WASHINGTON (8/20/14) — U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, joined by Reps. Brett Guthrie (KY-02), John Yarmuth (KY-03), Thomas Massie (KY-04), Hal Rogers (KY-05) and Andy Barr (KY-06) sent a letter to Colonel Robert C. Wittig, the Commander of the United States Army Environmental Command in Fort Sam Houston, Texas to express support for Fort Campbell and to address several concerns related to the Army's recently released Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment.
The Kentucky Congressional Delegation also sent a similar letter in support of Fort Knox, which is facing a situation very similar to that of Fort Campbell.
The SPEA, while being a 'worst case scenario' situation could, if the Army were to fully implement it, cost Fort Campbell thousands of soldiers and civilian personnel jobs. In addition to the economic impact to communities surrounding Fort Campbell each year, a force cut of the magnitude in the worst case scenario would be a financial hardship on the economy of the entire region. These soldiers and military families in the area that surrounds Fort Campbell are an integral part of the community and our Country.
These dedicated military servants enjoy a high quality of life both on and off base, with a low cost of living, including housing costs, multiple education options including local universities and community colleges, and numerous community sponsored activities. These are just some of the reasons Fort Campbell received the Army Communities of Excellence Award four years in a row.
"Although the Army's 2014 SPEA proposes a bleak 'worst case scenario,' it is important to remember this assessment is far from final and it is Congress, not the Administration, who determines federal spending levels and priorities," said Whitfield. "I will continue to adamantly oppose any efforts to reduce troops and services to the level suggested by this assessment. I have previously discussed this issue with Major General Gary Volesky and expressed my concern and support for keeping Fort Campbell strong. In June, the House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2015 Defense Appropriations Bill that funds the Department of Defense at $491 billion, $4.1 billion above fiscal year 2014 and $200 million above the President's request. While we must reduce federal spending to get our federal budget under control, we must also remain firm in our commitment to our nation's security, defense operations, and military personnel."Click here to see a copy of the letter.
Information provided by Marty Irby
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