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Fort Bragg's importance could spare it from deep defense cuts

Posted January 5, 2012

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— The Pentagon's plans to cut 8 percent from the U.S. defense budget will affect North Carolina, but officials said Thursday it's too early to determine the impact.

President Barack Obama said the overhaul to the U.S. military is designed to contend with hundreds of billions of dollars in budget cuts and refocus national security priorities after a decade dominated by the post.-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Troops from Fort Bragg, Marines from Camp Lejeune and airmen from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base all played key roles in the two wars.

Fort Bragg officials declined to comment Thursday on Obama's announcement, but the head of a regional development group planning for the post's growth said he expects some good things from the move.

"In a lot of ways, it will be good for us here at Fort Bragg," said Greg Taylor, executive director of the Fort Bragg Regional Alliance.

Fort Bragg has been on a growth binge in recent years since the Base Closure and Realignment Commission decided in 2005 to move the headquarters of both the Army Forces Command and Army Reserve Command to the post.

Taylor notes that critical components of the Army, such as Special Operations and Special Forces, are based at Fort Bragg and will likely be unscathed by the cutbacks.

Special Operations Command sign at Fort Bragg Key installations at Bragg less likely to be cut

"The defense secretary has stated that there's going to be an increase in Special Operations and Special Forces," he said.

Also, the 82nd Airborne Division, based at the post, is trained to quickly respond to any crisis in the world, which he said makes it a key element in a leaner U.S. military.

"We've known for years that when the president dials 911, the phone rings at Fort Bragg, and with the location of the Special Forces and forces command, that's more true now than it's ever been," he said.

Fayetteville Mayor Tony Chavonne agreed that the plans for a more flexible and responsive military fit with the structure of Fort Bragg.

"“The model (the president) is describing for our nation’s defense is exactly what goes on at Fort Bragg,” Chavonne said. "I think they (at Fort Bragg) do represent our nation’s defense and will continue to be the first ones called. So, I would imagine that they will have even have a more important role.”

While the cuts could result in a loss of some Army personnel in central North Carolina in the years to come, Taylor said he thinks the biggest impact could be felt among defense contractors.

"Defense cuts are going to affect us in some way, but we just have to wait to see what the details are," he said.

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  • NCPictures Jan 6, 2012

    "Here is the beautiful thing about these cuts: after the cuts, fewer brave men and women will have to fight to protect our rights. It's a win-win, really.
    jason19

  • jason19 Jan 6, 2012

    "Sounds like a lot of liberals who has never served their country and has their rights protected by the few brave men and women in uniform."

    Here is the beautiful thing about these cuts: after the cuts, fewer brave men and women will have to fight to protect our rights. It's a win-win, really.

  • loprestw Jan 6, 2012

    Sounds like a lot of liberals who has never served their country and has their rights protected by the few brave men and women in uniform.

  • Statick Jan 6, 2012

    "There's one thing that you do not want to ever do, and that is to base a large portion of your military all in one country that could be wiped out coast to coast with today's modern nuclear weapons. That would give North Korea, Russia, and especially China a green light to attack Anerica."

    As one who has studied miitary history, that doesn't make any sense. Any attack on America by nuclear mean would only end up
    in Mutually Assured Destruction. No country would chance that, not even North Korea (paper tiger) and definitely not Russia (too expensive) or China (too expensive and would lose too many people)

  • Statick Jan 6, 2012

    How about we just get rid of the Air Force. The Army, Navy and Marines have their own pilots and aircraft. Talk about useless.

  • Made In USA Jan 5, 2012

    There's one thing that you do not want to ever do, and that is to base a large portion of your military all in one country that could be wiped out coast to coast with today's modern nuclear weapons. That would give North Korea, Russia, and especially China a green light to attack Anerica.

  • Made In USA Jan 5, 2012

    Our president and his administration is playing Russian roulette and it scares me to think of what could be encouraged in this day and time by allowing our defense to suffer financially.

  • WooHoo2You Jan 5, 2012

    WooHoo. The entire military will feel the cuts. Bragg will just feel it less. Special Ops will see even less cuts. All sectors are feeling the lows of this economy. Ask someone like me that was just laid off, and I am a Military vetran, so I'm well aware of what cuts mean to the military. Education is key to our children, but education starts in the home-TITAN4X4

    I was in the Army and understand the amount of waste there is. We need less bases and better teachers.

  • TITAN4X4 Jan 5, 2012

    WooHoo. The entire military will feel the cuts. Bragg will just feel it less. Special Ops will see even less cuts. All sectors are feeling the lows of this economy. Ask someone like me that was just laid off, and I am a Military vetran, so I'm well aware of what cuts mean to the military. Education is key to our children, but education starts in the home.

  • aspenstreet1717 Jan 5, 2012

    8% is NOT a deep defense cut.Bring our troops home from Europe,Okinawa and Korea is a good start. let those rich countries handle their own defense.

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