As the Army mulls over options regarding pending cuts to Pentagon spending, an emerging doomsday scenario could see Fort Carson take a massive hit.
The 2011 Budget Control Act, or sequestration, calls for the Pentagon to cut spending by $900 million over a decade. As part of that, the Army has to slash its troop size.
According to documents released by the Pentagon Thursday and obtained by our partners at The Gazette, the Army proposed a "worst case" scenario of cutting up to 16,000 soldiers from each of its nine largest Army posts. That would include Fort Carson.
If this scenario were to come to fruition, it's possible only 8,000 soldiers would remain at Fort Carson after the cuts were made. That's just a quarter of its current troop size.
The Army had previously asked Congress for a round of base closures so they could largely make the troop reductions that way, instead of cutting from active posts. Congress turned down the idea, at least for the 2015 defense spending plan. With that off the table, the Army is forced to look to other options.
Fort Carson is already losing a full brigade at the end of this year, though as The Gazette reports, the troop level at the Mountain Post is the highest it has been since the Vietnam War. Fort Carson has reportedly doubled in size through the last decade, largely due to Army growth during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The growth has been a huge boost for the Colorado Springs economy. It has also contributed to sizable amount of spending by the Pentagon over time; The Gazette says the troop growth drove a construction boom at Fort Carson that cost the Pentagon more than $7 billion over the last 10 years.
At this time, the proposal is still just a worst case scenario. The Army has not made a decision on how it will make the cuts, or even if the number of soldiers cut from each of the nine installations would be the same across the board. The Gazette says the release of the documents kicks of a two-month period for public comments, then local meetings on the proposal. We'll let you know when we get information on any of those meetings happening here.
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