Peace Time: Where Will All The New Soldiers Go


September 4, 2007: The U.S. Army is in the midst of adding 74,000 troops to its active duty and reserve strength. Recruiting the troops is one thing, the other is, where are you going to put them? About half the new troops are reservists, who only go on active duty two weeks a year. That's not a major problem. But finding a home for the active duty troops is. Most of the new active duty troops will form six new combat brigades. Each of these have about 4,000 troops. Add dependents, and you have about 10,000 people, per brigade, that you have to find housing, schools and training areas for. The new troops that are not going into the new brigades will be sent to units throughout the army, and will not impose a noticeable burden on local resources. But when another combat brigade arrives at an army post, it is noticed.

The civilian communities around the bases have different opinions about more troops, and dependents, moving in. The business community, and many politicians, like all the new economic opportunities the additional people, and their payrolls, bring. But others living in the area think of crowded highways and schools, and prices going up, if only for a while, as more money chases the same amount of resources.

There are seventeen army bases capable of taking (with some additional construction) one of these brigades. The army is studying the facilities at each base, and polling the surrounding communities, to see which six bases would best be able to handle a new brigade. The seventeen bases are Fort Benning and Fort Stewart in Georgia, Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort Bliss and Fort Hood in Texas, Fort Campbell and Fort Knox in Kentucky, Fort Carson in Colorado, Fort Drum in New York, Fort Hunter-Liggett and Fort Irwin in California, Fort Lewis and Yakima Training Center in Washington, Fort Polk in Louisiana, Fort Riley in Kansas, White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, Yakima Training Center, and Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.




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