In June 2014, the U.S. Army released the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA) in response to additional cuts the Army is projecting. In June 2013, the Army announced it was cutting the active component by 70,000.
As part of this reduction, the Army eliminated the 3rd Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team — a cut of roughly 1,370 soldiers from Fort Stewart. According to the plan announced in June 2013, soldiers assigned will dip to roughly 19,700 over the next 12 to 18 months.
The Army leadership has announced in several forums that any of its large posts, including Fort Stewart, could lose up to 16,000 soldiers. It also announced that virtually every post will be reduced in some capacity under the 420,000 scenario. Some senior Army officials have mentioned the Army is using the SPEA partly as a way to lead local communities to express their opposition to federal budget cuts that would force the reduction to the 420,000 level.
“We need to tell our story of how we’ve supported soldiers and their families — in our businesses, churches, schools, neighborhoods, etc.,” Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas said. “The Army needs to know the effect that additional cuts will have on us before making any decisions about reduction of forces at Fort Stewart.”
The public-comment period to voice concerns ends Monday. The Army Environmental Command at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, is responsible for receiving and compiling comments. Comments may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or given via phone by calling 1-855-846-3940.