Fort Polk lobbying group: Installation not ‘out of the woods yet’

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

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KPLC) - Mike Reese, who chairs the Fort Polk lobbying group, Fort Polk Progress, said Wednesday that the installation "isn't out of the woods yet" when it comes to force reductions.

Reese traveled to Washington, D.C. this week for the annual conference for Association of Defense Communities, according to a news release from Fort Polk Progress.

On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that the Senate Armed Services readiness subcommittee rejected Defense officials' request to close installations and facilities in the U.S. that are deemed unnecessary as the military branches make force cuts.

The wire service also reported that last week, the House Armed Services Committee also rejected more base closings, and even took the step of adding a provision barring the Pentagon from even planning for another round.

Fort Polk Progress representatives say the effects of both moves "ensure that a final defense policy bill approved by Congress for the 2014 fiscal year won't give the department permission to close excess bases."

However, representatives say Fort Polk still faces cuts.

"Base Realignment and Closure is just one of many threats to Fort Polk," Reese said. "The most looming threat at this point is the Army 2020 Plan, which could reduce troop strength at Fort Polk by as many as 5,000 soldiers."

Reese said other options for Fort Polk under the proposal include adding 1,000 personnel.

A decision on Fort Polk is expected by the end of June.

The installation is also dealing with other threats, including sequestration, Reese added.

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