NPT DC: Reyes release, after less-troops announcement, touts Bliss expansion
From the office of U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes:
STATEMENT BY CONGRESSMAN SILVESTRE REYES
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) today released the following statement regarding an article appearing in today’s El Paso Times titled “Army nixes brigades for Bliss, White Sands:”
“Yesterday’s announcement by the Department of Defense only reiterates the Secretary of Defense’s prior decision in April to make changes to the Army’s ‘Grow the Force’ initiative and does not have any impact on the thousands of troops who have moved and are scheduled to move to Fort Bliss as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) process.
“The two ‘Grow the Force’ Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) scheduled to arrive at Fort Bliss were in addition to the huge gains from BRAC, which included four BCTs, a combat aviation brigade, and a division headquarters. One BCT under the ‘Grow the Force’ initiative is already scheduled to activate at Fort Bliss in the fall of this year and is unaffected by yesterday’s announcement. Although the Department of Defense will not activate the second Fort Bliss BCT that was scheduled to arrive in 2011, the base is still gaining the most troops in the entire country from the BRAC process and is still benefiting substantially from the ‘Grow the Force’ initiative.
“Prior to the BRAC process, Fort Bliss’ troop population stood at 9,300. Today, the base is on track to be home to over 36,000 troops by 2013. Once the BRAC process is complete, Fort Bliss will emerge as the fourth largest base – in terms of soldier population – in the United States. With its state-of-the-art training facilities and expansive area, Fort Bliss is the Army’s highest rated installation for military value and one of America’s premier national defense assets.”