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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Fort Leavenworth comment deadline approaching

  • The deadline for submitting comments about potential cuts to Fort Leavenworth is a little more than a week away.
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    • How to submit comments:

      Comments regarding potential cuts to Fort Leavenworth personnel can be submitted to usarmy.jbsa.aec.nepa@mail.mil.


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      How to submit comments:

      Comments regarding potential cuts to Fort Leavenworth personnel can be submitted to usarmy.jbsa.aec.nepa@mail.mil.



      Comments also can be submitted by regular mail to U.S. Army Environmental Command, attention SPEA public comments, 2450 Connell Road, Building 2264, Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, 78234-7664.



      The deadline for comments is Aug. 25.

  • The deadline for submitting comments about potential cuts to Fort Leavenworth is a little more than a week away.
    "Right now, we just need people to respond," said Dick Gibson, executive director of the The 27 Committee, a group that focuses on economic development related to Fort Leavenworth.
    In June, the Army released a Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment for an Army force reduction. The study looked at the possible effects of personnel cuts at more than 30 installations, including Fort Leavenworth.
    The study indicates personnel at the fort could be cut by as many as 2,500 soldiers and civilian employees.
    "It has a major impact for our region," Gibson said.
    He calculates the fort's economic impact on the area during the last fiscal year totaled $2.3 billion.
    The Army is accepting comments about the potential cuts through Aug. 25.
    Jack Walker, deputy to the garrison commander at Fort Leavenworth, said the cuts would result from budget sequestration measures. The implementation of the cuts could begin in October 2015.
    Walker said maximum projected cuts would decrease the number of military personnel at Fort Leavenworth by 1,750 and civilian employees by 750.
    Walker estimates the maximum cut of 2,500 military and civilian personnel would result in the loss of more than $203 million in salaries at Fort Leavenworth.
    He said the cuts would impact other areas of the fort's budget including travel and general expenditures.
    Walker said the cuts also would impact the community in areas such as the housing and rental markets and even local supermarkets.
    He said the salaries paid to military and civilian employees don't immediately leave the community.
    "That money rolls over several times before it leaves the immediate community," he said.
    Walker said the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment looked at only the socioeconomic impact the cuts may have on Leavenworth County. But, the impact would be felt in other surrounding areas.
    For example, Gibson said Fort Leavenworth was one of the largest users of Kansas City International Airport in the 2013 fiscal year.
    Gibson said it's uncertain how many people who lose their jobs at Fort Leavenworth would stay in the area.
    "There's no guarantee they're going to stay here permanently," he said.
    Gibson said no one has considered what the impact will be on the Department of Veterans Affairs as the Army reduces its number of soldiers.
    He said some of the new veterans won't have disabilities that will need to be treated through the VA.
    But, many members of the military have problems with post traumatic stress disorder. He said this will become a problem facing the VA.
    Page 2 of 2 - "That's a consideration," he said.
    Gibson said comments people submit about the potential cuts at Fort Leavenworth don't have to be long. He said people simply have to express concern.
    Walker said the Army also will conduct a values analysis of the potential cuts at the fort. He said this study will look at what programs might be cut at the post if there are reductions in personnel.
    Walker noted that Fort Leavenworth operates two prisons, and the post is home to the Army's college for mid-career officers.
    He estimated 80 percent of the Army's doctrine is either written or coordinated at Fort Leavenworth.
    Walker said someone at the Army will have to make difficult decisions if cuts are made at the fort.

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