The Department of the Army has some big fiscal reductions to make in the near future, but they'll have to reduce and reorganize to do so. These requirements are due to the Budget Control Act of 2011. Now the Department of the Army is turning to the local communities that could be affected, to get their input on where the cuts should be made. WJBF News Channel 6's Barclay Bishop has more.
The community listening sessions, as they are being called, will be held at 29 different Army installations across the country. The Department of the Army started the initiative after it was announced they have to reduce the size of active duty soldiers by 80,000 by the year 2017. The sessions are the Army's attempt to make sure that military communities, like Fort Gordon, get some input in the decision making process.
"It's especially important here in a place where the community provides so much support to Fort Gordon that our neighbors have the opportunity to provide this kind of input to the Department of the Army before they make decisions that may affect our neighbors," said J.C. Matthews, Public Affairs Officer at Fort Gordon.
"We need people to come out and voice their opinions and really to show support for our military, I think it's the right thing to do so I would hope we would have a big crowd," said Augusta Mayor, Deke Copenhaver. "We're fortunate to have such a strong relationship between the city and the Fort and I would just encourage people to come out and take this opportunity."
The listening session will be held Thursday, 12pm - 2pm at the Fort Gordon Dinner Theater. Representatives from the Department of the Army will be at the sessions and will put together a comprehensive report based off of the feedback they hear. It's still too early to know when the final decisions will be made but it's important to note that no decisions have been made just yet.
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