Army cutting 365 troops from Fort Carson

FORT CARSON, Colo. — The U.S. Army is cutting 365 troops from Fort Carson.

This number represents less than 2 percent of the 23,349 soldiers currently stationed at the Mountain Post.

Six posts across the county will see major hits of more than 1,000 cuts.

The move is part of an effort to cut 40,000 soldiers nationwide by the end of 2017.

“It’s very devastating for the soldiers, it’s devastating for the family, it’s devastating for the community. Especially when you have a community like Colorado Springs that is so embracing their military. I think everybody feels the sorrow and things of that nature,” said MG Ryan Gonsalves, Fort Carson commander.

The Regional Business Alliance says a cut of 365 soldiers will result in roughly $25 million in economic impact to the community.

However, it won’t be a dramatic hit as the cuts will be spread over the next two years.

“The reductions consists of a 25 percent decrease of the 4th Infantry Division headquarters in line with the Army decision for all two-star and above headquarters,” Fort Carson officials said in a statement. “Also, the armored brigade combat team will be reorganized in line with the Army 2020 initiative. Additionally, explosive ordnance disposal company elements will be affected.”

“As we withdraw down our division headquarters over the next couple years, based on the 25 percent reduction, depending on the slot that we lose, we just wouldn’t fill or back-fill that one position,” Gonsalves said.

Congressman Doug Lamborn, who represents the Colorado Springs area in the U.S. House of Representatives, thanked everyone who supported Fort Carson through the #KeepCarsonStrong social media campaign and other efforts.

“Although no one wants any reductions at Fort Carson, just 365 cut out of 23,349 soldiers shows that we are viewed favorably by the DOD and the Army,” Lamborn said in a statement.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers emphasized the importance of keeping the post strong.

“The Pentagon’s announcement this morning regarding minimal troop reductions at Ft. Carson is good news for Colorado Springs and is an indication of the importance of Ft. Carson in the overall defense mission. It also reflects positively on the case Colorado Springs has made on behalf of Ft. Carson,” Suthers said in a statement. “However, we have to remain vigilant as there will likely be another round of proposed reductions next year and we must continue to make the case for maintaining troops levels here in the future.”

Army officials add it is possible to see further cuts next year, if sequestration hits.

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