Defense cuts could move thousands of troops from Fort Bragg
Posted February 2, 2015
Fort Bragg, N.C. — As the U.S. military continues to downsize after pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq, cuts could soon hit Fort Bragg.
Fort Bragg is the largest Army post in the nation, with nearly 65,000 active-duty soldiers and reservists, plus their families and thousands of civilian employees.
The Army is planning major cutbacks to its brigade combat teams, and the Fayetteville Regional Chamber said 16,000 of those soldiers could come from Fort Bragg.
"If you count the wives and children, it's probably closer to 28,000 or 30,000. That would be like the towns of Hope Mills and Spring Lake just closing and going away," said Michael Lynch, director of military relations for the chamber.
The Air Force also is considering deactivating the 440th Airlift Wing at Pope Army Airfield. The 1,300 reservists in the 440th help 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers train and deploy.
"If the unit leaves, obviously, there will be no organic airlift assets assigned to Pope Field," said Brig. Gen. Him Scanlon, commander of the 440th. "As far as economically, we have a $78 million-a-year impact to the local community."
Congress is awaiting an Air Force report to determine if the 440th should stay at Fort Bragg.
"We hope that our congressional delegation are going to give due diligence to the report and take the Air Force to task and make sure that it is a good decision, not only for our national security but for our taxpayers' dollars," Lynch said.
Military leaders are holding a listening session for the community at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Embassy Suites in Fayetteville on the potential troop cuts.