Congressman Bill Owens and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand sent a letter to Secretary of the Army John McHugh and U.S. Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno expressing strong support for Fort Drum and unequivocal opposition to any troop reductions that are under consideration there. The letter, signed by all 27 Representatives and both Senators from New York, is a significant show of unity behind the installation from the U.S. Congress.
Gillibrand and Owens lead NY congressional delegation in support of Fort Drum
Letter to Secretary McHugh and Gen. Odierno signed by entire New York congressional delegation
“I’m incredibly heartened that the entire New York congressional delegation has shown its support for Fort Drum and the surrounding community,” Owens said. “Clearly, New Yorkers are willing to stand up for this installation because its value to the Army is too great to justify additional cuts.”
“Across New York, our entire Congressional Delegation understands the importance of Fort Drum and are committed to protecting our base,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Fort Drum is vital to America’s national security and, as this letter shows, it is an essential part of New York. We will continue to fight for Fort Drum and for the community.”
The letter was sent in response to the Army’s Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment (SPEA)published in the Federal Register on June 26, 2014. That assessment considers the impact of cuts as large as 16,000 soldiers. In response, the letter details the critical strategic role Fort Drum plays in military readiness, emphasizing that it is the only rapid deployment “Power Projection Platform” in the northeast U.S., contains premiere training facilities and assets, and hosts Army and Air National Guard units from states throughout the northeast. The letter notes reductions at Fort Drum could create additional costs to replicate its training infrastructure elsewhere.