Kentucky's Second District U.S. Congressman says he's hopeful the military will find a replacement for the infantry brigade that will leave Ft. Knox by 2017. Bowling Green Republican Brett Guthrie represents the Hardin County region, and told WKU Public Radio he has been in contact with area leaders since Tuesday's announcement by the army.
"If this happens, are there other opportunities to strengthen Ft. Knox in other areas? I don't think it will replace 3,600 permanent soldiers, but there are ways to make this easier, and possibly bring some other military units on to Ft. Knox," said Guthrie.
The loss of the lone infantry brigade combat team at Ft. Knox is part of the army's plan to cut active-duty personnel by 80,000.
Rep. Guthrie says he's concerned that those in Washington making decisions on the size of the military are doing so based mostly on budget concerns, as opposed to what missions America's armed services should be asked to accomplish.
Interview with Brad Richardson, president of the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce
A wide-ranging plan by the U.S. Army to thin its ranks by 80,000 will lead to the loss of the infantry brigade combat team at Ft. Knox.
Ft. Campbell will also lose a brigade, which typically consists of about 3,500 soldiers, but can total up to 5,000 for certain heavily armored units.
The plan announced Tuesday by U.S. military leaders would decrease the overall number of active-duty combat brigades from 45 to 33, and would also impact Army installations in Texas, Georgia, Colorado, North Carolina, New York, Kansas and Washington.
The military downsizing would dissolve the lone infantry brigade combat team stationed at Ft. Knox by 2017. However, Hardin County Chamber of Commerce President Brad Richardson told WKU Public Radio that there are discussions ongoing about the possibility of Ft. Knox landing some other type of Army brigade.
Richardson stresses any such discussions are very preliminary and in no way set in stone.
The army downsizing in no way impacts the thousands of civilian workers employed at the Human Resources and Recruiting centers at Ft. Knox. Still, Richardson says the loss of 3,300 active duty soldiers and their families would hurt the region's economy. He points out about 70 percent of the military personnel stationed at Ft. Knox live off the post, in communities like Radcliff, Vine Grove, and Elizabethtown.
The Kentucky Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a western Kentucky man who pleaded guilty to killing three children and attacking their mother near Fort Campbell.
The high court on Thursday found a judge committed no errors in allowing 41-year-old Kevin Wayne Dunlap to admit to the killings in Trigg County and have a jury decide only if he would be condemned to death or face a lesser sentence.
Dunlap was sentenced to death March 19, 2010. He pleaded guilty to stabbing and killing 5-year-old Ethan Frensley, 17-year-old Kayla Williams and 14-year-old Kortney Frensley when they returned home from school on Oct. 15, 2008 near the Fort Campbell military installation in southern Kentucky.
The military says two Fort Campbell soldiers died in Afghanistan after their unit was struck by an improvised explosive device.
Killed on Monday were 23-year-old 2nd Lt. Justin Lee Sisson of Phoenix, Ariz., and 20-year-old Spc. Robert Allan Pierce of Panama, Okla. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.
Sisson joined the Army about a year ago after graduating from Florida State University. Pierce joined in April 2011 and served in Korea before arriving at Fort Campbell last August.
Sisson's survivors include his parents, Kevin B. Sisson and Phyllis M. Sisson, both of Phoenix.
Pierce is survived by his spouse, Christian M. Pierce of Huntington, Ark., and parents, Randy R. Pierce of Panama and Lonnetta R. Dart of Hartford, Ark.
A soldier stationed at Fort Campbell has been killed in Afghanistan.
The Department of Defense said Tuesday that 39-year-old Warrant Officer Sean W. Mullen of Dover, Del., died June 2 of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
The attack was at Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan.
Mullen was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), at Fort Campbell.
Notifications of planned furloughs are expected to be sent out in the next couple of weeks to federal employees who work on Kentucky military installations as unions negotiate details of the impact of automatic budget cuts.
Thousands of federal employees who work at Fort Knox in central Kentucky and Fort Campbell on the Tennessee state line could face up to 22 unpaid days off work between April and September as part of cuts triggered on March 1. Union officials say they expect notifications to start being sent to employees in mid to late March.
Vicki Loyall is the president of local 2302 of the American Federation of Government Employees based at Fort Knox. She said employees there worry about paying bills and are considering cancelling their health insurance.
On the eve of automatic military budget cuts, Fort Campbell's garrison commander said the installation's 8,000 civilian employees could face up to 22 unpaid days off this year.
Col. David L. "Buck" Dellinger told reporters Thursday that Fort Campbell's leaders are making budget decisions sometimes on an hourly basis to prepare for $55 million in budget cuts scheduled to take effect on Friday.
The installation in southern Kentucky is hosting town hall meetings in the coming days with staff and soldiers.
Dellinger said they have to balance providing training for thousands of soldiers who are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan this year, while finding savings in areas like civilian employee salaries, maintenance and other operating costs.
With military budget cuts set to take effect Friday, Fort Campbell's leaders are preparing to give more details on furloughs facing thousands of civilian employees and local impact of those cuts on soldiers and their families.
Fort Campbell's commander Maj. Gen. James McConville has said more information will be provided in the coming days through town hall meetings. The installation's garrison commander, Col. David L. "Buck" Dellinger, is providing details on the local impact during a media briefing on Thursday.
The Pentagon faces a $46 billion budget reduction through the end of September and has warned that some 800,000 civilians stand to be furloughed without pay for up to 22 days.
More than 30,000 troops are based at Fort Campbell, and many are currently deployed to Afghanistan.
Soldiers serving in a combat aviation brigade at Fort Campbell are scheduled to arrive at the post on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line after completing a deployment to Afghanistan.
The soldiers arriving home on Friday are from the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. The aviation brigade has been working in eastern Afghanistan since last year to assist U.S. and international troops.
Thousands of soldiers from Fort Campbell are deployed or are preparing to deploy this year to Afghanistan.