Congressman John Fleming, M.D., and Senator David Vitter released the following statement about the U.S. Army's announcement that force restructuring will result in a minimal force reduction at Fort Polk:
"The troops at Fort Polk and the Joint Readiness Training Center are vital and contribute enormously to our national security," said Fleming. "I contacted the Secretary of the Army about the importance of Fort Polk when I was first alerted that force restructuring could reduce its troops by more than 5,000. The communities around Fort Polk rallied in memorable fashion and together we convinced the Army of Fort Polk's full array of resources. Restructuring will only entail a reduction of less than 250 troops. It's clear that our concerted message of support was heard. Nationwide, the Army is reducing its uniformed personnel by 14%, but at Fort Polk that will be about three percent. In this day of greatly reduced defense budgets, this is clearly a strong sign of Fort Polk's importance and the value of teamwork in demonstrating it. I will continue to make the case for increasing that investment at every opportunity I have."
"The Army's announcement today shows how important Fork Polk is and how it will continue to be among the premier training grounds shaping our nation's military forces," said Vitter. "Fort Polk's forces and the Joint Readiness Training Center are huge priorities both for our national security and for communities throughout Louisiana, and making sure that our troops at Fort Polk have the support they need will remain among my top priorities on the Armed Services Committee. The announcement today and confirmation I received from the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, General John Campbell, make it clear that Fort Polk forces and the community involvement shown during the Army Listening session are incredibly important and will continue to play a vital role within the Department of Defense moving forward."
Dr. John Fleming is Chairman of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs and is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He is a physician and small business owner and represents the 4th Congressional District of Louisiana.