As you may be aware, the Department of the Army will be holding a listening session here in Augusta next Thursday, April 25th from noon -2:00 p.m. The critical purpose of this exercise is to gather information from communities with military populations greater than 5,000 as to our perspectives on pending fiscal reductions as required by the Budget Control Act of 2011.
We are asking for your help to attend the session in support of our community. Cities across the country have turned out large numbers of their citizens to rally for their installations. It is important that our region be well represented.
Congress felt the communities did not have adequate time to comment on the PEA study that came out several months ago so they directed the Department of the Army to conduct “listening sessions” at installations identified in the study (if you recall, the worst case scenario in the study indicated Ft Gordon could lose 4300 soldiers, as headlined in The Augusta Chronicle). This session is the final opportunity for the community to voice concerns over the impact of cuts to Fort Gordon and highlight the relationships between the Fort and community. Major General Patterson will host the session and it will include a presentation provided by Department of the Army on the process of the 80,000 soldier reduction to Army end strength and how the senior military leaders will decide where those cuts will be made. Community leaders will then have the opportunity to offer comments/concerns in a town hall, open mike format. Two representatives from the Department of the Army will observe and the minutes from these listening sessions will be included in the deliberations for the force reductions.
There is no need to RSVP. The session will be held at the Fort Gordon Dinner Theater which is located near the main water tower. Attendees without a government ID must enter Gate 1 and get a visitors pass (drivers license, vehicle registration, proof of insurance).
It is critical that we have a big turnout from the community.