Army Force Reduction
Today, the Army announced force-wide personnel reductions totaling 40,000 active duty soldiers. The Army is in the midst of a drawdown from 570,000 active duty soldiers in 2012 to 450,000 by 2018. This decrease affects every Army installation in the United States and abroad. Included in that reduction will be a cut of 1,219 active duty soldiers currently assigned to Fort Bliss. By comparison, Fort Benning lost 3,402 active duty soldiers and Fort Hood lost 3,350. Every installation saw reductions and Fort Bliss was no different, but I am glad that the cuts at Fort Bliss will be smaller than at many other major installations.
Because of this, Fort Bliss will actually host a larger proportion of the Army’s active duty force. Currently, 5.4% of the Army is assigned to Fort Bliss; after these reductions, that number will increase to 5.6%. The Army understands Fort Bliss offers unique value, including unparalleled training and testing areas and a premier force projection platform, and I believe that is reflected in this latest decision.
Fort Bliss fared relatively well in this reduction, but if the President and Congress cannot work out a solution to avoid more cuts through sequester, we will see further reductions throughout the Army and at Fort Bliss. Given the threats we face around the world right now, I will do everything I can to prevent further downsizing of the Army.