Fewer Troops Coming To Fort Carson

By: Rosie Barresi Email
By: Rosie Barresi Email

The plan to bring thousands more soldiers to Fort Carson has been slashed.

Secretary of Army Pete Geren says he had to make some tough decisions under President Barack Obama's slimmer budget.

Fort Carson General Mark Graham says they were set to house more than 29,000 troops by 2013. Now Fort Carson will be home to 25,000 troops by 2011.

It's news that could mean millions of dollars less pumping into our region.

Southern Colorado is home to thousands of U.S. soldiers and they're not only here to serve our country, but to make our community what it is. "They're in our schools, they're volunteers, they're in our churches, they contribute so much," said Brian Binn who is the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs President.

The troops help businesses thrive by the billions. "It was estimated at 1.8 billion dollars. So, it is significant," said Binn. That's how much they contributed last year alone.

"There is an economic impact to our region," said Binn. Binn says he doesn't know the exact impact, but says the economy will probably lose out on millions of dollars.

However, the thousands of troops being re-positioned from Fort Hood to Fort Carson will still happen. "So, we'll have four combat brigades here instead of five," said General Graham.

Which Graham says isn't all bad. "That of course gives us some capacity. If the construction stays on track and approved it does give us the capacity to down the road if the army chooses to bring other forces here," said Graham.

Fort Bliss in Texas and Fort Stewart in Georgia were also affected by the budget cuts.

Fort Carson says they'll still try to acquire more Pinon Canyon land for training despite their number of troops dropping.

This news didn't come as a total shock. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had actually proposed the idea in his defense budget.


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