WITH POTENTIAL CUT LOOMING, SCHUMER URGES ARMY TO PROTECT BRIGADES AT FT. DRUM ARMY SHOULD MAINTAIN OR INCREASE 10th MOUNTAIN DIVISION PRESENCE AT FT. DRUM WHICH HAS THE CAPACITY TO ABSORB REASSINGED TROOPS
brArmy May Announce Brigade Cuts This Month 10th Mountain Division At Risk; Ft. Drum Is Home to Three of the Four 10th Mtn. Brigades Schumer Pushes Army to Keep Those Brigade Combat Teams at Ft. DrumbrbrIn Personal Phone Call to Sec. McHugh, Schumer Argues That If Cut is Necessary, 10th Mountain Division Troops Should Be Centralized at Ft. Drum to Improve Command and Control, Reduce CostsbrbrSchumer to Army: Keep 10th Mountain Division Under One Roof Ft. Drum is Premier Facility with Infrastr
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer urged the Army to protect the 10 th Mountain Division's three Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) headquartered at Ft. Drum, if brigade cuts are necessary. The Army, per the 2020 Force Structure Realignment, is expected to cut between 8 and 10 BCTs by the end of FY2017, as reported by the Watertown Daily Times, and will announce which installations will lose BCTs later this month. Three of the four BCTs of the 10 thMountain Division are stationed at Ft. Drum.
Schumer argued that if the 10 th Mountain Division must lose a BCT, it would make sense to consolidate the remaining three divisions at Ft. Drum, which would help reduce costs, ensure solidarity within the division and improve command and control by housing the entire 10 th Mountain under one roof. What's more, Schumer said that Ft. Drum is a premier facility with the infrastructure, technology and space to support increased troops. Schumer highlighted these points in a call and letter to the Secretary of the Army John McHugh and noted that Ft. Drum has the capacity to accept soldiers who will need to be reassigned from dissolved brigades.
"Fort Drum is one the Army's premier facilities. I called the Secretary of the Army to urge that if the Army determines it is necessary to cut a Brigade Combat Team from the 10 th Mountain Division, then the Army should take this opportunity to consolidate the division at Fort Drum," said Schumer. "While we are working to keep the Division intact, if a cut is attempted, then consolidating the 10 th Mountain at Ft. Drum makes military and economic sense for three reasons: first, it would improve command and control within the division by keeping all of its BCTs under one roof; second it would reduce both communications and travel costs; and third Ft. Drum and the surrounding community have the infrastructure and technology to support the additional soldiers. Keeping the stations at Ft. Drum whole is one of my top priorities, and I will continue to track the situation as announcements are made."
The Army plans to announce which brigades will be dissolved by the end of June, which is part of a troop drawdown mandated by the 2020 Force Structure Realignment. With between 8 to 10 brigades in line for cuts, and only 10 Army divisions, there may be no division that is spared a brigade cut. Therefore, because 3 of the 4 BCTs of the 10 th Mountain Division are headquartered at Ft. Drum, Schumer argued that those at Ft. Drum should remain intact and the remainder of the troops should be consolidated at Ft. Drum. Schumer explained that this made sense from a military perspective, because it would improve command and control within the division by keeping all its BCTs together.
Each Brigade represents roughly 4,000 soldiers, and if a BCT is dissolved, those personnel would have to be reassigned. The number of personnel in the remaining BCTs would increase due to the restructure. Schumer pointed out that Ft. Drum and the surrounding community had the infrastructure to absorb more troops and could accommodate reassigned troops from the 4 th BCT in the 10 th Mountain Division. In that circumstance, Schumer argued that consolidating the division under one roof at Ft. Drum could reduce transportation and communications costs.
The 10 th Mountain Division, headquartered at Ft. Drum, is the Army's most deployed division since 1992.
A copy of Senator Schumer's letter to Secretary McHugh appears below:
Dear Secretary McHugh,
Cc: Major General Mike Murray
US Army G3/5/7
I am writing to you regarding the Army 2020 Force Structure Realignment and its potential impact on Fort Drum. As you know, the 10th Mountain Division has four Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs), three of which are at Fort Drum. I'm sure you would agree that if the 10th Mountain Division loses a BCT, it makes sense to consolidate the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum for improved command and control. Locating all the 10th Mountain Division BCTs at Fort Drum would also reduce travel costs.
Additionally, the Fort Drum and the surrounding community have the capacity to house and support any additional soldiers that would result from a realignment of additional forces to Fort Drum. I encourage you to use the resources at Fort Drum to their fullest capacity. Thank you for your time. I look forward to your response. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff if you have any questions or concerns.
Charles E. Schumer