Fort Stewart Could Lose 8000 Jobs - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Fort Stewart Could Lose 8000 Jobs

It's being called a warning shot by the U.S. Army.
A new report which shows a devastating economic blow for the entire area-- and it may happen by the end of the decade.  

Military cuts are coming, and Fort Stewart is on the list.

It's all part of a Pentagon plan to shrink the Army's total force from 562,000 to 490,000.

The report gives names of 21 bases that could face cuts of 1000 jobs or more.

Three of those are in Georgia, including Fort Benning, Fort Gordon and Fort Stewart.

The worst case scenario shows the Hinesville base losing 8000 soldier and civilian jobs by 2020.  That's roughly two brigades and their support staff.

Breaking down what that means economically to the region.

That would be a drop of $334 million in payroll.  

Annual sales would fall about 21% in a five county region around Fort Stewart.  That includes Long, Liberty, Effingham, Bryan, and Chatham counties.

Those cuts would also trigger the loss of another 965 military contractor positions and 791 non-military civilian jobs.

Senator Buddy Carter says the region needs to prepare for the worst.

"Even if its not 8000. Even if its just 4000 its still significant," explained Carter. "Again the ripple effect is going to have a major impact. We as a state need to be prepared for that. Its going to happen. The Federal Government cannot sustain the kind of spending they've had over the past few years and they are going to have to make cuts. Some of those cuts, a lot of those cuts are going to come from the military."

Carter adds that military outreach programs like armstrong's planned campus expansion to Hinesville will be key to making sure the area is not completely dependant on military money.

Hinesville's mayor reportedly isn't going to wait for this to become a reality.

Jim Thomas is one of several leaders drafting a letter to Georgia's congressional delegation, giving reasons Fort Stewart should be spared from the cutbacks.

We should have a more concrete plan for the military, and Fort Stewart's future, in the next few months.

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