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Friday, November 14, 2014
Army completes EIS for possible Hawaii force reductions
By News Release @ 6:35 PM :: 4299 Views :: Military

News Release from US Army November 14, 2014

The Army has completed its study on the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of possible force reductions on communities surrounding military installations. Schofield Barracks and Fort Shafter were among the 30 installations evaluated.

No decisions have been made on which units and organizations will be selected for reductions. The environmental study is one of multiple factors the Army will consider as it makes force structure decisions. Additional analysis and data gathering will also occur, to include community listening sessions.

The Army will hold Hawaii's community listening session Jan. 27, 2015, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki.

The study is available online at: http://aec.army.mil/Services/Support/NEPA/Documents.aspx.

(Look under the brown heading "Programmatic EA." The study is titled "2014 Supplemental PEA for Army 2020 Force Structure Realignment.")

  *   *   *   *   *

Army completes environmental study for possible force reductions

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The Department of the Army announces the availability of the Finding of No Significant Impact for the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Army 2020 Force Structure Realignment.

The Army evaluated the environmental impacts of potential reductions of active component Soldiers and Army civilians (Army employees) at 30 installations. The Army determined there are no significant impacts, other than socioeconomic impacts, and that preparation of an environmental impact statement is not required.

As a result of current budgetary projections, the Army must reduce its active component end strength to a level below that analyzed in the January 2013 Programmatic Environmental Assessment. The supplemental environmental assessment built on the 2013 assessment and analyzed the impacts of a potential reduction of an additional 70,000 Soldiers and associated Army civilians, down to an active component end-strength of 420,000. These reductions are necessary to meet the spending levels required by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Nearly all Army installations will be affected in some way by the reductions. The 2013 assessment evaluated 21 Army installations and joint bases where Army stationing changes could result in the inactivation and restructuring of brigade combat teams, or a combined loss of 1,000 or more Army employees during the fiscal year 2013-2020 timeframe. With the deeper reductions now anticipated, the supplemental assessment evaluated the original 21 installations for greater cuts, as well as nine additional installations.

Both the 2013 assessment and 2014 supplemental assessment analyzed potential reductions at Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Bragg, N.C.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Gordon, Ga.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Irwin, Calif.; Fort Knox, Ky.; Fort Lee, Va.; Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Fort Polk, La.; Fort Riley, Kan.; Fort Sill, Okla.; Fort Stewart, Ga.; Fort Wainwright, Alaska; Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; and, United  States Army Garrison (USAG) Hawaii - Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

The 2014 supplemental assessment also analyzed potential reductions at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; Fort Belvoir, Va.; Fort Huachuca, Ariz.; Fort Jackson, S.C.; Fort Leavenworth, Kan.; Fort Meade, Md.; Fort Rucker, Ala.; Joint Base San Antonio - Fort Sam Houston, Texas; and USAG Hawaii - Fort Shafter, Hawaii.

The Army received over 110,000 comments on the supplemental assessment from members of the public, members of Congress, state and local officials, Tribal governments, regulators, state and local agencies and officials, special interest groups and non-profit organizations, civic groups, public service organizations, academia, and private businesses.

Many of these comments emphasized the seriousness of potential economic impacts, which is consistent with the Army's conclusion that the impacts would be significant at most installations. Socioeconomic impacts are of particular concern to the Army because they affect communities around Army installations and joint bases.

Decisions on which units and organizations will be selected for reductions have not yet been made.

The analysis of environmental and socioeconomic impacts is one of multiple factors that will help force structure decision-makers as they identify specific units and organizations for reductions in upcoming years.

Over the next few months, the Army will conduct local community listening sessions to receive public input for consideration in the force structure decision process. Hawaii's community listening session will be held Jan. 27, 2015, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki.

The final supplemental assessment ("Finding of No Significant Impact for the Supplemental Programmatic Environmental Assessment for Army 2020 Force Structure Realignment") is available online at: http://aec.army.mil/Services/Support/NEPA/Documents.aspx .

For further information on the supplemental programmatic environmental assessment, please contact the U.S. Army Environmental Command Public Affairs Office at (210) 466-1590 or toll-free 855-846-3940, or email usarmy.jbsa.aec.nepa@mail.mil.

-END-

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