The Army has released a 2014 Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA) that assesses the impacts of a potential reduction of an additional 70,000 soldiers and associated reductions in Army civilians, down to an Active Component end-strength of 420,000 soldiers. According to the Department of the Army, these reductions are necessary to achieve the savings required by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The SPEA analyzes the impact of force reductions at a total of 30 installations, including Fort Polk.
As a result of the SPEA, Fort Polk is facing a possible reduction in force of 6,500 troops. The Army will again conduct a commenting period for the 2014 SPEA, which will last until August 25, and also hold listening sessions at affected communities. Please click on the link below to sign a petition and to send a letter to Army decision makers.
Fort Polk Progress urges residents of the communities surrounding Fort Polk to send in their comments as soon as possible and to share the address with their friends and neighbors.
“We want our message to the Army to be loud and clear: ‘Don’t cut troops at Fort Polk,” said Michael Reese, Chairman of Fort Polk Progress. “Of any base in the nation, Fort Polk offers the most cost effective, rigorous and relevant training, together with exceptional maneuver space, air space and rapid deployment facilities, on a modern facility surrounded by communities dedicated to supporting soldiers and their families.”
“It is critically important to send more letters of support than the 4,700 submitted to the Department of the Army last year,” said Deborah Randolph, Chamber President and Louisiana Military Advisory Council member. “Due to the successful advocacy effort led by fort Polk Progress in 2013, other communities surrounding Army posts will work diligently to engage public support this time around.”
Fort Polk Progress has known all along that another round of troop reductions was inevitable, given the current budget environment, and has been proactively planning its response for months, from creating the Education Initiative, which shows the Army just how engaged the local communities are in providing valuable quality of life enhancements for soldiers; to keeping our Congressional Delegation in Washington informed and active in countering force structure decisions; to engaging the Louisiana legislature for funding to help cover the costs of efforts to keep the military a strong economic force throughout the state.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
GATHER SIGNED LETTERS
·Encourage everyone you know to sign and send in the sample form letter
·Arrange a drop-off point for the signed letters
·Send them in batches to the address below
SIGN THE PETITION
·Encourage everyone you know to sign the petition
Those wanting to show support can also stop by the Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce at 1115 Third Street in downtown Alexandria between 8am-5pm to sign the petition and letter.
USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO SPREAD THE WORD
·Copy and paste our social media posts into your feeds
Letters should be sent via email to: USARMY.JBSA.AEC.NEPA@MAIL.MIL or through the U.S. Postal Service to:
U.S. Army Environmental Command
ATTN: SPEA Public Comments
2450 Connell Road (Building 2264)
Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Same Houston, TX 78234-7664