Breaking News

Missouri senators ask Army to reconsider Ft. Leonard Wood reductions

Updated: 2013-04-29T23:24:09Z

The Associated Press

— Missouri's two U.S. senators want the Pentagon to reconsider a proposed troop realignment that could reduce the number of soldiers stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in south-central Missouri by nearly 4,000.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt and Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, wrote a joint letter Monday to U.S. Army Secretary John McHugh saying they're concerned about possible plans to reconfigure brigade combat teams at the Pulaski County installation. Both are on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

A preliminary report by the Army's Environmental Command includes a possible force reduction of 3,900 of the more than 27,000 troops at Fort Leonard Wood. The proposal is part of a larger Army plan that could reduce the total number of enlisted soldiers by 80,000 in 2020.

The force reduction plan targets Fort Leonard Wood's Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, part of a broad military training program that includes a school for military police.

Blunt and McCaskill pointed out that linking training units with their operational counterparts cuts down on the frequent transfers that can weaken military families. They also urged McHugh to keep in mind the Army's “conscious effort” during the 2005 base realignments to keep training schools near larger installations.

The Army is holding a public meeting on the proposal at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Fort Leonard Wood's Abrams Theater. Similar sessions are planned at the 20 other installations targeted for realignment.

Ten of those installations could each lose 8,000 troops, including Fort Bragg in North Carolina; Fort Bliss, Texas; and Fort Riley, Kan.

Deal Saver Subscribe today!


The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Kansas City Star uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here