U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., along with Congressman Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, are strongly urging Secretary of the Army John McHugh to station a Heavy Brigade Combat Team that will be returning from Europe in 2015 at Fort Stewart in southeast Georgia. In a letter to McHugh, the three lawmakers cited the benefits and cost effectiveness of stationing and training troops at Fort Stewart, and noted that the Fort Stewart/Liberty County community has previously made a $78 million investment in preparation for additional soldiers.
The text of the letter is below.
April 8, 2011
Honorable John M. McHugh
Secretary of the Army
United States Army
200 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310
Dear Secretary McHugh:
We are writing to solicit your support for moving a Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT) from Germany to Fort Stewart in 2015. The Department of Defense announced today that the President has decided to withdraw one HBCT from Europe with implementation in 2015. I hope you will keep Fort Stewart in mind as you determine where to place this BCT.
As you know, we have had the distinct honor of representing the soldiers and family members of Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield for many years. During that time, we have witnessed extraordinary transformation of Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield into the premier power projection and training platform along the East Coast.
From the perspective of military value--in addition to having the longest runway on the east coast, Fort Stewart's strategic location in southeast Georgia makes it easily accessible by road, rail and sea. Movement to ports takes place in hours vice days and weeks. At 280,000 acres, Fort Stewart is the largest military installation east of the Mississippi River. Training is efficient and cost effective due to the installation's digital multipurpose range training complex and other facilities located within minutes of the cantonment areas. Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Air Field also have no significant environmental impact or encroachment issues. All environmental impact statements were completed and validated in anticipation of the 46th BCT's projected assignment to Fort Stewart.
Fort Stewart has available infrastructure to welcome a BCT. Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield won the Army's top honor for Community of Excellence four out of the last six years. In addition, the Fort Stewart / Liberty County community invested in excess of $78M in preparation for the anticipated new soldier arrivals in 2009, as noted in a study commissioned by the Secretary of Defense's Office of Economic Adjustment. We do not want to see this community investment go to waste.
Thank you for your service to our nation and we look forward to working together on behalf of the Army.