Due to budget issues, Fort Bragg is cancelling its 4th of July celebration and reducing services in many other areas.
“Our reduced operating budget for the remainder of this year forces many very tough decisions; notably I must cancel our annual Fort Bragg 4th of July celebration,” said Lt. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, Commanding General of XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg. “With overtime pay costs of $120,000, the 4th of July celebration is unsupportable under these fiscal realities. With a pending civilian workforce furlough and a 34 percent operational budget cut, we’re prioritizing our services to ensure our readiness and care of service members, civilians and families.”
This annual event on the Main Post Parade Field attracts more than 50,000 people from throughout southeastern North Carolina, and has been held for more than 30 years.
Hamlet Police Officer and Army veteran Corey Adams, 28, said he was always deployed during 4th of July celebrations. Adams said he did one tour in Iraq, and two tours in Afghanistan, but he isn’t upset that Ft. Bragg is scaling back their expenses.
“Ft. Bragg has other amenities for people,” said Adams. “The Army base is very family oriented and it’s not just Ft. Bragg that’s cutting spending, it’s all over the country. In today’s world, things have to be cut back and put on hold. You also have to consider other things going on in the world, like the new hysteria over North Korea’s recent nuclear threats and the Boston Marathon explosions. Cutting back on an event like this might prevent something like that from happening. We try to be proactive, rather than reactive.”
Adams said he thinks Ft. Bragg’s move to cancel the event is fiscally responsible.
The installation leadership continues to adjust programs and services based upon priorities and budget constraints.
Other recent changes include cancellation of weekend controlled burn operations by forestry management, closure of unprofitable Morale, Welfare, and Recreation facilities such as Habanero’s Grill, Runway Bowling Lanes, the woodworking shop, and beginning April 27, Cleland Ice Rink.
Fort Bragg has also cancelled mowing and landscaping contracts, except to preserve safe airfield conditions, cancelled cable TV contracts in MWR fitness centers and will no longer run Linden Oaks to Main Post shuttle.
“While we expect to face additional tough fiscal decisions in the weeks ahead, we will continue to train our force to sustain our individual and unit readiness to meet assigned and contingency missions, while ensuring sustained care of service members, families, and civilians. We will continue to balance fiscal constraints with our non-negotiable commitment to mission readiness,” Allyn said. “We appreciate the continued community support, patience, and willingness to extend a helping hand to all those serving our nation. Together, we’ll lead our way to mission success and the sustained readiness of our service-members, families and civilians.”
Past State Commander of American Legion Jeff Joyner of Rockingham said the cuts come as a result of government not making clear decisions on budget reductions.
“Nobody in Washington, D.C.’s got enough nerve to sit down and talk about what needs to be cut, so they make cuts across the board and I don’t agree with that,” said Joyner. “That’s not a way to operate a government, but I guess that’s the government we have now.”
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.