Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Military cuts could mean 8,000 fewer soldiers at Fort Bragg

The Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Army 2020 Force Realignment report released on Friday outlines potential cuts to 21 U.S. military bases.
Among several options being considered is an 8,000 soldier reduction at Fort Bragg by 2020. That’s the maximum cut allowed. The potential cuts come just years after thousands moved to Fort Bragg as part of base realignment.
Currently, the report is just a proposal and no official decisions on cuts have been made.
Local businesses like Southern Son Tattoo Studio, where more than 75 percent of business is military, say an 8,000 reduction in troops would be a blow to business.
“We have a lot of military because by word of mouth when a soldier gets a tattoo, the next person tells the next person in his unit, then the whole unit eventually comes in,” Tony Lugo said. “If you do good work, people come back but if there's no soldiers here -- it doesn't matter.”
No word yet on which units would be cut. Considering soldier spouses and dependents, the report estimates the total population of the military could be decreased by 20,000.
Chris Martin has owned E-Z Auto in Fayetteville for more than two decades and says 20 percent of sales are to military customers.

“It won't just affect our business, it will affect a lot of businesses and obviously that will affect the other 80 percent of folks who are buying from us,” Martin said.
The report estimates the cut could mean a loss of as much as $24 million in state tax revenue and 10,500 jobs across the region.

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