Begich Reacts to Announcement of Army Force Structure Changes
AK Bases Spared Major Cuts Because of Strategic Importance
U.S. Senator Mark Begich responded to today’s announced U.S. Army force structure changes that will slightly increase the number of personnel based in the Interior and reduce the number of soldiers stationed in Anchorage.
“Today’s announcement shows that, despite national cuts and the ending of two wars, the Army recognizes Alaska’s strategic importance,” said Sen. Begich. “Other states have seen far greater cut backs to their forces—ten times more reductions than Alaska troops. But what is more important is the commitment we have received from the military to bring new missions to Alaska and strengthen our force here in the long term."
The plan, announced by the U.S. Army in June 2013, reflected a small decrease in the number of Army personnel based in Alaska through 2019 despite plans for significant reductions in troops based in the Lower 48. Nationally, the Army’s decision will result in a reduction of 80,000 soldiers nationwide by 2017 and includes the elimination of entire brigades (approximately 3,000 to 4,500 Soldiers) at 10 installations in the Lower 48.
Sen. Begich has worked aggressively in recent years to minimize the impacts on Alaska by emphasizing the state’s strategic importance.