently are located at Fort Leavenworth.
    "Actually, the governor there has not made any push for it," he said.
    Armbrust said threat of losing the 35th Infantry Division headquarters is not a high concern for him at the moment but it is something he's watching.
    Armbrust said said the governor serves as chairman of the council, which includes members of the state's congressional delegation, state legislators, community leaders and representatives of academia.

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