Fort Polk garners support during PEA comment period

Fort Polk training (Source: DVIDS)
Fort Polk training (Source: DVIDS)

FORT POLK, LA (KPLC) - The U.S. Army received over 2,500 comments in support of Fort Polk during a public comment period on the Army's assessment of troop reductions at the installation.

The study outlines force structure reductions and realignments that may occur on U.S. Army bases before 2020. It is included in the Army's "Programmatic Environmental Assessment," known as "PEA," and draft "Finding of No Significant Impact."

Army officials invited comment about the installations mentioned in the study. Vernon officials urged people statewide to weigh in on Fort Polk's significance to the area and state.

Vernon Parish Chamber officials report that 2,530 were received for Fort Polk, according to the U.S. Army Environmental Command.

Officials said 693 were received for Fort Benning; 637 for Fort Leonard Wood; and 185 for Fort Carson.

Last week, Fort Polk Progress chairman Michael Reese announced the release of the fiscal year 2012 Fort Polk economic impact statement, which details $1.86 billion in spending at the installation. Of that total, $980 million is payroll, Reese said.

"An amount of $1.86 billion is a clear indication of the military value of Fort Polk to the Army and its profound impact to Central Louisiana and the entire state," Reese said. "More than five years of impact statements have consistently shown annual Army investments of more than $1 billion. Combined with Fort Polk's expanding training range and more than $200 million in state and local investments to support the soldier community, there is no doubt that Fort Polk is an excellent value for the Army today and the right location for future growth."

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