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Army announces cuts; Fort Polk to lose only 240 troops

Last Modified: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 9:54 AM

By Natalie Stewart / American Press

Fort Polk came away from a potential 5,300 troop reduction minimally scathed.

Sen. Mary Landrieu announced Tuesday that the Army post will face a reduction of approximately 240 troops over the next four years and the Brigade Combat Team will remain intact — a move she said will allow central Louisiana to keep the jobs and economic boost it gets from Fort Polk and will allow the nation to keep a “very strategic and important asset for our military.”

The move comes after the Army restructures, cutting nearly 80,000 troops nationally.

The Army is being reduced in size from about 570,000 during the peak of the Iraq war to 490,000 as part of an effort to cut the budget to reflect the country’s military needs as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan end.

“(This is) an exciting, wonderful and very proud announcement that our teamwork has paid off and Fort Polk has been spared any significant reductions,” Landrieu said during a media conference call. “It was a really tough challenge, but that challenge has been met.”

Landrieu said the news about Fort Polk “could not have been better” considering the alternative.

“(The decision) fairs very well for Fort Polk’s present and future,” she added. “Some places have lost up to 5,000 soldiers. That would have been devastating to Fort Polk. We basically held our own ... we have skirted any serious reduction.”

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