CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Fort Campbell could learn as early as Thursday if, or how, it will be impacted by nationwide cuts.
The Army has planned to reduce its troop size from 490,000 to 450,000 during the next two years due to mandatory budget cuts. That could potentially mean a reduction of 16,000 soldiers plus their families at Fort Campbell.
Businesses near the post have been watching the situation closely.
“I would say 75 percent of our business is soldiers, or spouses,” said Leighton Beaverson, an apprentice at All American Tattoo Company. “Obviously, anything that would impact our sales and our business is a concern for us. We can’t really do anything but wait and see what happens.”
Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan said possible cuts at Fort Campbell would not only impact local businesses, the economy and schools, but the entire community.
“We treasure Fort Campbell soldiers like they are our own family,” said Mayor McMillan. “They add value to our community.”
McMillan joined more than 1500 other city and state leaders, soldiers and residents at a listening session hosted by Army officials at the post in January. All in attendance argued that Fort Campbell has played an important role in the local economy, the nation’s defense, and should be left alone.
Now McMillan said the she has been waiting and hoping for the best like everyone else.
“I think what we do is stay positive, and we continue to believe the United States government will recognize the importance of Fort Campbell,” she said.
Fort Campbell already lost the 159th Combat Aviation Brigade to inactivation earlier this year. The change would reduce the post's troop size to 26,500, down from a high of 31,092 in 2013, by the end of September.
Fort Knox in Kentucky could also potentially be impacted by the cuts by losing 4,100 soldiers. Nationwide, the cuts have been expected to take place over the next two years through 2017.