Skip to comments.Fort Jackson steels itself to possible loss of 3,100 jobs (Military and civilian)
Posted on 03/28/2014 5:28:15 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Fort Jackson and the posts local supporters are bracing for the possibility that 3,100 military and civilian jobs could be lost by the end of the decade.
The cuts, which would eliminate more than 40% of Fort Jacksons current workforce of 7,000 troops and civilians, could happen if Congress allows budget sequestration to resume in 2016, said Col. Dan Beatty, chief of staff at Fort Jackson.
At Wednesdays meeting of the S.C. Military Base Task Force, Beatty emphasized that no decision has been made and that the worst-case scenario is part of an Army study on how the potential personnel cutbacks would affect local installations.
Whats driving the study is the possibility that sequestration which was suspended when Congress passed a budget last year would resume in 2016.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel already has proposed trimming the Armys active-duty strength by 6% to some 490,000 soldiers by 2015 from the current level of 522,000. Hagels proposed budget also calls for lowering troop levels to 450,000 by 2019, about 30,000 fewer than the number of soldiers who were on duty on Sept. 11, 2001.
If sequestration resumes, automatic across-the-board budget cuts could lead to an active-duty force of 420,000 soldiers 30,000 fewer than Hagel has proposed.
A smaller Army means there would be fewer soldiers to train at Fort Jackson. Presently, 45,000 soldiers a year go through basic combat training at the Columbia post, and another 25,000 to 30,000 receive additional training at Fort Jackson for their military jobs.
Local leaders, though, arent waiting to see if sequestration resumes and heavy budget cuts hit Fort Jackson, which has an estimated economic impact of $2.6 billion a year on the Midlands.
Officials have been in contact with the states congressional delegation and are working on a proposal showing how Fort Jackson could take on more missions, said retired Army Maj. Gen. George Goldsmith, chairman of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerces military affairs committee.
The potential loss of jobs is the top concern, Goldsmith said. He estimated that about 700 of the potential job cuts would be civilian positions. Military jobs like drill sergeants would be reassigned to other posts, Goldsmith said.
Civilians, though, handle an array of tasks from planning and facilities management to public affairs to cooking meals to soldiers.
What local leaders are exploring is the possibility of having the Army move all or some of the training missions at other posts to Fort Jackson, which is the Armys largest training center.
For example, three other posts Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; and Fort Sill, Okla. have basic training units in addition to being home to combat arms and combat support units.
All Army basic combat training could be consolidated and offered at Fort Jackson, Goldsmith said.
As we look at downsizing of the basic training component, we can take that away from one of these other posts that have other missions, Goldsmith said. Why do you need basic training at Fort Benning if you could move it to Fort Jackson?
I was drafted, November 22, 1965 and had Thanksgiving dinner there. My next stop was Ft. Gordon, GA, for Basic and Signal AIT.
I really didn’t care for the place.....!!!!!
I did BCT at Ft. Leonard Wood and AIT at Ft. Huachuca.
My parents met while my dad was at Leonard Wood.
“All Army basic combat training could be consolidated and offered at Fort Jackson, Goldsmith said.”
Nonsense. It works better and saves money if soldiers do basic training at the same installation where they will attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT)(AKA - MOS Training). IF you send a soldier to one installation to do basic training and then send him across the country to do AIT....it costs more money. Soldiers that are going to be in Field Artillery or Air Defense Artillery are best run through Basic Training at Fort Sill. Soldiers going to the Military Police, Engineers, or Chemical Corps should go to Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood where they will also go to AIT.
Stealing from other installations in order to keep Fort Jackson afloat is specious logic. Why should Jackson remain while the other installations then take a big hit? It is not logical, unless you are from that state or “work” at Fort Jackson.
Then probably not the same era I was there. [chuckle]
Not to worry - they will all get welfare benefits and Obamaphones.
BCT & AIT at Ft. Knox, 1973
What do we need with an army anyway? That’s so... 19th century. </s>
My only stop at Ft. Jackson was to process out of the Army as I returned from Germany in 1981. Fortunately, I had a good connection at Jackson with an NCO that worked for me in Germany so I got to stay at his house and he took me directly to where I needed to process. I was quickly back on my way to rejoin my wife and son in OK.
Your A 100% right. I went to Fort Jackson only to inprocess and then was placed on a bus for Fort Benning and basic training. I never understood the waste of money in sending a bunch of us to Fort Jackson in the first place.
Sickening to see so many actions put to those words.
I understand the purpose of the story (cutting military) but the headline evokes that which I don’t care to write about tonight, so I’m not...