The Department of the Army announced Tuesday that it intends to reduce the number of active-duty soldiers by 80,000 by 2017 — and Fort Stewart stands to lose 1,300 soldiers under the plan.
A spokesman from U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston’s office confirmed reports Tuesday afternoon that the installation will lose a brigade combat team, but he added that several battalions will be added to reduce the loss.
Kingston spokesman Chris Crawford said the move results from the Budget Control Act of 2011 and Defense Planning Guidance issued in 2012. He emphasized that it is not related to sequestration.
“This is part of a larger restructuring in the Army in which they’re going to be reducing troops by 80,000 worldwide,” he said, adding that though Fort Stewart is set to lose one brigade combat team, an extra battalion will be added, “so the net loss will be 1,372 soldiers.”
Secretary of the Army John McHugh told Kingston that every installation with more than two brigade combat teams would lose one of them, Crawford reported. There is no word yet which unit Stewart will lose.
“The important thing here is this is in no way a reflection on Fort Stewart. This is just a larger Army restructuring. Even after the transition, Fort Stewart will still be up 4,500 troops since 2001,” Crawford said. “That doesn’t mean it’s not a disappointment, but it puts it into perspective.”
When asked how other Army installations in Georgia will be affected, Crawford said the transition would include placing an additional 76 soldiers at Fort Benning and 250 soldiers at Fort Gordon.
He added the transition will take no later than the end of fiscal-year 2017.
“We have some time, and as always, we’ll be working to identify new missions and see what we can be doing to get more folks there,” Crawford added.