To the editor:
I thought moving Third Army Headquarters and other regional military offices to Fort Bragg somewhat assured its stability. After all, it is America’s largest Army base.
Now comes a report speculating cuts in military and civilian jobs there by 2020. Just a study, but worthy of concern as the nation reduces military spending.
Unless the Fayetteville area, which is heavily dependent on Fort Bragg, can begin to diversify employment, losses will have a big economic impact. Although Richmond County has a portion of the huge Army base at Camp Mackall, the impact will be less here.
In 2013, all federal agencies executed $4.9 billion in prime military-related contracts in 96 North Carolina counties. Subcontractors and suppliers performed additional billions of dollars in federal-related work, according to “Elite,” a magazine serving this region on military issues.
This is one time Richmond County would not take a big economic hit. On a scale of $0 to $500 million in impact, the county — along with many others throughout the state — is in the $0 to $100,000 range. Of course, the Rockingham Blue Trail wants to attract visitors from Fort Bragg seeking adventure.
Hopefully the 11 counties around Fort Bragg affected the most will be able to scale back some of the proposed reductions exerting pressure in hearings on proposed reductions.
Since this has statewide consequences as well, we can all help through our support for efforts to keep Fort Bragg in the spotlight for economic development while stressing its importance in providing first responding military units for national security.
Cuts are proposed through the U.S. Budget Control Act of 2011. These cuts will have an impact on all of us through a reduction in state taxes as well as employment.
We need to let our state legislators and members of the U.S. Congress know about our concerns associated with any reductions at Fort Bragg.