Local News

Some Fort Bragg business leaders aren't worried about troop reduction plan

Posted February 25

— Monday's announcement of plans to reduce the U.S. government's active-duty military has some near Fort Bragg believing the plan wouldn't have a big impact on the local economy and that it could actually be a benefit.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel laid out a plan to cut the number of soldiers in the U.S. Army from the approximately 522,000 to between 440,000 and 450,000 by 2015, shrinking the military branch to its smallest size since before World War II.

Fort Bragg, which has about 55,000 military employees, has more than an $11 billion economic impact on the 11 counties surrounding the post near Fayetteville.

Some local business leaders, such as Dan Dederick, a Vietnam veteran who runs a Jeep dealership, doesn't think the cuts will hurt the area too much.

"It's going to reduce the size of the fighting force," he said. "But Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg – especially, being a premier fighting force and ready to go in a moment's notice – I'm sure, they will reduce it by a small amount, but I don't expect it to be great."

Half of Dederick's business, he says is from soldiers.

"Everyone in retail – you know, clothing sales, malls, cars – will be affected to some extent," he said. "But if it's just a brigade or a group that's moving or being disbanded, I don't think it'll have a huge effect."

Some think the proposed cuts could help Fort Bragg, which could pick up new troops as other Army posts across the country close.

Neil Grant agrees.

His company, Grant-Murray Real Estate LLC, has invested millions in the developing Military Business Park next to the installation.

Grant says there are military contractors all over town, but that now, they are a little more cautious before deciding on investing in building a large office complex.

"Instead of building a 30,000-square-foot building, right now, I think everybody is just sort of feeling their way around," he said. "But I don't see anything stopping in this area at all. In fact, I'm very optimistic."

3 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • djofraleigh Feb 26, 12:15 p.m.

    Put that head line on a billboard and compare it to what is being said in 2017.

  • Fuquay Resident Feb 25, 7:20 p.m.

    Bragg and the area were told there would be 10,000 families coming to the area back around 2009.... View More

    — Posted by DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves

    They did come. Ft Bragg built Linden Oaks housing area and 3 schools. All 3 schools are at capacity. They came....and more too.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Feb 25, 6:36 p.m.

    Bragg and the area were told there would be 10,000 families coming to the area back around 2009. Subdivisions and shopping centers were built, preparing to accommodate them. They never came.
    What happened with that???

    And if that didn't hurt that area much, I doubt a troop reduction will hurt it much either.