The Watertown Daily Times is reporting that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand plans to hold a meeting to organize the effort to keep Fort Drum off any closure lists as the Army prepares to downsize.
Mrs. Gillibrand’s effort — which grew out of her concerns about the future of Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn — was met with puzzlement in the north country. But the idea of trimming infrastructure to save money, whether by a base closure round or other means, is not far-fetched, say people who have worked on previous base closures or closely follow the defense budget. Indeed, it is likely, they say.
To be clear, no Army officials have singled out Fort Drum for cuts.
But according to the WDT, the Pentagon is looking for a total of $350 billion in cuts over the next decade nationwide and the Army Times has reported plans to cut as many as 50,000 soldier slots.
Any closure or significant downsizing of Fort Drum would have devastating consequences for the Watertown area, which has pinned its prosperity to the enormous military complex.