Dozens show up to voice concerns at Ft. Gordon - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Dozens show up to voice concerns at Ft. Gordon

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Source: Rachel Moore(WFXG FOX54) Source: Rachel Moore(WFXG FOX54)
Fort Gordon, GA (WFXG) -

As troops are being pulled from Afghanistan and Iraq, the Army is reducing and reorganizing its force structure, which means Fort Gordon could face cuts in personnel.

"Lives of individuals would be greatly diminished if there's a reduction in force here."
"You could see today how much the community cares about Fort Gordon."

That's the sentiment hundreds of community leaders and members echoed to a representative from the Department of the Army. Thursday afternoon a listening session was held on post; one of 33 sessions at bases across the country that have a military and civilian population of 5,000 or more.

"We're in the business of promoting Fort Gordon for mission growth," said Tom Tuckey, executive director of the CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon. "We're working very hard to bring some new missions to Fort Gordon. This is something that's kind of a road block that's got up there that says, 'OK we're going to take stuff away from Fort Gordon."

From community organizations, to state senators, to city commissioners, guests presented feedback on the negative effects that would be felt across the CSRA if Fort Gordon were to suffer reductions.

Whatever happens here on post could have a significant impact of what happens in the community; considering Fort Gordon is the largest employer in our area.

"You take one job away from the installation, you take two away from the community," Tuckey said.

More than 23,000 employees work at Fort Gordon. Community leaders agreeing the local economy would suffer if those jobs were cut.

And as the community unites to show support for their installation, the commanding general believes they've made a strong case to prevent reductions on post.

"In the three years I've been here, I've never once heard anyone say 'What can Fort Gordon do for us?' It's always 'What can we do for Fort Gordon," said Commanding General LaWarren V. Patterson.

Original:

Dozens packed in to Fort Gordon's Dinner Theater Thursday morning to hear more about cuts headed to Fort Gordon. Several came with their own concerns.

WFXG's Rachel Moore is at that meeting and will have the latest from Fort Gordon a little alter this afternoon here at wfxg.com and tonight on FOX54 News at 10pm.

OFFICIAL RELEASE FROM FT. GORDON:

Fort Gordon will host a "community listening session" April 25 to give Central Savannah River Area community leaders and members of the public an opportunity to provide feedback on potential troop reductions here.

These sessions are being held across the nation at all installations that have an Army military and civilian permanent population of 5,000 or greater.

Major Gen. LaWarren V. Patterson, commanding general of the U.S. Army Signal Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon, will host the meeting and provide a brief presentation on the process for determining where and how the reductions will be made.

"We're hosting this listening session to make sure that the concerns of our CSRA communities can be brought directly to the Army prior to force structure and associated stationing decisions," Patterson said. "The Army values public input in this process, and we consider it vital that our friends and neighbors here have the opportunity to make their voices heard before decisions affecting Fort Gordon are made."

No decisions regarding planned reductions at Fort Gordon or elsewhere will be announced at the event; those decisions have not yet been made. The listening session is intended to allow communities to express their concerns and any other information that they feel should be included in the decision process.

The reductions being considered are intended to help the Army reduce and reorganize its force structure in order to achieve the fiscal reductions required by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The Army previously announced a planned active-component reduction of 80,000 Soldiers, from a 2010 high of 570,000 Soldiers to 490,000 by the end of fiscal year 2017. These reductions are not related to sequestration.

The Fort Gordon listening session will be held at the Fort Gordon Dinner Theater on Thursday, April 25, from noon to 2 p.m.

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