Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (MO-4) is urging the Army to consider the importance of Fort Leonard Wood as restructuring and troop reduction decisions are made. The Army restructuring is based on a proposal to reduce current end strength from 562,000 active duty troops to 490,000 troops by fiscal year 2020. Implementation of this proposal could lead to a force reduction of 3,900 at Fort Leonard Wood.
"I have concerns that the proposed force reduction at Fort Leonard Wood would be the loss of the 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade (MEB) and its engineer and military police battalions, which are Forces Command (FORSCOM) units," said Hartzler. "Previously, the Army made the wise decision to place FORSCOM units with Training & Doctrine Command (TRADOC) schools. Army readiness benefits greatly from FORSCOM soldiers and leaders returning from combat zones as they can be reassigned as subject matter experts to assist in the collection, analysis, and dissemination of lessons learned from operational units, the refinement of doctrine and techniques, and identification of operational needs. Additionally, Soldier and family well being are dramatically improved with the opportunity to stay twice as long in one location."
"In addition to the proposed reduction potentially harming military readiness and family well being, the cuts at Fort Leonard Wood would disproportionately impact Pulaski, Laclede, and other counties with civilians employed at the Fort," continued Hartzler. "The economic impact to this part of our state, with the loss of 41 percent of the Fort Leonard Wood permanent party, would be devastating."
"Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that is a premier Army asset and is economically crucial to this region and to our state," added Hartzler. "Fort Leonard Wood is a proven and valued Army investment that must remain fully staffed to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow."
Congresswoman Hartzler proudly serves on the House Armed Services Committee.