Fort Drum is in the middle of a huge expansion right now, but with the US government facing a deep budget crisis, the Army is moving toward massive cuts in the number of enlisted men and women over the next five years.
A total of roughly 50,000 soldier positions will be cut.
According to the widely respected Army Times, the downsizing will be on a scale that matches the post Cold War cuts of the 1990s.
Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, service personnel chief…said the pending drawdown initially will focus on the temporary 22,000-soldier increase launched three years ago to support the Afghanistan troop surge…
The second phase of the drawdown involves 27,000 soldier spaces that were added to end strength during the Grow the Army program, leaving the service with 520,400 active-duty soldiers on Sept. 30, 2016.
In all that represents roughly a 9% cut in the number of soldiers on active duty. It’s unclear how that force reduction will affect operations at Fort Drum.
Those job cuts will sting especially hard in many rural, blue collar towns, where the recession has made a stint in the Army a far more attractive starting career opportunity.