WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today denounced the decision by the Department of Defense to officially stop the growth of the Brigade Combat Teams at 45, instead of the 48 Brigade Combat Teams originally planned. Georgia’s Fort Stewart was expected to receive the 46th Brigade Combat Team.
“This is absolutely the wrong decision, and I am deeply disappointed by today’s announcement. When a community works as hard as the Friends of Liberty and Fort Stewart have worked to prepare for an expansion of the local installation, it is absolutely critical to be able to rely on the military’s word. ” Isakson said. “I will continue to work with the Georgia congressional delegation to ensure that Fort Stewart receives one of the brigades that the Army plans to move back to the States from Europe. With its strategic location and strong community support, Fort Stewart is still the ideal place to grow the U.S. Army.”
“I am extremely disappointed by this decision. I consider this decision to be a breach of contract between the Department of Defense and the Ft. Stewart community,” said Chambliss, a member of the Senate Armed Service Committee. “For the last several years the city of Hinesville, as well as other communities that make up the Friends of Liberty, have invested their time, energy and money into preparing to receive this additional brigade. Last minute decisions like this jeopardize the trust and support that is key to building a strong military installation and a local community bond. I will continue to work with my fellow delegation members to ensure the Department of Defense and the Army give Ft. Stewart full consideration for all future basing decisions to include the rebasing of units currently stationed in Europe.”
Isakson and Chambliss have been in constant communication with Secretary of the Army Pete Geren since the original announcement by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Both Isakson and Chambliss plan to meet with John McHugh, Obama’s nominee to replace Secretary Geren, to discuss Fort Stewart.