Business leaders urge no cuts at Fort Leavenworth

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — Several civic and business leaders are urging Army officials to spare Fort Leavenworth from personnel cuts while the military weighs where to make reductions required by law.

Federal officials must cut the Army from 490,000 to 450,000 people by 2020, and a commission has already announced a potential loss of 2,500 personnel at Fort Leavenworth, The Topeka Capital-Journal ( ) reported.

Leaders in the northeastern Kansas community spoke at a Thursday town hall held by the commission, called the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Army 2020, warning of potential consequences if jobs are cut from the Army post.

Frank Lenk, director of research services with the Mid-America Regional Council, said an additional 2,500 jobs could be lost in the Kansas City area because of a reduction at Fort Leavenworth. Director John Armbrust of the Governor’s Military Council said tax revenue could decline in Leavenworth by $1.7 million annually.

Mike Griswold, president of the Fort Leavenworth USD 207 Board of Education, said the school district’s budget could be cut by a third, potentially forcing an elementary school to close.

Mary Jean Eisenhower, the granddaughter of President Dwight Eisenhower and chair emeritus of People to People International, said she’s was concerned about an international military student officer program.

“We are concerned that changes to the manning and structure of Fort Leavenworth, especially the Command and General Staff College, may dramatically alter this most important and meaningful program,” Eisenhower said.

Brig. Gen. Roger Cloutier, director of Army force management, stressed that nothing has been decided yet and that officials’ comments would be taken back to senior leadership.

Fort Leavenworth has a post population of just under 4,000 military members, with more than 5,800 family members and an additional 2,480 civilian employees.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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