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Thread: Officials considered closing Fort Sill

  1. #1
    Patrick Guest

    Default Officials considered closing Fort Sill

    Wouldn't this have been a huge hit on Lawton. They actually discussed closing Fort Sill.

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    "Officials considered closing Sill

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Pentagon officials considered moving the artillery school from Fort Sill to Texas along with more than 2,000 jobs and about 7,700 students, according to records from the Base Closure and Realignment Commission.

    Under the scenario, the artillery school would have been moved to Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, The Oklahoman reported in Monday editions. Another scenario included the closure of the southwest Oklahoma post.

    Instead, BRAC officials in May recommended Fort Sill receive a major training mission from another facility, along with more than 3,600 additional jobs. The commission will review the Pentagon's list and send its recommendations to President Bush, who must give Congress a list by Sept. 23. Congress then has 45 days to reject it before it becomes official.

    Despite losing the artillery training to Oklahoma, Fort Bliss still stood to gain about 11,500 military and civilian jobs from other areas from the commission's recommendations.

    According to records, two main Pentagon groups the Army's Senior Review Group and the Education and Joint Cross-Service Group examined the proposal to combine field artillery training and air defense artillery training at one post.

    The Senior Review Group at a Nov. 18 meeting discussed moving the field artillery school at Fort Sill to Fort Bliss to consolidate artillery training at one post to promote "training effectiveness and functional efficiencies." Officials considered options that would keep Fort Sill open or close it.

    Documents from the meeting indicate that closing Fort Sill would have been far more expensive than leaving it open, and there was the added negative factor of closing a post with high military value. Fort Sill ranked 20th out of 99 major Army installations in terms of military value, while Fort Bliss was No. 1.

    The plan also created potential conflict with scenarios in which thousands of troops would be moved from overseas posts to Fort Bliss and created the question of whether Fort Bliss could absorb that much new activity and influx of people.

    Instead, at a Dec. 14 meeting, senior Army officials discussed combining all artillery training at Fort Sill. Officials decided such a move would still promote training effectiveness and functional efficiencies and create space at Fort Bliss for additional activities while incurring the lowest one-time cost among all the other alternatives.

    At the meeting, the group accepted a recommendation to propose relocating the artillery school to Fort Sill. It then passed the recommendation on to the education and training group, which also gave its approval.

    Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army Chief of Staff, testified at a base closure commission hearing May 18 five days after the Defense Department released its recommendations that combining the training activities at Fort Sill "just makes sense" because it is representative of what the Army is doing to transform itself for the future.

    "What we're really doing is organizing the function," he said."

  2. #2

    Default Re: Officials considered closing Fort Sill

    The closure would have hit my family pretty hard due to business we receive from the base, but now it looks like it may improve. When I first heard about it I got scared and then a rush of relief came after realizing it wasn't a base closure. hehe

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