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 George Patton Museum and Center for Leadership at Fort Knox is set to be rededicated Friday after a three-year renovation. The museum will open its doors with a new focus following a $5 million overhaul.
Gone are the days when the facility was dedicated to a collection of tank artifacts, something that was appropriate when Ft. Knox was home to the Army’s Armor School.
Instead, the Patton Museum will now focus on interactive features teaching lessons in military leadership from 1775 to the present. The museum will also soon be home to a fire truck that was used in the response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon.
The museum’s focus on leadership dovetails with the presence of the U.S. Army Cadet Command at Ft. Knox. That organization is responsible for commissioning the Army’s future officer leaders.
Gov. Steve Beshear and Ft. Knox Commanding General Jeff Smith will speak at Friday's rededication ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m. eastern.
A Memorial Day ceremony at Fort Knox will honor a Daviess County native who received the military’s highest decoration—the Medal of Honor.
Monday’s ceremony at the Brooks Parade Field at Ft. Knox will honor U.S. military troops, both past and present, for their service. Part of the “past” will be a remembrance of P.F.C. David Paul Nash, a native of the Daviess County town of Whitesville.
As a member of the 9th Infantry Division, the 21-year-old Nash was serving in Dinh Tuong Province in Vietnam. According to his Medal of Honor citation, Nash and three fellow soldiers were on an overnight patrol December 29th, 1968. An enemy grenade exploded near them, wounding two of the soldiers.
Seconds later, a second grenade landed nearby. Nash shouted a warning to his comrades and threw himself on the grenade.
His citation says Nash “saved the lives of the three men in the area at the sacrifice of his life.”
Nash is buried at Saint Mary of the Woods Cemetary in Whitesville, and a section of Highway 54 that runs through the town is named “The David P. “Paulie” Nash Memorial Highway.”